Posted Date: March 31, 2009
Author: William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid
Subject: Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2009-2010, Release 2.0
The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the posting of EDExpress for Windows 2009-2010, Release 2.0, on the Department's Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site, located at https://www.fsadownload.ed.gov.
Release 2.0 adds Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant), and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) functionality for the 2009-2010 award cycle. The Pell Grant module includes 2009-2010 origination and disbursement functionality for the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant).
In addition to the Release 2.0 software, the following EDExpress 2009-2010 documents are now available on the FSAdownload Web site:
- The EDExpress for Windows 2009-2010, Release 2.0 Cover Letter
- The EDExpress for Windows 2009-2010, Release 2.0 Desk Reference (covers Pell Grant and Direct Loan Program processing functionality) and Addendum (covers changes related to the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 [the HERA], Pub. L. 109-171, such as ACG and National SMART Grant processing)
These documents, along with the Installation Guide for EDExpress for Windows 2009-2010 (also available on the FSAdownload Web site), contain important information and guidance regarding EDExpress 2009-2010 functionality that you should review.
2009-2010 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules
Federal Student Aid announced the 2009-2010 Pell Grant disbursement and payment schedules in Dear Colleague Letter P-09-01, posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/P0901.html. In addition to changes to the maximum and minimum Pell Grant awards, the maximum Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that a student can have to be eligible to receive a Pell Grant is now 4617.
The Central Processing System (CPS) began processing 2009-2010 application and correction records following the updated Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules on March 17, 2009. We will begin reprocessing 2009-2010 ISIRs on April 1, 2009 for students who applied prior to March 17 and who, under earlier formulas, were not designated as being "Pell Grant Eligible," but who are now eligible for a 2009-2010 Pell Grant.
We are currently developing EDExpress 2009-2010, Release 3.0, an upgrade version that will incorporate the 2009-2010 Pell disbursement and payment schedules into EDExpress Packaging and Pell functionality. Release 3.0 is scheduled to be posted in mid-May, 2009.
The Packaging and Pell modules in EDExpress 2009-2010, Release 2.0, continue to follow the 2008-2009 maximum Pell Grant award of $4,341, as in Release 1.0. Release 2.0 Packaging users should note the following guidance:
- The Package and Repackage processes will be updated for 2009-2010 Pell Grant changes in EDExpress 2009-2010, Release 3.0. Until Release 3.0 is available, EDExpress users can manually adjust Pell Grant awards on 2009-2010 Packaging records at any time by following the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules published in Dear Colleague Letter P-09-01.
- If you create Packaging records by importing ISIR data, you should reimport ISIR data for student records impacted by the April 1, 2009 reprocessing. This will ensure the Pell Eligibility field on the Packaging record is set correctly. You must unpackage student records at a Packaging Status of P (Packaged), M (Manually Adjusted), or H (Hand Packaged) in order to import new ISIR transactions.You may wish to print the Packaging Record for impacted students before unpackaging so you have a record of the funds you originally awarded to them (in case you wish to recreate the awards).
Release 2.0 Pell users should note the following guidance:
- The COD System will begin accepting 2009-2010 Pell Grant origination and disbursement data after its March 27-28, 2009 system upgrade is complete.
- Your school may choose to delay creating or submitting Pell Grant origination records in EDExpress 2009-2010 until you have upgraded to Release 3.0. As noted earlier, the Release 2.0 Pell module does not calculate Pell awards according to the updated Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules.
You can create and submit 2009-2010 ACG, National SMART Grant, TEACH Grant and Direct Loan origination and disbursement data using Release 2.0. The COD System will begin accepting ACG, National SMART Grant, TEACH Grant, and Direct Loan data for the 2009-2010 Award Year after its March 27-28, 2009 system upgrade is complete.
Direct Loan Award Limits in Release 2.0
EDExpress 2009-2010, Release 2.0 implements revised Direct Loan award limits in the Packaging and Direct Loan modules based on provisions of the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 (ECASLA), Pub. L. 110-227. The ECASLA loan limit increases are effective for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008.
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.
We updated Packaging functionality in EDExpress 2009-2010, Release 2.0, to calculate subsidized and unsubsidized loan awards (aid types S, U, and D) according to the loan limits defined in the ECASLA. If you packaged records using these aid types in Release 1.0, the loan awards followed limits defined prior to the enactment of the ECASLA and may require adjustment.
After installing Release 2.0, Packaging users can manually adjust subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan awards on records packaged in Release 1.0 to the increased loan limits defined by the ECASLA. This can be accomplished by increasing loan award amounts on the Awarded Funds dialog box (accessible from the Awards tab within a student record) or by importing an external Add Funds file.
Alternatively, you can run the Repackage process (by clicking Process, Repackage from the EDExpress menu bar or from a student's Awards tab) to adjust the loan awards on your packaging records to ECASLA limits. Be aware that repackaging records in Release 2.0 may result in different award packages for your students (due to increased loan awards) than they received when packaged in Release 1.0, depending on your Packaging setup.
Direct Loan Guidance
We updated data edits in the Direct Loan module of Release 2.0 to ensure Direct Unsubsidized Loan award amounts fall within ECASLA loan limit increases. These edits are followed when running the origination process (Process, Originate) from the Direct Loan Origination tab, during the import of an External Add (DIEA10OP) or External Change (DIEC10OP) file, and during disbursement entry.
Before You Install Release 2.0
If you are upgrading from Release 1.0 to Release 2.0, ensure you have a valid, reliable backup copy of your current EDExpress 2009-2010 production database (expres90.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 2.0. You should run Compact and Repair Database first, then Verify Database, and lastly run Compact and Repair Database again.
Release 2.0 Download/Installation Process
Release 2.0 is available on the FSAdownload Web site in two formats. You can download the entire software in one file, called express90r2.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 2.0.
Note: We tested Microsoft Windows Vista as an operating system for our EDESuite PC products in 2008. For information on our Vista testing results, issues we discovered, and steps schools need to take in order to run EDExpress on Vista operating systems, see the September 18, 2008 electronic announcement posted on the IFAP Web site, located at http://ifap.ed.gov.
Important Installation Note: You must be an Administrator on your workstation to install EDExpress 2009-2010 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 2.0 can be installed as an upgrade to Release 1.0. You must have Release 1.0 installed in order to run an upgrade (or "Custom") installation of Release 2.0.
To upgrade to Release 2.0, select either the Stand Alone Custom or Workstation Custom option during installation, depending on your EDExpress operating environment. Do NOT mark the "Database" checkbox unless you are performing a first-time installation or want to overwrite your EDExpress 2009-2010 database. If you choose to overwrite your database, all data previously entered will be lost.
Note: If you have not installed EDExpress 2009-2010 on your system, you can proceed directly to a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation of Release 2.0. Remember, a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation will load a completely new, blank 2009-2010 EDExpress database to your system. If a database already exists for 2009-2010 on your system, a full installation of Release 2.0 will overwrite it and all data previously entered will be lost.
If you receive any prompts during the Release 2.0 installation indicating an existing file was found and asking if you want to overwrite it, click Yes.
After you upgrade from Release 1.0 to Release 2.0, reboot your PC, then log on to EDExpress 2009-2010 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 2009-2010, Release 2.0, 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.