Posted Date:January 02, 2009
Author: William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid
Subject: CCRAA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, and EDESuite) - Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009, Release 4.0
The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the posting of EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009, Release 4.0, on the Department's Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site, located at https://www.fsadownload.ed.gov.
Release 4.0 is the most recent of three planned EDExpress 2008-2009 enhancement releases that implement provisions of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), Pub. L. 110-84. Release 4.0 also includes updates to data edits in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) module to enable the origination and disbursement of Direct Unsubsidized loans according to the annual loan limit increases authorized by the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 (ECASLA), Pub. L. 110-227.
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 Direct Loan Program.
In late June 2008, we posted EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 3.0, which added 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.
EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 4.0 enhances TEACH Grant functionality by adding multiple new reports based on TEACH Grant data in your EDExpress database and in reports sent by the COD System, including the School Account Statement (SAS) and Pending Disbursement reports.
Note: The COD System began producing the TEACH Grant reports added to Release 4.0 during the period of September 26-27, 2008. For more information, see the September 3, 2008 electronic announcement posted to the Department's Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/090308PreReleaseCCRAA.html.
In late March 2009, we will post EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 5.0, which will add the ability to rebuild TEACH Grant records in EDExpress using a file generated by the COD System.
In addition to the Release 4.0 software, the EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 4.0 Cover Letter is now available on the FSAdownload Web site. This document, along with the Installation Guide for EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009 (also available on the FSAdownload Web site), contains important information and guidance regarding EDExpress 2008-2009 functionality that you should review.
Direct Loan Award Limits in Release 4.0
The installation of EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 4.0 will load an updated program file we originally posted to the FSAdownload Web site in July 2008 as an optional enhancement for Release 3.0. This program file change enables Direct Loan module users to originate and disburse Direct Unsubsidized Loan according to the annual loan limit increases authorized by the ECASLA. The ECASLA loan limit increases are effective for loans with an earliest disbursement on or after July 1, 2008.
As noted in the July 17, 2008 electronic announcement posted to the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/081708ECASLALoanLimits.html, Federal Student Aid originally advised schools to originate additional loans in EDExpress 2008-2009 to cover the increased loan eligibility provided by the ECASLA, but received subsequent feedback from EDExpress Direct Loan users indicating that creating additional loan records was not a viable workaround. As a result, we developed and posted the program file, which relaxed the software's loan limit edits, as an interim solution for users, and we have now incorporated the program file's functionality into Release 4.0.
Note: Direct Loan schools that install Release 4.0 should be aware that this version removes all software edits pertaining to Direct Loan subsidized and unsubsidized annual loan limits from the origination process. After installing Release 4.0, you should plan to more closely monitor and verify loan award amounts for individual students and ensure they do not exceed annual loan limits based on your students' eligibility.
Policy guidance on ECASLA loan limits can be found in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-08-08, posted on the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/061908GEN0808.html, and Direct Loan Bulletin DLB-08-16, posted on the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/dlbulletins/062708DLB0816.html.
Note: EDExpress 2009-2010, Release 2.0, scheduled for release in late March 2009, will restore loan limit edits to the EDExpress origination process for the 2009-2010 award cycle.
Before You Install Release 4.0
Before upgrading from Release 3.0 to Release 4.0, 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 4.0. You should run Compact and Repair Database first, then Verify Database, and lastly run Compact and Repair Database again.
Release 4.0 Download/Installation Process
Release 4.0 is available on the FSAdownload Web site in two formats. You can download the entire software in one file, called express89r4.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 4.0.
Note: We tested Microsoft Windows Vista as an operating system for our EDESuite PC products earlier this year. EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 4.0 includes modifications that will allow you to install and run it on Vista workstations. For more information on our Vista testing results and the issues we discovered, see the September 18, 2008 electronic announcement posted to the IFAP Web site.
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 4.0 can be installed as an upgrade to Release 1.0, Release 2.0, or Release 3.0. You must have one of these earlier versions installed to run an upgrade (or "Custom") installation of Release 4.0.
To upgrade to Release 4.0, 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 4.0. 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 4.0 will overwrite it and all data previously entered will be lost.
If you receive any prompts during the Release 4.0 installation indicating an existing file was found and asking if you want to overwrite it, click Yes.
After you upgrade to Release 4.0, 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 4.0, 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 on subscribing to FSATECH, go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/services/fsatechsubscribe.html.
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.