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(COD System) Subject: Unscheduled Outage Alert and Issue Resolution Update - StudentLoans.gov Web Site and COD System Functionality

Posted Date:April 5, 2010

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

Subject: Unscheduled Outage Alert and Issue Resolution Update - StudentLoans.gov Web Site and COD System Functionality

To ensure continued stability of the StudentLoans.gov Web site, we plan to complete unscheduled maintenance from 1:00 A.M. until 6:00 A.M. (ET) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010. Our goal is to minimize disruption to student and parent users by completing this work during the overnight hours. Users who attempt to access the Web site during the outage period will receive a message about the site’s unavailability. We regret any inconvenience to our StudentLoans.gov customers.

In an April 2, 2010 Electronic Announcement on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, we identified a couple relatively minor post-implementation issues that we planned to resolve on April 4, 2010. In addition, we communicated our plan to enable three Web search components early this week. Subsequent to posting the announcement, we made a decision to delay implementation of these non-critical fixes until this coming weekend. We plan to complete the following work during our routine maintenance period on Sunday, April 11, 2010:

  • Entrance Counseling Acknowledgement for Students with No Middle Initial – Some Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Acknowledgements sent on Monday, March 29, 2010 were sent with an invalid value in the <Counseling Sequence Number> tag. The value contained alpha characters instead of numeric characters. This error only occurred when a borrower did not have a middle initial associated with his or her Federal Student Aid PIN. The COD School Relations Center is available to assist a school that is unable to import a March 29, 2010 Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Acknowledgement. A workaround has been in place since Tuesday, March 30, 2010, and acknowledgements have been and continue to be sent with correct values. We plan to implement a permanent fix for this issue on Sunday, April 11, 2010.
  • Print MPN Link Includes Perkins – Once a borrower selects the Print MPN link from the Manage My Direct Loan menu on the StudentLoans.gov Web site, he or she must select the type of MPN to be printed. The MPN list currently includes a “Perkins” link. However, borrowers cannot complete MPNs for the Federal Perkins Loan Program via the StudentLoans.gov Web site. This link was designed to support proposed legislative changes to the Federal Perkins Loan Program. These proposed changes were not included in the recently enacted legislation, and we plan to remove the link on Sunday, April 11, 2010.
  • COD Web Site Search Components – In our communications last week, we provided information about an additional precautionary measure we took. This measure was to temporarily disable three new components of Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Web site searches used by schools. We plan to return these COD Web site search components to service on Sunday, April 11, 2010. The COD School Relations Center is available to assist a school that receives an “information unavailable” response when conducting a COD Web search before April 11, 2010.
Contact Information

We appreciate the community’s ongoing support. If you have questions about the information in 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: 04/04/2010