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(EDESuite) Subject: Guidance for EDExpress 2012-2013 Packaging Users to Exclude Subsidized Loan Eligibility for Graduate and Professional Students

Posted Date:January 11, 2012

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

Subject: Guidance for EDExpress 2012-2013 Packaging Users to Exclude Subsidized Loan Eligibility for Graduate and Professional Students

As a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, SEC. 502, subsidized loans cannot be awarded to graduate and professional students (college grade level 6 and 7) if the loan period begins on or after July 1, 2012. We would like to provide guidance to EDExpress for Windows 2012-2013 Packaging module users about different approaches to setting up and controlling the awarding of subsidized loans to graduate or professional students.

While no updates are planned for EDExpress 2012-2013, Release 1.0 or subsequent releases to accommodate this legislative change, you may want to adjust your Packaging setup for 2012-2013 accordingly to ensure you package subsidized loans correctly based on the revised policy.

There are several possible approaches you can take in Packaging setup to prevent the package (and repackage) processes from awarding subsidized loans to graduate or professional students, including the use of queries at the Fund Maintenance or Award Methodology setup level. The solutions we present in this message are not necessarily the only options for addressing the legislative change. We encourage you to test and identify a solution that best fits your use of EDExpress in your office.

Note: Graduate or professional students can receive subsidized loans if the loan period begins prior to July 1, 2012. If you choose to modify Packaging setup to exclude graduate or professional students from being packaged with subsidized loans using any of the methods described in this message, you can still award the subsidized loan fund if the students are eligible. To manually enter or adjust awards within a student record, select the Awarded Funds button on the Awards tab. You can also add the subsidized loan fund to student records using Packaging Multiple Entry or by importing an External Add Fund Amounts file.

Approach #1 – Add College Grade Level Query to Subsidized Loan Fund in Fund Maintenance Setup

The easiest method of ensuring the subsidized loan fund is not packaged for graduate or professional students in EDExpress is to associate a query with the subsidized loan fund profile you create in Fund Maintenance setup. Student records must meet the criteria specified by the query before the fund will be packaged as part of any award methodology during the package process.

In this scenario, you will first need to create a Packaging query on college grade level that excludes graduate or professional students. To do this:

1) From the EDExpress main screen, go to Tools, Query, Packaging.
2) Click the Add button.
3) Type “Subsidized Loan Fund” or a similar, easily identifiable title for the query in the Description field.
4) Select “Grade Level in College – Packaging” for the Query Field.
5) Select “<” (less than) for the Operator field.
6) Enter “6” in the Value field.
7) Click the Append button.
8) Click the Save button, then click the OK button to close the Query dialog box.

Once your query is created and saved, you can associate it with the subsidized loan profile you create in Fund Maintenance setup (Tools, Setup, Packaging, Fund Maintenance). To do so, select the query you created in steps 1-8 above for the Criteria field value in the Fund Maintenance dialog box when you create the subsidized loan fund (Aid Type S).

This approach will ensure that your subsidized fund is not packaged for students with a college grade level of 6 (1st year graduate/professional) or 7 (Continuing graduate/professional).

Approach #2 – Add College Grade Level Queries to Award Methodologies

A second approach to controlling the packaging of subsidized loans to graduate or professional students involves applying criteria to your award methodologies in setup. To use this approach, you must create different award methodologies for undergraduate versus graduate or professional students at your school.

Each award methodology you define in EDExpress Packaging setup represents a specific set of funds applicable to a specific student population. When you associate a Packaging query with an award methodology, you help ensure that EDExpress will only award the methodology’s specific set of funds and designated award amounts to the student population you describe in your query during the packaging process.

To use this approach, you will first need to follow the process described in Approach #1 to create a Packaging Query that excludes graduate/professional students. Then, following the same steps, create an additional, opposing query that includes (as opposed to excludes) graduate or professional students only, such as Grade Level in College – Packaging >= (greater than or equal to) 6. If necessary, depending on your setup needs, you can create Packaging queries for each undergraduate college grade level, as well as expand the queries using “and/or” statements to append other data element requirements as well.

Once all of your Packaging queries are created, create award methodologies (Tools, Setup, Packaging, Award Methodologies) specific to graduate and professional students or to undergraduate students only and use the appropriate restrictive query for the Criteria field in the Award Methodologies dialog box. Most importantly, be sure to omit the subsidized loan fund code from any award methodologies you create that are specific to graduate or professional students.

Note: If you use this approach, you do not need to associate a query with your subsidized loan fund in Fund Maintenance setup.

Approach #3 – Add Subsidized Loan User Database Field, Query for Fund Maintenance Setup

A final, more labor-intensive approach you can use to control the awarding of subsidized loans to graduate or professional students is to create and maintain a User Database (e.g., user-defined) field that you update for specific graduate or professional students that are eligible for subsidized loans. You can then create a Packaging query on the User Database field value and associate that query with your subsidized loan fund profile in Fund Maintenance setup.

This approach requires that you update the User Data tab (which displays the User Database fields you created) for eligible graduate or professional student records prior to running the package process to ensure the subsidized loan field accurately reflects your students’ eligibility.

One advantage to this approach is that it is less dependent on verifying a student’s college grade level. Instead, you determine whether the student is eligible for a subsidized loan based on when the loan period begins, update the User Data tab field accordingly, then package the student.

The following steps provide an example of a User Database field you could create for this approach:

1) From the EDExpress main screen, go to Tools, Setup, Global, User Database.
2) Click OK to clear the warning message about modifying your database.
3) If this is the first User Database field you are defining, skip to step #4. Otherwise, click the Add button.
4) Enter “subloan” for the Field.
5) Select “Yes or No” for the Type, then click in the Description field. The Length field is automatically filled with “1.”
6) Enter “Eligible Graduate/Professional Sub Loan Eligibility” in the Description field.
7) Click the OK button to save your changes, then click the Close button.

After creating a field in User Database setup, it appears on the User Data tab within all student records. You can update the field value manually on the User Data tab, use Global Multiple Entry, or by use of the Global User Defined Data import option. In this scenario, you would update each graduate or professional student you want packaged with a subsidized loan in EDExpress with a “Yes” value for the “subloan” field you created. You should continue this update process for new graduate or professional student records you add to the Packaging module throughout the processing cycle.

The final step to this approach is to create a Packaging query you can associate with your subsidized loan fund in Fund Maintenance setup that checks for a specific value in your User Database field. User Database fields are available for query purposes in all EDExpress modules, include Packaging. In this case, you would create a query that checks for a “TRUE” (or “Yes”) value in the User Database field you created (Eligible Graduate/Professional Sub Loan Eligibility = TRUE) in steps 1-7 above. You would also need to append an additional “OR” condition to your query checking for a college grade level of 6 or less as described in Approach #1 earlier in this message to ensure your undergraduate students are packaged with a subsidized loan if eligible.

By using this solution, you do not need to limit inclusion of the subsidized loan fund to award methodologies based on college grade level. The package process will verify the correct User Database field value or college grade level is present based on your query before it awards a subsidized loan to any packaging record.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this message, 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.

Last Modified: 01/10/2012