Publication Date: April 9, 2008
Author: William Leith, Acting General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid
Summary: CCRAA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, and EDESuite) - TEACH Grant Operational Implementation Overview (Superseded by Updated Posting on 6/19/2008)
Posted on 04-09-2008
Note: This Electronic Announcement has been superseded by an updated Electronic Announcement posted on June 19, 2008. Please refer to the updated Electronic Announcement at http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/061908AddtlTEACHGrantOpImp.html.
As explained in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-08-01 posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (the CCRAA), Pub. L. 110-84, authorized the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program for implementation beginning with the 2008-2009 Award Year. The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year in grant assistance to a student who agrees to serve for at least four years as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. A TEACH Grant recipient who does not complete the required teaching within a specified timeframe, or fails to meet certain other requirements of the TEACH Grant Program, will be required to repay the TEACH Grant as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.
Note: The Department of Education (the Department) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the TEACH Grant Program in the Federal Register on March 21, 2008 (73 FR 15336). Comments on this NPRM must be submitted to the Department on or before April 21, 2008. The NPRM is available on the IFAP Web site. When final regulations are published in the Federal Register, they will be posted on the IFAP Web site.
We previously informed the financial aid community that we will post numerous communications about the operational implementation of the TEACH Grant Program over the next several months. This communication provides a high-level overview of how we will implement functionality for processing TEACH Grant awards. We cover information in the following order:
We look forward to working together with schools to provide TEACH Grant funds to eligible students and appreciate the extra effort, patience, and understanding that will be required of schools. We thank schools in advance for the assistance they will provide in serving our students who will receive TEACH Grant awards.
Basic Components of TEACH Grant Processing
The basic components of TEACH Grant processing are as follows:
- A student applies for a TEACH Grant.
For the 2008-2009 Award Year, the application for a TEACH Grant is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We have added a question to the 2008-2009 FAFSA on the Web application to assist in identifying potentially eligible TEACH Grant recipients. For the 2008-2009 Award Year, this question will only appear on FAFSA on the Web and not on the paper FAFSA, or in an application generated by a school in FAA Access to CPS Online or through the EDE process.
- An eligible school determines a student’s eligibility.
Under the proposed regulations, a school has the option to participate in the TEACH Grant Program. A school that chooses to participate in the TEACH Grant Program will respond to a request from a student to determine eligibility for a TEACH Grant award using information the school has and confirmation of intent provided by the student. A forthcoming Dear Colleague Letter about school eligibility and participation will be posted on the IFAP Web site.
- A student completes an Agreement to Serve.
A student completes an Agreement to Serve (ATS) electronically via an ATS Web site each year that he or she is scheduled to receive a TEACH Grant award. The ATS will explain the service obligation that must be fulfilled, the circumstances that will result in the TEACH Grant being converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and, if the TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the terms and conditions associated with repaying the loan. The school receives a response regarding the student’s ATS completion.
A TEACH Grant fact sheet will be available on the ATS Web site.
Note: The Department will advise schools of counseling requirements related to the TEACH Grant Program through final regulations and sub-regulatory guidance.
- A school reports award information.
A school provides origination and disbursement information for a TEACH Grant award via submission of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) COD Common Record to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System or via the COD Web site. Upon processing an award’s origination record and disbursement records, the COD System returns the applicable response to the school.
Upon acceptance of an origination record that includes anticipated disbursement information at a minimum, the COD System generates a TEACH Grant Disclosure Statement for the student.
The COD System accepts actual disbursement records for a TEACH Grant award only after an ATS for the applicable year has been accepted by the COD System. The school reports additional actual disbursements as they occur.
- An award is sent to the Direct Loan Servicing System (DLSS).
Once the COD System has an accepted ATS (completed by the student via the ATS Web site), an accepted origination record, and an accepted actual disbursement record for the initial disbursement, the TEACH Grant award is sent to the DLSS. The student receives a TEACH Grant Welcome Letter generated by the DLSS.
On a quarterly basis, the DLSS generates a statement about the TEACH Grant for the student. The student’s completion of the required teaching or conversion of the TEACH Grant to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, if necessary, is recorded and monitored via the DLSS.
- Award information is available in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
The DLSS sends TEACH Grant award information to the NSLDS. Both individual award information and aggregate award information are available for view by a school and the student.
- A school provides student enrollment status information.
A school updates a student’s enrollment status as part of normal enrollment reporting to the NSLDS via the Enrollment Reporting Roster.
- A student provides agreement fulfillment status information.
After a student is no longer enrolled, he or she reports on the completion of the required teaching. The student updates his or her agreement fulfillment status, including confirmation of each year’s qualified teaching service, in response to notifications generated by the DLSS.
- A student repays if the agreement is not fulfilled.
