Posted Date: February 11, 2011

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

Subject: COD System Implementation for 2011-2012 Award Year (Updated March 11, 2011)

Note: On March 11, 2011, we added a second attachment titled “Update to COD System Changes for 2011-2012” to this announcement. In the new attachment, we explain changes made to school options for Direct PLUS Loan Requests. These changes were part of the COD System implementation in February 2011. The information in the new attachment supplements the information provided with the original announcement.

During the period February 18-19, 2011, we plan to implement Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System functionality that supports the processing of Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) awards for the 2011-2012 Award Year.

Note: The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) programs are no longer available as of the 2011-2012 Award Year. The COD System will not process records for these programs for the 2011-2012 Award Year and forward. The COD System will continue to process ACG and National SMART Grant records for previous award years.

In this announcement, we provide the following important information related to the implementation:

  • Future Guidance
  • Important Reminders
  • 2011-2012 Funding Authorization and Disbursement Information (multiple subsections)
  • COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information
  • COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2011-2012
  • Contact Information
  • Attachments/Enclosures

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we complete this important activity.

Future Guidance

As explained in earlier communications, some functionality for the 2011-2012 Award Year will be implemented in summer 2011. We will communicate the details about future system implementations, as well as all necessary operational implementation guidance, through Electronic Announcements on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site.

Important Reminders

At this time, we take this opportunity to remind schools of the following:

  • Beginning February 19, 2011, COD Common Record Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schema Version 3.0d will be in place. For the 2011-2012 Award Year, a school must send and the COD System will acknowledge Common Record documents for all origination and disbursement information using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0d. Unsolicited system-generated responses and COD Web Activity responses for all award years will be sent by the COD System using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0d.

For complete information about the schema version, refer to COD Common Record XML Schema Version 3.0d on the IFAP Web site.

  • Any school that will participate in the Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, or Direct Loan program for the first time in the 2011-2012 Award Year must complete school testing with the COD System before sending data into production. The only exception to this is a new school using software from a software provider or third party servicer, or EDExpress.

For more information about testing, refer to the COD School Testing for the 2011-2012 Award Year Electronic Announcement on the IFAP Web site, or refer to Volume V, Section 1 of the 2011-2012 COD Technical Reference.

If a school uses a third party software provider, it should check with the provider regarding the availability of the provider’s 2011-2012 software release.

Note for EDExpress Users:  EDExpress for Windows 2011-2012, Release 2.0, scheduled for release on March 28, 2011, will add Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, and Direct Loan functionality for the 2011-2012 Award Year. At this time, it has not been determined if Release 2.0 will include functionality needed to support the 2011-2012 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules or whether a subsequent release of the software will be necessary. We will communicate EDExpress release information for 2011-2012 through forthcoming electronic announcements on the IFAP Web site.

Beginning February 19, 2011, the following will be in place:

  • All 2011-2012 Award Year-specific message classes will include “12” as the award year indicator. All message classes are listed in Volume II, Section 2 of the 2011-2012 COD Technical Reference.

  • The Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) ID will include “12” as the award year indicator.

  • The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) ID will include “12” as the award year indicator if the ATS is completed for the 2011-2012 Award Year.

  • The default award year will be 2011-2012 on all COD Web site screens except the Request Post Deadline Processing screen. (The Request Post Deadline Processing screen defaults to the award year for which processing has most recently ended.)

With the implementation of the COD System for the 2011-2012 Award Year, a school’s selected report format will default to the format specified by the school’s current report options.

If desired, COD Web site School User Levels 3-5 and Third Party Servicer User Levels 3-5 can change their schools’ report options by accessing the Report Selection screen for the 2011-2012 Award Year after February 19, 2011.

  • To access the Report Selection screen, click on the Report Selection link under the COD Web site’s School Information Options screen. Updates to report formats for reports that are not award-year specific will be applied to all award years. Updates to report formats for reports that are award-year specific will be applied only to the award year selected in the Award Year drop down menu on the Report Selection screen.

  • Complete details on report formats are available in Volume VI, Section 8 of the 2011-2012 COD Technical Reference.

2011-2012 Funding Authorization and Disbursement Information

2011-2012 funding authorization and disbursement information is summarized below.

Pell Grant Program

There will be no Initial Authorization for the Pell Grant Program for the 2011-2012 Award Year. Schools will receive a Current Funding Level (CFL) based on the accepted and posted actual disbursement records that they submit to the COD System.

