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Summary: CCRAA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, and EDESuite) - Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009, Release 3.0

Publication Date: June 30, 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) - Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009, Release 3.0


Posted on 06-30-2008


The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the posting of EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009, Release 3.0, on the Department’s Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site, located at fsadownload.ed.gov.

Release 3.0 is the first of three planned EDExpress 2008-2009 enhancement releases that implement provisions of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), Pub. L. 110-84, and other regulatory changes.

In addition to other changes, the CCRAA 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.

TEACH Grant functionality is installed as part of EDExpress 2008-2009 beginning with Release 3.0. This includes the ability to create and update student TEACH Grant origination and disbursement records, export TEACH Grant origination and disbursement records for processing by the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, and import responses and reports returned by the COD System for TEACH Grant records.

Important Note: If you are currently using EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 2.0 to exchange Federal Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant), or Direct Loan data with the COD System, do not install Release 3.0 until you have imported all pending COD Common Record Response files (including Web Responses) for origination or disbursement data submitted using Release 2.0. Federal Student Aid strongly encourages all EDExpress users to upgrade to Release 3.0 following the import of any outstanding COD Common Record Responses. A specific disadvantage to not upgrading to Release 3.0 is that the EDExpress user will be unable to successfully import all COD Web activity and COD System-generated Common Record Responses, which are being sent by the COD System in COD Common Record Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schema Version 3.0a as of June 28, 2008. For more information, see the "COD Common Record Schema, COD Web Activity Responses, and COD System-Generated Responses" section in this message.

Release 3.0 also includes Direct Loan functionality needed to support regulatory changes related to late disbursements and maximum loan period and academic year length.

Important Note: Release 3.0 does not include updates for implementation of Direct Unsubsidized Loan annual loan limit increases for some (but not all) students, effective for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008. These loan limit increases were authorized by the recently enacted Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 (ECASLA), Pub. L. 110-227. Policy guidance can be found in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-08-08, posted on the IFAP Web site at ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/061908GEN0808.html. Operational guidance related to EDExpress and COD System processing can be found in Direct Loan Bulletin 08-16 posted on the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/dlbulletins/062708DLB0816.html.

Additional changes related to the CCRAA will be implemented in future EDExpress 2008-2009 releases currently scheduled for early January 2009 and again in Spring 2009.

In addition to the Release 3.0 software, the following EDExpress 2008-2009 documents are now available on the FSAdownload Web site:

  • The EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009, Release 3.0 Cover Letter
  • The EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009 Packaging Technical Reference (June 2008 Update)

These documents, along with the Installation Guide for EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009 (also available on the FSAdownload Web site), contain important information and guidance regarding EDExpress 2008-2009 functionality that you should review.

COD Common Record Schema, COD Web Activity Responses, and COD System-Generated Responses

On June 28, 2008, Federal Student Aid implemented Version 3.0a of the COD Common Record XML Schema. This version incorporates a new block for TEACH Grant awards and other changes throughout the schema to comply with standards established by the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC). For complete information about the schema version 3.0a, see "COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0a" on the IFAP Web site at ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/060408CODSchemaVer30aCorrected.html. As noted earlier in this announcement, Federal Student Aid strongly encourages all EDExpress users to install Release 3.0, even if you do not plan to award TEACH Grants. Release 3.0 updates COD functionality in EDExpress 2008-2009 to follow schema version 3.0a for the 2008-2009 award year for Common Record documents.

By installing Release 3.0, users will ensure that the origination and disbursement records being submitted to the COD System for Direct Loan, Pell Grant, ACG, National SMART Grant, and TEACH Grant awards are formatted using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0a. Users can then be assured that response data sent by the COD System, including COD Web activity and System-generated responses, can be successfully imported.

  • COD Web Activity Responses for All Schools - As explained in the "COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0a" posting on the IFAP Web site at ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/060408CODSchemaVer30aCorrected.html, beginning June 28, 2008, all schools will receive COD Web activity responses (CRWB) from the COD System in COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0a. This means that if you do not install Release 3.0 you will be unable to import COD Web Activity responses.

  • COD System-Generated Responses for Schools Installing Release 3.0 - As explained in the "COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0a" posting on the IFAP Web site at ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/060408CODSchemaVer30aCorrected.html, schools that begin to use schema version 3.0a on or after June 28, 2008 will need to take action regarding COD System-generated responses. This means that if you install Release 3.0, as we encourage you to do, you will need to enter your schema preference for each program (other than TEACH Grant) via the COD Web site’s School Options Information screen. Instructions for how to access the screen and change the schema preference are provided in the "COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0a" posting on the IFAP Web site at ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/060408CODSchemaVer30aCorrected.html.

  • COD System-Generated Responses for Schools Not Installing Release 3.0 - As explained in the "COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0a" posting on the IFAP Web site at ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/060408CODSchemaVer30aCorrected.html, schools that do not begin to use schema version 3.0a on or after June 28, 2008 will need to take no action regarding COD System-generated responses. This means that if you continue to use Release 2.0 you will not need to change your schema preferences. All COD System-generated responses will continue to be sent by the COD system in schema version 2.0e.

If you have any questions about setting your school’s schema preferences for COD System-generated responses, 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.

