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(Application Processing) Subject: Issue Alert - CPS Reprocessing on October 17, 2016 to Update Records Incorrectly Assigned SAR Comment Code 399

Posted Date:October 13, 2016

Author: Lisa DiCarlo, Director, Student Experience Group, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Issue Alert - CPS Reprocessing on October 17, 2016 to Update Records Incorrectly Assigned SAR Comment Code 399

We are alerting all schools that the Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a reprocessing on October 17, 2016 to fix 2017-2018 student records we have determined were assigned Student Aid Report (SAR) comment 399 incorrectly. We anticipate this reprocessing will affect fewer than 10,000 records of the more than one million 2017-2018 FAFSAs received.

SAR comment code 399 and the SAR C flag are assigned to a record by the CPS when the student or parent reports a different 2015 income amount on the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) than the 2016-2017 FAFSA. With the implementation of prior-prior year financial reporting for the 2017-2018 processing cycle, applicants and parents of dependent applicants should be reporting the same 2015 income for 2017-2018 as they did for 2016-2017.

See the sections below for more background information and reprocessing details regarding this CPS issue.

Issue Background

Schools reported this issue initially to CPS/SAIG Technical Support and the FSATECH listserv, indicating they were receiving SAR comment code 399 on 2017-2018 records with no discernable difference in the 2015 income reported for 2016-2017 versus 2017-2018.

After conducting further research, we have determined this issue is related to the CPS comparison of the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) values between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, and has affected students whose 2017-2018 record required calculation of a secondary EFC and cross-year editing between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.

Reprocessing Information

We have identified the system issue causing the incorrect assignment of SAR comment code 399, and we will update the CPS to resolve the issue on October 16, 2016. Once the issue is resolved in the CPS, we will reprocess those records that meet the conditions described above. Please note that it is possible, once the selected transactions are reprocessed, that Comment 399 will be applied because the record correctly meets the condition for the comment.

Several methods exist for schools to identify records resulting from the October 17 reprocessing:

  • Reprocessed Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) will be sent under the IGSG18OP message class.
  • 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 reprocessing will include a value of “02” for the Reprocessed Reason Code (ISIR field #230).
  • After updates are implemented in February 2017, the FAA Information page in Student Inquiry on the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site will display “02 - Reprocessed because Comment Code 399 not assigned correctly” for the Reprocessing Code on the transaction resulting from the reprocessing.

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

You can also post questions to 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:

Last Modified: 10/12/2016