The earliest date on which a school may disburse a Pell Grant for the 2011-2012 Award Year, either with federal funds or its own funds, is February 1, 2011 (the date the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules were published). However, the COD System will not accept 2011-2012 actual disbursement data [Disbursement Release Indicator (DRI) = “True”] until February 21, 2011.

As a reminder, actual disbursements can only be submitted up to 7 days before the disbursement date.

Note: Dear Colleague Letter P-11-01 provides the payment and disbursement schedules for determining Pell Grant awards for the 2011-2012 Award Year for full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time students. All 2011-2012 Pell Grant awards must be based on the schedules attached to the letter.

Special notes about the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules:

  1. Although the maximum and minimum awards are unchanged from 2010-2011, schools must use the posted schedules for 2011-2012 because the award amounts for certain cells have changed.

  2. We will implement the 2011-2012 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System during this release.

  3. As described earlier, it has not yet been determined if EDExpress for Windows 2011-2012, Release 2.0 will include functionality needed to support the 2011-2012 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules, or whether a subsequent release of the software will be necessary. We will communicate EDExpress release information for 2011-2012 through forthcoming electronic announcements on the IFAP Web site.

  4. If subsequent 2011 appropriations legislation modifies the current maximum award for 2011-2012, we will publish revised schedules and post operational guidance about implementation of the revised schedules in our system and Web and software products.

TEACH Grant Program

There will be no Initial Authorization for the TEACH Grant Program for the 2011-2012 Award Year. Schools will receive a CFL based on the accepted and posted actual disbursement records that they submit to the COD System. The COD System will accept 2011-2012 actual disbursement data (DRI = “True”) for TEACH Grant awards beginning February 19, 2011.

Direct Loan Program

Schools receiving funds under the Advanced or HCM1 funding method will receive an initial CFL the week of February 21, 2011 with subsequent increases in June and November 2011. Schools under the Reimbursement or HCM2 funding method will receive a CFL based on the accepted and posted actual disbursement records that they submit to the COD System. The COD System will accept 2011-2012 actual disbursement data (DRI = “True”) for Direct Loan awards beginning February 19, 2011.

Note: The origination fees and the up-front interest rebate for Direct Loan awards will not change. All Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan awards with an earliest disbursement date on or after July 1, 2010 have an origination fee of 1.0 percent and an up-front interest rebate of 0.5 percent. All Direct PLUS Loan awards have an origination fee of 4.0 percent and an up-front interest rebate of 1.5 percent.

COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information

In order to install the additional COD System functionality, we will suspend COD batch processing beginning at 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, February 18, 2011. Records submitted after this time will be held and processed after 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, February 19, 2011.

Note: All actual disbursements with a disbursement date from February 18, 2011 through February 19, 2011 must be received by the COD System no later than 9:00 AM (ET) on Friday, February 18, 2011, and subsequently accepted by the COD System, in order for them to be included in the drawdown prior to the outage. Disbursements submitted by the deadline but not subsequently accepted, disbursements submitted after the deadline, and disbursements with a disbursement date after February 19, 2011 will be processed and funded after the outage.

In addition, between 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, February 18, 2011 and 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, February 19, 2011—

  • Users will not be able to submit or retrieve data via the COD Web site.

  • Users will not be able to access the COD Reports area of the COD Web site.

  • An individual will not be able to complete online Direct Loan Entrance Counseling, complete a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) electronically, complete a Direct PLUS Loan Request electronically, endorse a Direct PLUS Loan electronically, or view loan correspondence via the StudentLoans.gov Web site.

  • An individual will not be able to complete TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling, complete a new TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS), or retrieve an existing ATS via the TEACH Grant Web site.

Note: The COD System will undergo routine maintenance on Sunday, February 20, 2011 from 5:00 A.M. (ET) until 11:00 A.M. (ET).  During this period, batch processing and Web site availability will again be impacted. In addition, due to the President’s Day federal holiday, the COD System will accept and process data from schools and send back responses/acknowledgments on Monday, February 21, 2011, but schools will not be able to receive any federal funds on that day. Requests for changes in funding levels and for funds for all award years will not be processed until Tuesday, February 22, 2011.

COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2011-2012

In the attachment to this announcement titled “COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2011-2012,” we highlight the processing function enhancements and modifications we will implement during the February 18-19, 2011 period.

Contact Information

If you have questions about this announcement or its attachment, 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.

Attachments/Enclosures:

COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2011-2012 in PDF Format, 184 KB, 5 Pages

Update to COD System Changes for 2011-2012 in PDF Format, 74KB, 1 Page

   

End of Page