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(Grants) Subject: Operational Implementation Guidance - Federal Student Aid's Implementation of 2015-2016 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

Posted Date:March 6, 2015

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

Subject: Operational Implementation Guidance - Federal Student Aid's Implementation of 2015-2016 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 2015-2016 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 2015-2016 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules provided in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-15-02, posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site on January 29, 2015, must be used for all 2015-2016 Pell Grant award calculations. As noted in the Dear Colleague Letter, the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2015-2016 Award Year is $5,775, an increase of $45 from the $5,730 maximum Pell Grant award for the 2014-2015 Award Year. The corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) for 2015-2016 is 5198 as compared to 5157 for the 2014-2015 Award Year. When we began processing 2015-2016 FAFSAs on January 2, 2015, we used the 2014-2015 maximum EFC of 5157 to establish Pell Grant eligibility and reported that eligibility on Student Aid Reports (SARs) and in Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs). As a result of the EFC increase, a small number of applicants (those with EFCs between 5158 and 5198) who would not have been Pell Grant eligible using the 2014-2015 Award Year Pell Grant schedules will be eligible for the 2015-2016 Award Year.

We have begun the work needed to modify our systems, Web and software products, technical documents, training materials, and publications to reflect the 2015-2016 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 29, 2015, we will update the CPS to use the 2015-2016 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules to calculate Pell Grant eligibility and estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts for all new 2015-2016 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 SAR print operations to display estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts based on the recently-posted schedules. Similar updates will be implemented to FAFSA on the Web confirmation page functionality on April 26, 2015.

After we implement the changes to the CPS, we will need to reprocess records for students who completed a 2015-2016 FAFSA® or submitted 2015-2016 corrections before the March 29, 2015 changes were implemented and who are now, based upon the posted 2015-2016 schedules, newly eligible for a 2015-2016 Pell Grant.

Since the actual maximum EFC for 2015-2016 is 5198, the CPS will reprocess 2015-2016 transactions on April 1, 2015 for students whose most recent transaction has an EFC in the range of 5158 to 5198, in order to properly indicate that the student has Pell Grant eligibility.

The April 1, 2015 reprocessing will create a new SAR and ISIR transaction for any student with an EFC between 5158 and 5198 to reflect the addition of Pell Grant eligibility. We estimate that fewer than 11,000 students out of the more than six million 2015-2016 FAFSAs we will have processed prior to that date will be impacted by the change.

Several methods exist for schools to identify records resulting from the April 1, 2015 reprocessing:

  • Reprocessed ISIRs will be sent under the IGSG16OP 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 April 1, 2015 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 April 1, 2015 reprocessing. On April 26, 2015, we will enhance the Web site to display the Reprocessing Code as “01 - Reprocessed due to change in the Pell Maximum EFC.”

Note: FAA Access to CPS Online users who want to request Pell-eligible ISIRs with an EFC between 5158 and 5198 must wait until after the ISIR Request edits are updated on April 26, 2015.

Impact on the ISIR Analysis Tool

The 2015-2016 ISIR Analysis Tool, which will be available through the FAA Main Menu of the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site on April 26, 2015, will reflect 2015-2016 Pell Grant awards based on the posted 2015-2016 schedules.

Impact on the COD System

During the period March 27-29, 2015, we plan to implement COD System functionality that supports processing for the 2015-2016 Award Year. We will implement the 2015-2016 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System during this release. Detailed information about the March 27-29, 2015 COD System update will be provided in a forthcoming Electronic Announcement on the IFAP Web site.

Impact on EDExpress

EDExpress 2015-2016, Release 1.0, posted to the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site on January 2, 2015, does not include the 2015-2016 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules and instead carries over the schedules from the 2014-2015 Award Year. Release 2.0, scheduled for release in April 2015, will update the Packaging and Pell Grant modules to use the 2015-2016 schedules.

EDExpress Packaging users who want to manually add or adjust Pell Grant awards according to the 2015-2016 schedules before Release 2.0 is available must use the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-15-02. After Release 2.0 is available, EDExpress users who already packaged students using Release 1.0 must repackage those students using Release 2.0 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: 03/05/2015