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Summary: COD System Implementation for 2008-2009 Award Year

Publication Date: March 4, 2008

Author: William Leith, Acting General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid

Summary: COD System Implementation for 2008-2009 Award Year

Posted on 03-04-2008

During the period March 14-16, 2008, we plan to implement additional Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System functionality that supports the processing of Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant), Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant), and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) awards for the 2008-2009 Award Year.

Note: This implementation will not include functionality needed to support recent regulatory changes related to late disbursements and loan period/academic year length. This implementation also will not include functionality needed to support the processing of Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant awards for 2008-2009 and subsequent award years. The new grant program was established by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (the CCRAA), Pub. L. 110-84, and is effective July 1, 2008. We plan to implement COD System functionality to support the regulatory changes and the processing of TEACH Grant awards in June 2008. We will communicate the details related to the June 2008 implementation, as well as all necessary operational implementation guidance, through Electronic Announcements on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site.

In this announcement, we provide the following important information related to the implementation:

  • Important Reminders
  • 2008-2009 Grant Authorization and Disbursement Processing Information (two subsections)
  • 2008-2009 Direct Loan Disbursement Processing Information
  • COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information
  • COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2008-2009
  • Contact Information
  • Attachments/Enclosures

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we complete this important activity.

Important Reminders

All schools must send and receive 2008-2009 origination and disbursement data for the ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, and Direct Loan programs to the COD System using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) Common Record.

  • Except as noted below, for the 2008-2009 Award Year, a school must send and the COD System will acknowledge Common Record documents that contain only ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, and/or Direct Loan origination and disbursement information using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 2.0e.

    On February 20, 2008, we communicated about the implementation of a new version of the COD Common Record XML Schema scheduled for June 28, 2008. The new version – 3.0a – of the COD Common Record XML Schema incorporates 1) a new block for TEACH Grant awards and 2) other changes throughout the schema to comply with standards established by the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC).

    As previously explained, we are phasing in required use of COD Common Record Schema Version 3.0a after its implementation scheduled for June 28, 2008. Use of the new schema version for the 2008-2009 Award Year will be required only for Common Record documents that contain TEACH Grant origination and disbursement information. Use of the new schema version for all Common Record documents will be required beginning with the 2009-2010 Award Year.

    For complete information about the new schema version, refer to “COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0a” on the IFAP Web site. In addition, we have updated the 2008-2009 COD Technical Reference.

  • All ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, and Direct Loan reports, including data requests, will continue to be sent in formats other than XML.

Prior to submitting 2008-2009 records to the COD System, a school should ensure that its software/system is ready to process 2008-2009 records using the XML Common Record.

  • Any school that will participate in the ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, or Direct Loan program for the first time in the 2008-2009 Award Year must complete school testing with the COD System before sending data into production. The only exception to this is a new school using software from a software provider or third party servicer, or EDExpress.


  • While other schools are not required to test with the COD System, all schools, software providers, and third party servicers may participate in testing. We encourage a school that uses a solution developed in house (mainframe system, server, software, or other) to send and receive the XML Common Record to test with the COD System.


  • Software providers and third party servicers may perform their own product testing on behalf of their customers. For example, we will test the EDExpress software before releasing it to schools. A school should contact its software provider or third party servicer to discuss testing plans/concerns.


  • For more information about testing, refer to the “COD School Testing for the 2008-2009 Award Year” Electronic Announcement on the IFAP Web site.

If a school uses a third party software provider, it should check with the provider regarding the availability of the provider’s 2008-2009 software release.

Note for EDExpress Users: The 2008-2009 EDExpress for Windows, Release 2.0 is scheduled to be available on March 31, 2008. Release 2.0 will add Pell Grant and Direct Loan functionality for the 2008-2009 award cycle. The Pell module will include 2008-2009 origination and disbursement functionality for the ACG and the National SMART Grant programs. Release 2.0 will not include functionality needed to support recent regulatory changes related to late disbursements and loan period/academic year length or the processing of TEACH Grant awards. We plan to implement the necessary functionality shortly after the COD System implementation in June 2008. We will communicate the details related to Release 2.0 and all subsequent releases in forthcoming Electronic Announcements on the IFAP Web site.

Beginning March 16, 2008, the following will be in place:

  • All 2008-2009 Award Year-specific message classes will include “09” as the award year indicator. All message classes are listed in Volume II, Section 2 of the 2008-2009 COD Technical Reference.


  • The Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) ID will include “09” as the award year indicator.


  • The default award year will be 2008-2009 on all COD Web site screens except the Request Post Deadline Processing screen. (The Request Post Deadline Processing screen defaults to the award year for which processing has most recently ended.)

With the implementation of the COD System for the 2008-2009 Award Year, a school’s selected report format will default to the format specified in the 2008-2009 COD Technical Reference and not to the school’s current report options. Beginning March 16, 2008, COD Web site School User Levels 3-5 and Third Party Servicer User Levels 3-5 will be able to reset their schools’ report options by accessing the Report Selection screen.

  • To access the Report Selection screen, click on the Report Selection link under the COD Web site’s Summary Information screen. Updates to report formats for reports that are not award-year specific will be applied to all award years. Updates to report formats for reports that are award-year specific will be applied only to the award year selected in the Award Year drop down menu on the Report Selection screen.


  • Complete details on report formats are available in Volume VI, Section 8 of the 2008-2009 COD Technical Reference.

2008-2009 Grant Authorization and Disbursement Processing Information

Information for Pell Grant Program

Beginning March 16, 2008, the COD System will accept origination and anticipated disbursement records for 2008-2009 Pell Grant awards. As explained below, until May 19, 2008, the Disbursement Release Indicator (DRI) value in these records must equal “False” in order to be accepted by the COD System.

