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(COD System) Subject: COD System Implementation for 2009-2010 Award Year

Posted Date:March 20, 2009

Author: William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: COD System Implementation for 2009-2010 Award Year

During the period March 27-28, 2009, 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), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) awards for the 2009-2010 Award Year.

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

  • Future Guidance
  • Important Reminders
  • 2009-2010 Grant Authorization and Disbursement Processing Information (three subsections)
  • 2009-2010 Direct Loan Disbursement Processing Information
  • COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information
  • COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2009-2010
  • Contact Information
  • Attachments/Enclosures

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

Future Guidance

This implementation will not include functionality needed to support 2009-2010 Pell Grant changes related to the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Public Law 110-315, that was enacted on August 14, 2008, and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (the HEA). Specifically, we will not be implementing functionality to support:

  • Year-Round Pell Grant
  • Children of Soldiers
  • Maximum Duration of Eligibility

We plan to implement COD System functionality to support these changes in June 2009. We will communicate the details related to the June 2009 implementation, as well as all necessary operational implementation guidance, through Electronic Announcements on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site.

Beginning in the 2009-2010 Award Year, ACG and National SMART Grant awards may be awarded on a pro-rated basis to students who are enrolled less-than-full-time. Further guidance about this policy change will be provided in a forthcoming Dear Colleague Letter on the IFAP Web site.

Important Reminders

All schools must send and receive 2009-2010 origination and disbursement data for the ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, and Direct Loan programs to the COD System using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) Common Record.

  • For the 2009-2010 Award Year, a school must send and the COD System will acknowledge Common Record documents with ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, and/or Direct Loan origination and disbursement information using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0b.

  • For complete information about the schema version, refer to "COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0b" on the IFAP Web site. In addition, we have updated the 2009-2010 COD Technical Reference.

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

Prior to submitting 2009-2010 records to the COD System, a school should ensure that its software/system is ready to process 2009-2010 records using the XML Common Record.

  • Any school that will participate in the ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, or Direct Loan program for the first time in the 2009-2010 Award Year must complete school testing with the COD System before sending data into production. The only excding data into production. The only excftware 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 2009-2010 Award Year" Electronic Announcement on the IFAP Web site. Or refer to Volume V, Section 1 of the 2009-2010 COD Technical Reference.

If a school uses a third party software provider, it should check with the provider regarding the availability of the provider's 2009-2010 software release.

Note for EDExpress Users: EDExpress for Windows 2009-2010, Release 2.0, scheduled for release on March 30, 2009, will add Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, and Direct Loan functionality for the 2009-2010 Award Year. The Pell module will include 2009-2010 origination and disbursement functionality for the ACG and National SMART Grant programs. Release 2.0 will not include functionality needed to support recent regulatory changes to the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules. We are currently evaluating options for future software releases to update the appropriate modules of EDExpress for Windows 2009-2010 with the new schedules and will communicate the details through forthcoming electronic announcements on the IFAP Web site.

Beginning March 28, 2009, the following will be in place:

  • All 2009-2010 Award Year-specific message classes will include "10" as the award year indicator. All message classes are listed in Volume II, Section 2 of the 2009-2010 COD Technical Reference.

  • The Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) ID will include "10" as the award year indicator.

  • The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) ID will include "10" as the award year indicator when the ATS is completed for the 2009-2010 Award Year. The ATS ID will include "09" as the award year indicator when the ATS is completed for the 2008-2009 Award Year.

  • The default award year will be 2009-2010 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 2009-2010 Award Year, a school's selected report format will default to the format specified by the school's current report options.

If desired, COD Web site School User Levels 3-5 and Third Party Servicer User Levels 3-5 can change their schools' report options by accessing the Report Selection screen for the 2009-2010 Award Year after March 28, 2009.

  • 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 ao report formats for reports that are ats for reports that are award-year specific will be applied only to the award year selected in the Award Year drop down menu on on report formats are available in Volume VI, Section 8 of the 2009-2010 COD Technical Reference.

2009-2010 Grant Authorization and Disbursement Processing Information

Information for Pell Grant Program

Beginning March 28, 2009, the COD System will accept origination and disbursement records for 2009-2010 Pell Grant awards. As explained below, until June 1, 2009, 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-09-01 provided the Payment and Disbursement Schedules for determining Pell Grant awards for the 2009-2010 Award Year. This letter provides the Payment and Disbursement Schedules for determining Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) awards for the 2009-2010 Award Year for full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time students. All 2009-2010 Pell Grant awards must be based on the schedules attached to the letter. We will add these schedules to the 2009-2010 COD Technical Reference in a forthcoming update.

Initial Pell Grant Authorizations for the 2009-2010 Award Year for schools receiving Pell Grant funds under the advanced funding method will be determined in May 2009. 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.

  • As explained in a recent letter to schools that participate in the Just-in-Time Pilot, we will discontinue the pilot beginning with the 2009-2010 Award Year. These schools will now be Advanced Funded and will receive an initial CFL as described above.

  • 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.

Note: The earliest date on which an institution may disburse a Pell Grant, either with Federal funds or its own funds, is February 20, 2009 for the 2009-2010 Award Year. However, the COD System will not be able to accept 2009-2010 actual disbursement data (DRI value equals "True") until June 1, 2009.