A student who does not complete the required teaching repays the award as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan according to the terms and conditions of the ATS. Repayment and servicing of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan is recorded and monitored via the DLSS.
Availability of TEACH Grant Functionality
We are on schedule to implement Teach Grant functionality that supports the basic components outlined above. The implementation schedule is as follows:
On January 1, 2008, we began presenting FAFSA on the Web filers with a question relating to the TEACH Grant Program.
On February 11, 2008, we began adding comment code 281 to Student Aid Report (SAR) and Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) transactions for students who submit a new FAFSA on the Web application and answer "Yes" to the TEACH Grant question.
On February 15, 2008, we reprocessed 2008-2009 ISIRs to add comment code 281 to records for students who answered "Yes" to the TEACH Grant question during the period January 1, 2008 to February 10, 2008.
On March 11, 2008, we posted a new version of the COD Common Record XML Schema. 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).
Note: The March 11, 2008 posting of schema version 3.0a corrected and superseded an initial (February 20, 2008) posting of the new schema version. The March 11, 2008 posting is the authoritative posting of schema version 3.0a.
On May 5, 2008, we will implement new SAR comment code 282, indicating that the applicant has not been given the opportunity to answer the TEACH Grant question. This includes applicants who file a paper FAFSA, as well as those students for whom the application is generated by a school in FAA Access to CPS Online or through the EDE process. In these cases going forward, the resulting SAR/ISIR transactions will include comment code 282.
Beginning May 5, 2008, we will offer schools, software providers, and third party servicers a two-phase opportunity to test TEACH Grant functionality with the COD System.
Beginning June 28, 2008, we will implement the Agreement to Serve (ATS) Web site through which students will electronically complete and submit an ATS. A TEACH Grant fact sheet will be available on this Web site.
Note: We will provide the URL for the ATS Web site in a forthcoming Electronic Announcement posted on the IFAP Web site.
Beginning June 28, 2008, we will implement COD System functionality that supports TEACH Grant origination and disbursement processing functions. This will include processing TEACH Grant origination and disbursement records submitted by schools, generating TEACH Grant Disclosure Statements for students, and sending award information to the DLSS. We will also implement functionality that results in the DLSS generating TEACH Grant Welcome Letters for students and sending award information to the NSLDS.
Note for EDExpress Users: Shortly after the June 28, 2008 COD System implementation, we will post an updated version of the EDExpress software that supports TEACH Grant origination and disbursement processing functions. The updated EDExpress software will allow a school to enter, store, and export/import TEACH Grant origination, disbursement, and response information.
Beginning July 1, 2008, a school will be able to draw down funds via G5 (formerly GAPS) for TEACH Grant awards for which actual disbursement records have been accepted by the COD System.
Note: The COD System will accept actual disbursement records for a TEACH Grant award 1) after an ATS for the applicable year has been accepted by the COD System and 2) no earlier than 7 days before the disbursement date.
In early July 2008, we will update R2T4 on the Web to include TEACH Grants.
Beginning September 27, 2008, we will implement COD System functionality that supports TEACH Grant reporting and reconciliation functions for schools.
Note for EDExpress Users: Shortly after the September 27, 2008 COD System implementation, we will post an updated version of the EDExpress software that supports TEACH Grant reporting functions. The updated EDExpress software will allow a school to import available TEACH Grant reports.
Beginning January 1, 2009, we will present the TEACH Grant question to applicants who file a paper FAFSA, as well as those students for whom the application is generated by a school in FAA Access to CPS Online or through the EDE process. We will also include TEACH Grant information on 2009-2010 SARs and ISIRs and add TEACH Grant information to NSLDS Transfer Student Monitoring.
In March 2009, we will implement COD System functionality that supports additional TEACH Grant reporting functions for schools.
In two attachments to this announcement, we provide additional information about the availability of TEACH Grant processing functions.
The attachment titled "TEACH Grant High-Level Implementation Schedule" provides the high-level implementation information outlined above in table format.
The attachment titled "TEACH Grant Processing Function Availability" provides the following information about the availability of TEACH Grant processing functions:
Processing Functions Related to TEACH Grant Question Available January – May 2008
Processing Functions for TEACH Grant Available July 2008
Processing Functions for TEACH Grant Available September 2008
Processing Functions for TEACH Grant Available January 2009
Processing Functions for TEACH Grant Available March 2009
Once again, we appreciate your partnership in serving TEACH Grant recipients.
If you have questions about the TEACH Grant question on FAFSA on the Web and its related SAR/ISIR comment codes or the EDExpress software, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806). You may also e-mail CPSSAIG@ed.gov.
If you have questions about the COD System functionality, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/474-7268. You may also e-mail CODSupport@acs-inc.com.