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Summary: Increase to COD System Capacity - Removal of Data for Closed Years from Production Environment and Availability of CommonLine Transformation Engine Solution

Publication Date: July 25, 2008

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

Summary: Increase to COD System Capacity - Removal of Data for Closed Years from Production Environment and Availability of CommonLine Transformation Engine Solution


Posted on 07-25-2008


As we communicated in a July 3, 2008 Electronic Announcement on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, one of the many important reasons for Federal Student Aid's ongoing Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System maintenance and enhancement activities is to manage system capacity. On July 11, 2008, we completed the first in a series of activities specifically targeted to increase COD System capacity. In addition to supporting our ongoing efforts related to managing system capacity, these activities will assist us in handling increased William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program volume as necessary.

We plan to complete the second phase of our work during the period August 8-10, 2008. Through this work, we will remove data for closed years from the COD System's production environment. As a general rule, schools no longer need to submit data to the COD System or access data via the COD Web site for these closed years.

In addition to the data removal for closed years, we plan to complete work necessary to implement a CommonLine Transformation Engine (CTE) solution. The CTE will support the acceptance, conversion, and processing of CommonLine Version 4 and CommonLine Version 5 flat file records from schools that transition from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program into the Direct Loan Program and need to use the CTE solution on a temporary basis. We do not anticipate maintaining this solution beyond the 2008-2009 Award Year.

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

  • COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information

  • COD Data Removal for Closed Years Effective August 10, 2008

  • CommonLine Transformation Engine Solution

  • Contact Information

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

COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information

In order to complete our work—

  • We will suspend COD batch processing beginning at 6:00 A.M. (ET) on Friday, August 8, 2008. Records submitted after this time will be held and processed after 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Sunday, August 10, 2008.

    Note: All actual disbursements with a disbursement date from August 8, 2008 through August 10, 2008 must be received by the COD System no later than Noon (ET) on Thursday, August 7, 2008, and subsequently accepted by the COD System, in order for them to be included in the drawdown prior to the outage. Disbursements submitted by the deadline but not subsequently accepted, disbursements submitted after the deadline, and disbursements with a disbursement date after August 10, 2008 will be processed and funded after the outage.

  • The COD Web site will be unavailable from 6:00 A.M. (ET) on Friday, August 8, 2008 until 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Sunday, August 10, 2008.

  • The Direct Loan Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) Web site will be unavailable from 6:00 A.M. (ET) on Friday, August 8, 2008 until 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Sunday, August 10, 2008.

    An individual starting the process by 5:00 A.M. (ET) on August 8, 2008 will be able to complete his or her MPN before the Web site becomes unavailable. An individual 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.

  • The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) Web site will be unavailable from 6:00 A.M. (ET) on Friday, August 8, 2008 until 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Sunday, August 10, 2008.

    An individual starting the process by 5:00 A.M. (ET) on August 8, 2008 will be able to complete his or her ATS before the Web site becomes unavailable. An individual 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 ATS.

Note Regarding COD School Relations Center on August 8, 2008: The COD School Relations Center will be open from 8:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, August 8, 2008. However, due to the COD System and Web site outages, customer service representatives will be limited in the assistance they will be able to provide on that day. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.

COD Data Removal for Closed Years Effective August 10, 2008

During the period August 8-10, 2008, we will remove data for closed years from the COD System's production environment. As a general rule, schools no longer need to submit data to the COD System or access data via the COD Web site for these closed years.

We will remove Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) and Direct Loan data from the COD System's production environment for the following closed years:

Pell Grant Closed Award Years

  • 1999-2000 Award Year

  • 2000-2001 Award Year

  • 2001-2002 Award Year

Direct Loan Closed Program Years

  • 2002-2003 Program Year

  • 2003-2004 Program Year

  • 2004-2005 Program Year

The August 8-10, 2008 removal of Pell Grant and Direct Loan data for the identified closed years from the COD System's production environment will have the following impact:

  • Records for the closed years that are submitted to the COD System will be rejected. Schools will receive COD Edit 996 (Invalid Value).

  • Data for the closed years will not be available via the COD Web site. The closed years will not appear in dropdown menus on the COD Web site.

CommonLine Transformation Engine Solution

During the period August 8-10, 2008, we will begin the work necessary to implement a CommonLine Transformation Engine (CTE) solution. This work will be completed on August 15, 2008, but will not require an outage on that day.

We have developed the CTE solution to assist FFEL schools that transition into the Direct Loan Program and are unable to implement a COD Extensible Markup Language (XML) Common Record solution immediately upon transition. While available to any school that will need it, we expect that the CTE solution will be used on an extremely limited basis given the number of third-party software products available to schools in addition to our EDExpress for Windows software.

The CTE solution will support the acceptance, conversion, and processing of CommonLine Version 4 and CommonLine Version 5 flat file records that contain Direct Loan data. A school will send the CommonLine Version 4 or CommonLine Version 5 flat file records to the CTE via the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG). Upon acceptance, the CTE will convert the relevant data into the COD Common Record XML file layout. This conversion will allow the data to be submitted to and processed by the COD System. After processing, COD Common Record responses will be converted back into CommonLine Version 4 or CommonLine Version 5 flat file records and returned to the school via the SAIG. Message classes that support the CTE solution will be included in the SAIG message class table update that is scheduled for July 31, 2008.

Any school that anticipates the need to process Direct Loan data through the CTE should contact the COD School Relations Center.

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.

Last Modified: 07/24/2008