The COD System will accept actual disbursement records (DRI value equals "True") for 2009-2010 Pell Grant awards beginning June 1, 2009.

  • Prior to June 1, 2009, the COD System will reject all actual disbursements.

  • Beginning June 1, 2009, an Advanced Funded school may submit actual disbursements for 2009-2010 Pell Grant awards. As a reminder, actual disbursements can be submitted up to 30 days before the disbursement date.

A school will be able to view and draw down 2009-2010 Pell Grant funds in G5 as follows:

  • An Advanced Funded schoop>

    • An Advanced Funded schoo>An Advanced Funded school will be able to view and draw down 2009-2010 Pell Grant funds in G5 on July 1, 2009.

    • An HCM1 school will be able to view and draw down 2009-2010 Pell Grant funds in G5 after the COD System accepts n July 1, 2009.

    • A Reimbursement or HCM2 school will be able to view 2009-2010 Pell Grant funds after the COD System accepts and posts actual disbursement records and Federal Student Aid releases the funding in G5, but no earlier than July 1, 2009.

    Information for ACG and National SMART Grant Programs

    Beginning March 28, 2009, the COD System will accept origination and disbursement records for 2009-2010 ACG and National SMART Grant awards. As explained below, until June 1, 2009, 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 2009-2010 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.

    Note: The earliest date on which an institution may disburse an ACG or National SMART Grant, either with Federal funds or its own funds, is February 20, 2009 for the 2009-2010 Award Year. However, the COD System will not be able to accept 2009-2010 actual disbursement data (DRI value equals "True") until June 1, 2009.

    The COD System will accept actual disbursement records (DRI value equals "True") for 2009-2010 ACG and National SMART Grant awards beginning June 1, 2009.

    • Prior to June 1, 2009, the COD System will reject all actual disbursements.

    • Beginning June 1, 2009, an Advanced Funded school may submit actual disbursements for 2009-2010 ACG and National SMART Grant awards. As a reminder, actual disbursements can be submitted up to 7 days before the disbursement date.

    A school will be able to view and draw down 2009-2010 ACG and National SMART Grant funds in G5 after the COD System accepts and posts actual disbursement records (DRI value equals "True"), but no earlier than July 1, 2009.

    Information for TEACH Grant Program

    Beginning March 28, 2009, the COD System will accept origination and disbursement records for 2009-2010 TEACH Grant awards. As a reminder, actual disbursements can be submitted up to 7 days before the disbursement date.

    There will be no Initial Authorizations for the TEACH Grant program for the 2009-2010 Award Year. Schools will receive a CFL based on the accepted and posted actual disbursement records that they submit to the COD System.

    A school will be able to view and draw down 2009-2010 TEACH Grant funds in G5 after the COD system accepts and posts actual disbursement records (DRI value equals "True").

    2009-2010 Direct Loan Disbursement Processing Information

    Beginning March 28, 2009, the COD System will accept origination and disbursement records for 2009-2010 Direct Loan awards. As a reminder, actual disbursements can be submitted up to 7 days before the disbursement date.

    A school will be able to view and draw down 2009-2010 Direct Loan funds in G5 as follows:

    • An Advanced Funded school will be able to view and draw down 2009-2010 Direct Loan funds in G5 the week of April 6, 2009.

    • An HCM1 school will be able to view and draw down 2009-2010 Direct Loan funds in G5 after the COD System accepts and posts actual disbursement records, but no earlier than the week of April 6, 2009.

    • A Reimbursement or HCM2 school will be able to view 2009-2010 Direct Loan funds after the COD 9-2010 Direct Loan funds after the COD Loan funds after the COD System accepts and posts actual disbursement records and Federal Student Aid releases the funding in G5, but no earlier than the week of April 6, 2009.

    • A Pushed Cash school will be able to view 2009-2ts actual disbursement records.

    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 2009-2010 records-

    • We will suspend COD batch processing beginning at 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, March 27, 2009. Records submitted after 8:00 P.M. (ET) will be held and processed after 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, March 28, 2009.

    • The COD Web site will be unavailable from 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, March 27, 2009 until 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, March 28, 2009.

    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 27, 2009 until 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, March 28, 2009.

    • Individuals starting the process by 7:00 P.M. (ET) on March 27, 2009 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.

    Additionally, for TEACH Grant participants-

    • The TEACH Grant Web site will be unavailable from 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, March 27, 2009 until 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, March 28, 2009.

    • Individuals starting the process by 7:00 P.M. (ET) on March 27, 2009 will be able to complete their ATS 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 ATS.

    Note: Because additional functionality is being added to the Web site, its name has changed from the TEACH Grant ATS Web site to the TEACH Grant Web site. The URL remains unchanged.

    COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2009-2010

    In Volume I, Section 2 of the 2009-2010 COD Technical Reference, we provide an overview of the enhancements and modifications being made to the COD System for the 2009-2010 Award Year. We have also provided enhancement and modification information in conference presentations during summer and fall 2008 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 2009-2010."

    Contact Information

    If you have 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: 03/19/2009