Note: Dear Colleague Letter P-08-01 provided the Payment and Disbursement Schedules for determining Pell Grant awards for the 2008-2009 Award Year. As explained in Dear Colleague Letter P-07-02, the CCRAA repealed the “tuition sensitivity” award rule. As a result, the “Alternate” Payment and Disbursement Schedules have been eliminated and all 2008-2009 Pell Grant awards will be based on the one set of Payment and Disbursement schedules attached to Dear Colleague Letter P-08-01.

Initial Pell Grant Authorizations for the 2008-2009 Award Year for schools receiving Pell Grant funds under the advanced funding method will be determined in May 2008. Initial Current Funding Levels (CFLs) will be established in the COD System at that time, and an Electronic Statement of Account (ESOA) containing this information will be sent to each school’s Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailbox.

  • As an Advanced Funded school submits actual Pell Grant disbursement records, the COD System will apply the total accepted and posted amount for each disbursement to the amount of the school’s Initial CFL. Only after the Initial CFL amount has been reached will the school’s CFL be increased to cover additional accepted and posted disbursements. A new ESOA will be sent to the school each time its Pell Grant CFL amount changes.


  • Schools that participate in the Just in Time pilot and schools that receive funds under the Reimbursement, Heightened Cash Monitoring 1 (HCM1), or Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 (HCM2) funding method will not receive an Initial CFL. These schools will receive a CFL once the COD System has accepted and posted actual disbursement records. A new ESOA will be sent to a school each time its Pell Grant CFL amount changes.

The COD System will accept actual disbursement records (DRI value equals “True”) for 2008-2009 Pell Grant awards beginning May 19, 2008.

  • Prior to May 19, 2008, the COD System will reject all actual disbursements.


  • Beginning May 19, 2008, an Advanced Funded school may submit actual disbursements for 2008-2009 Pell Grant awards. As a reminder, actual disbursements can be submitted up to 30 days before the disbursement date.

Note: In March 2008, we will update the 2008-2009 COD Technical Reference to reflect this date.

A school will be able to view and draw down 2008-2009 Pell Grant funds in G5 (formerly GAPS) as follows:

  • An Advanced Funded school will be able to view and draw down 2008-2009 Pell Grant funds in G5 on July 1, 2008.


  • A Just in Time, Reimbursement, HCM1, or HCM2 school will be able to view and draw down 2008-2009 Pell Grant funds in G5 after the COD System accepts and posts actual disbursement records, but no earlier than July 1, 2008.

Information for ACG and National SMART Grant Programs

Beginning March 16, 2008, the COD System will accept origination and anticipated disbursement records for 2008-2009 ACG and National SMART Grant awards. As explained below, until May 19, 2008, the DRI value in these records must equal “False” in order to be accepted by the COD System.

Unlike the Pell Grant Program, there will be no Initial Authorizations for the ACG and National SMART Grant programs for the 2008-2009 Award Year. Schools will receive a CFL under one or both of these programs based on the accepted and posted actual disbursement records that they submit to the COD System. A new ESOA will be sent to a school’s SAIG mailbox each time its ACG or National SMART Grant CFL amount changes.

The COD System will accept actual disbursement records (DRI value equals “True”) for 2008-2009 ACG and National SMART Grant awards beginning May 19, 2008.

  • Prior to May 19, 2008, the COD System will reject all actual disbursements.


  • Beginning May 19, 2008, an Advanced Funded school may submit actual disbursements for 2008-2009 ACG and National SMART Grant awards. As a reminder, actual disbursements can be submitted up to 7 days before the disbursement date.

Note: In March 2008, we will update the 2008-2009 COD Technical Reference to reflect this date.

After the COD System accepts and posts actual disbursement records, but no earlier than July 1, 2008, a school will be able to view and draw down 2008-2009 ACG and National SMART Grant funds in G5.

2008-2009 Direct Loan Disbursement Processing Information

Beginning March 16, 2008, the COD System will accept origination and disbursement records for 2008-2009 Direct Loan awards. Direct Loan funding will also be available through G5.

COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information

In order to install the system changes that will allow the COD System to receive and process 2008-2009 records—

  • We will suspend COD batch processing beginning at 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, March 14, 2008. Records submitted after 8:00 P.M. (ET) will be held and processed after 9:00 A.M. (ET) on Sunday, March 16, 2008.


  • The COD Web site will be unavailable from 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, March 14, 2008 until 9:00 A.M. (ET) on Sunday, March 16, 2008.

Additionally, for Direct Loan participants—

  • The Direct Loan Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) Web site will be unavailable from 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, March 14, 2008 until 11:00 A.M. (ET) on Sunday, March 16, 2008.

    Individuals starting the process by 7:00 P.M. (ET) on March 14, 2008 will be able to complete their MPNs before the Web site becomes unavailable. Individuals attempting to access the Web site after the cutoff time will see a Web site maintenance message and will not be able to start the process or retrieve an existing MPN.

COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2008-2009

In Volume I, Section 2 of the 2008-2009 COD Technical Reference, we provide an overview of the enhancements and modifications being made to the COD System for the 2008-2009 Award Year. We have also provided enhancement and modification information in conference presentations during summer and fall 2007 and in communications posted on the IFAP Web site.

We highlight the previously provided information in the attachment to this announcement titled “COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2008-2009.”

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this announcement, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/474-7268 for Grants or 800/848-0978 for Direct Loans. You may also e-mail CODSupport@acs-inc.com.

Attachments/Enclosures:

Last Modified: 03/03/2008