Before You Install Release 3.0

Important Note: Before installing EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 3.0, ensure you have imported all COD Common Record Response files (including Web Responses) for any Pell Grant, ACG, National SMART Grant, or Direct Loan data you submitted to the COD System using Release 2.0. You will not be able to import COD Response files for data created and exported using Release 2.0 into Release 3.0, as the two releases use different schema versions.

To determine if there are any COD Common Record files that were exported from EDExpress for which a response file has not been imported you can print a List- Document Activity report before upgrading to Release 3.0. To print the report, select File, Print from the main menu in EDExpress and click the COD tab. Click the down arrow for Report and select List-Document Activity. If there is no Response Import Date for a Document ID, the response file has not yet been imported. Contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov to have the COD Response file restored to your Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailbox.

You will also need to make sure that all of the COD Web activity and COD System-generated Common Record Response files that were created by the COD System prior to June 28, 2008 have been downloaded from your SAIG mailbox and imported into EDExpress before upgrading to EDExpress Release 3.0. This includes Web Responses (CRWB09OP), MPN Responses (CRPN09OP), Booking Notification Responses (CRBN09OP), Credit Decision Override Responses (CRCO09OP), Payment to Servicing Responses (CRPS09OP), and Negative Disbursement Responses (CRND09OP).

Before upgrading from Release 2.0 to Release 3.0, ensure you have a valid, reliable backup copy of your current EDExpress 2008-2009 production database (expres89.mdb).

You must also make sure there are no record locks on the database and that no user IDs are logged in by following the steps listed below:

1) To check for record locks, select Tools, Utilities, Clear Locks from the menu bar. If you receive the message “No records selected,” there are no record locks. If the Clear Locks dialog box appears, click Select All, then OK to clear any record locks.

2) To check for logged-in user IDs, select Tools, Setup, Global, Security Users from the menu bar, and then click Retrieve. The user ID you are currently using should be the only ID with a "Y" displayed in the Logged In column (you can disregard the Locked column). Select any user ID displayed as logged in and click OK. Clear the Logged In? checkbox and click OK. Repeat the process for each logged-in user ID except the one you are using.

After clearing any record locks and logging out any user IDs, run the Compact and Repair Database and Verify Database utilities by selecting Tools, Utilities from the menu bar before installing Release 3.0. You should run Compact and Repair Database first, then Verify Database, and lastly run Compact and Repair Database again.

Release 3.0 Download/Installation Process

Release 3.0 is available on the FSAdownload Web site in two formats. You can download the entire software in one file, called express89r3.exe, or you can download the software in separate "disk" installment files, which can be copied to a local area network (LAN) drive or CDs. Review the download and installation instructions in the Installation Guide for further information.

You are required to have Windows 2000 or Windows XP as your PC workstation operating system to run Release 3.0.

Note: At this time, we have not certified the Microsoft Corporation's Windows Vista as a supported operating system for EDExpress or the other EDESuite software products. This guidance also applies to the local area network (LAN) or "server" version of Windows, known as Windows Server 2008, which was released by the Microsoft Corporation in February 2008. We will communicate about additional supported operating systems after completion of our certification process.

Check the IFAP Web site for the most recent guidance concerning minimum and optimal system configuration recommendations.

Important Installation Note: You must be an Administrator on your workstation to install EDExpress 2008-2009 in the Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating systems. If you are not an Administrator, you will receive a warning when you try to install EDExpress. After an Administrator has installed EDExpress, you can run it as a member of the Power Users group. If your database is on a network server, you must be a Power User or higher on the network (or "domain") as well as on your workstation. There are no workarounds for these Windows rights issues. Consult with your school’s technical department if you receive a warning that an Administrator must install the EDExpress software.

Release 3.0 can be installed as an upgrade to Release 1.0 or Release 2.0. You must have Release 1.0 or Release 2.0 installed in order to run an upgrade (or "Custom") installation of Release 3.0.

To upgrade to Release 3.0, select either the Stand Alone Custom or Workstation Custom option during installation, depending on your EDExpress operating environment. Do not select the "Database" checkbox unless you are performing a first-time installation or want to overwrite your EDExpress 2008-2009 database. If you choose to overwrite your database, all data previously entered will be lost.

Note: If you have not installed EDExpress 2008-2009 on your system, you can proceed directly to a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation of Release 3.0. Remember, a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation will load a completely new, blank 2008-2009 EDExpress database to your system. If a database already exists for 2008-2009 on your system, a full installation of Release 3.0 will overwrite it and all data previously entered will be lost.

If you receive any prompts during the Release 3.0 installation indicating an existing file was found and asking if you want to overwrite it, click Yes.

After you upgrade to Release 3.0, reboot your PC, then log in to EDExpress 2008-2009 to allow the software to perform a one-time only database update. This update loads important changes to your database structure.

If You Have Questions

If you have any questions regarding downloading, installing, or using EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 3.0, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

You can also post questions regarding EDExpress on FSATECH. FSATECH is an electronic mailing list for technical questions about Federal Student Aid systems, software, and mainframe products. For more information about FSATECH, including how to subscribe, go to fsa4schools.ed.gov, click "Listserves/Mailing Lists" on the left menu, and click the "FSATech listserv" link.

If you have any questions about the COD System, 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.

Last Modified: 06/29/2008