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(COD System) Subject: Additional Opportunity - COD School Testing for 2009-2010 Award Year

Posted Date:November 10, 2009

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

Subject: Additional Opportunity - COD School Testing for 2009-2010 Award Year

To assist in meeting the needs of new schools, we are offering an additional opportunity for Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) School Testing for the 2009-2010 Award Year. All phases of testing, including Common Record Manual Verification, Structured Application Testing, and Optional Unstructured Testing are available now through February 26, 2010 to entities that have not yet completed this testing.

This additional 2009-2010 COD School Testing provides schools, third party servicers, and software vendors an opportunity to test business processes and system software with the COD System prior to the transmission and processing of actual production data using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0b. All entities that wish to participate in this additional 2009-2010 COD School Testing period must submit a "COD School Testing 2009-2010 Sign-Up Document" to the COD School Relations Center.

In this announcement, we provide useful high-level information about the additional 2009-2010 COD School Testing period in the following order:

  • School Testing Phases

  • COD School Testing Sign-Up Process

  • Contact Information

Note: COD School Testing for the 2010-2011 Award Year will be available beginning January 4, 2010. Information about 2010-2011 COD School Testing sign up and completion will be included in the November 2009 posting of the 2010-2011 COD Technical Reference and a forthcoming Electronic Announcement on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site.

School Testing Phases

School testing is comprised of two phases—Phase I for Common Record Manual Verification and Phase II for Structured Application Testing. A school must complete Phase I testing before participating in Phase II testing. Following the completion of Phase I and Phase II testing, a school may participate in Unstructured Testing. All phases of testing must be completed by Friday, February 26, 2010.

Note: The COD School Relations Center will supply the test student data that must be used during testing.

Phase I - Common Record Manual Verification

The purpose of Common Record Manual Verification testing is to ensure that a school's COD XML Common Record is well formed and properly structured according to the rules of the COD XML Common Record Schema Version 3.0b.

During this testing phase, the COD School Testing Support Team manually reviews a Common Record document that a school e-mails to the COD School Relations Center and assists the school in the identification of potential updates to its Common Record submissions.

Phase II - Structured Application Testing

The purpose of Structured Application Testing is to ensure that a school can send, receive, and process batches of records using comprehensive input instructions with detailed expected results issued by the COD School Relations Center. The school uses a test Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) file supplied by the COD School Relations Center that creates a test data set of students to use with the structured test cases.

During this phase, a schocases.

During this phase, a school sends Common Record documents to theommon Record documents to the COD System and receives Receipt and Reat these files can be loaded and processed correctly in its system.

To participate in Phase II testing, a school must complete Phase I testing first.

Unstructured Testing

The purpose of Unstructured Testing is to allow a school that has completed Phase I and Phase II testing to ensure that it can correctly create and submit all possible transactions needed for the future award year. The school uses the test ISIR file data and submits minor variations to test cases such as adjustments to the person information, award amounts, or disbursement amounts throughout the award year.

COD School Testing Sign Up

A school registers for testing by completing the "COD School Testing 2009-2010 Sign-up Document" attached to this announcement. The sign-up document is also posted on the COD Web site under the "Click here if you are looking for more information on Common Origination and Disbursement" link.

As explained in the sign-up document, a school may register to participate in Phase I testing, in both Phase I and Phase II testing, or in Phase I, Phase II, and Unstructured testing. In any case, the school must sign up before it can begin testing.

Once completed, a school should submit the sign-up document to the COD School Relations Center by faxing it to 877/623-5082 or e-mailing it to with "School Testing Signup" in the subject line. After the sign-up document is received, the COD School Relations Center will contact the school via e-mail to obtain school-specific information and to schedule specific test dates with the school.

Note: Upon receipt of the sign-up document, the COD School Testing Support Team must complete a considerable setup process to establish the school in the COD test environment before testing can begin. Please allow 7-10 business days for completion of the sign-up and set-up processes. A school should take this timeframe into account before beginning to test and provide enough lead-time in its schedule.

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

Last Modified: 11/09/2009