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(Grants) Subject: Operational Implementation Guidance - Federal Student Aid's Implementation of 2014-2015 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

Posted Date:March 5, 2014

Author: Sue O'Flaherty, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Operational Implementation Guidance - Federal Student Aid's Implementation of 2014-2015 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

This Electronic Announcement provides institutions with important information about the system, Web, and software modifications we are making to reflect the 2014-2015 Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) payment and disbursement schedules, including changes we must implement to the Central Processing System (CPS), the ISIR Analysis Tool, the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, and the EDExpress for Windows software.

The 2014-2015 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules provided in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-14-01, posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site on January 31, 2014, must be used for all 2014-2015 Pell Grant award calculations (see note below). As noted in the Dear Colleague Letter, the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2014-2015 Award Year is $5,730, an increase of $85 from the $5,645 maximum Pell Grant award for the 2013-2014 Award Year. The corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) for 2014-2015 is 5157 as compared to 5081 for the 2013-2014 Award Year. As a result of the EFC increase, a small number of applicants who would not have been Pell Grant eligible for the 2013-2014 Award Year will be eligible for the 2014-2015 Award Year.

Note: We have discovered a minor error in the 2014-2015 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules attached to GEN-14-01. We inadvertently combined and mislabeled the last three columns on the Excel version for less-than-half-time enrollment (the PDF version is correct). However, this error should have no impact on use of the schedule because all possible EFCs are included and the award amount for all of the EFCs is zero.

We have begun the work needed to modify our systems, Web and software products, technical documents, training materials, and publications to reflect the 2014-2015 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules. In the sections below, we describe the impact to the following systems, Web sites, and software products, as well as provide the anticipated completion date for each update:

  • Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing

  • Impact on the ISIR Analysis Tool

  • Impact on the COD System

  • Impact on EDExpress

Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing

On March 23, 2014, we will update the CPS to use the 2014-2015 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules to calculate Pell Grant eligibility and estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts for all new 2014-2015 Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs), as well as for corrections to previously-filed FAFSAs.

As part of the CPS system update, we will also update our Student Aid Report (SAR) print operations and FAFSA on the Web confirmation page functionality to display estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts based on the recently-posted schedules.

After we implement the changes to the CPS, we will need to reprocess records for students who applied for 2014-2015 before the March 23, 2014 changes were implemented and who are now, based upon the posted 2014-2015 schedules, newly eligible for a 2014-2015 Pell Grant. When we began processing 2014-2015 FAFSAs on January 2, 2014, we used the 2013-2014 maximum EFC of 5081 to establish Pell Grant eligibility and reported that eligibility on SARs and in Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs). Since the actual maximum EFC for 2014-2015 is 5157, the CPS will reprocess certain 2014-2015 SARs and ISIRs on March 25, 2014 in order to recalculate 2014-2015 Pell Grant eligibility.

The March 25, 2014 reprocessing will create a new SAR and ISIR transaction for any student with an EFC between 5082 and 5157 to reflect the addition of Pell Grant eligibility. We estimate that less than 10,000 students out of the more than 4.5 million 2014-2015 FAFSAs we have processed to date will be impacted by the change.

Several methods exist for schools to identify records resulting from the March 25, 2014 reprocessing:

  • Reprocessed ISIRs will be sent under the IGSG15OP message class.

  • Paper SARs and ISIRs will include SAR comment code 172, which states “This SAR was produced because we processed a change to your information based on information reported to us by another agency or as a result of a processing system change. Review your SAR to see what effect, if any, this change has had on your application, and call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) if you have any questions.”

  • ISIRs produced as a result of the March 25, 2014 reprocessing will include a value of “01” for the Reprocessed Reason Code (ISIR field #230).

  • The FAA Information page in Student Inquiry on the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site will initially display “01” for the Reprocessing Code for the transaction resulting from the March 25, 2014 reprocessing. After April 13, 2014, we will enhance the Web site to display the Reprocessing Code as “01 - Reprocessed due to change in the Pell Maximum EFC.”

Impact on the ISIR Analysis Tool

The 2014-2015 ISIR Analysis Tool, which will be available through the FAA Main Menu of the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site in July 2014, will reflect 2014-2015 Pell Grant awards based on the posted 2014-2015 schedules.

Impact on the COD System

During the period April 11-13, 2014, we plan to implement COD System functionality that supports processing for the 2014-2015 Award Year. We will implement the 2014-2015 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System during this release. Detailed information about the April 11-13, 2014 COD System update will be provided in a forthcoming Electronic Announcement on the IFAP Web site.

Impact on EDExpress

EDExpress 2014-2015, Release 1.0, posted to the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site on January 3, 2014, does not include the 2014-2015 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules and instead carries over the schedules from the 2013-2014 Award Year. Release 2.0, scheduled for release in April 2014, will update the Packaging and Pell Grant modules to use the 2014-2015 schedules.

EDExpress Packaging users who want to manually add or adjust Pell Grant awards according to the 2014-2015 schedules before Release 2.0 is available must use the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-14-01. After Release 2.0 is available, EDExpress users who already packaged students using Release 1.0 should repackage those students with an EFC in the 5082-5157 range using Release 2.0, to reflect the increase of the maximum EFC from 5081 in 2013-2014 to 5157 in 2014-2015 and to ensure an accurate Pell Grant award.

Contact Information

If you have questions regarding the updates to the CPS, the ISIR Analysis Tool, or EDExpress, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

If you have questions regarding the updates to the COD System, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/474-7268 or by e-mail at CODSupport@ed.gov.

Last Modified: 03/04/2014