Posted Date: November 21, 2014

Subject: COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b

In spring 2015, we plan to implement Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System functionality that will support the processing of Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant), Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) awards for the 2015-2016 Award Year. In conjunction with this implementation, we will begin using a new version of the COD Common Record Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schema. The new schema version is 4.0b.

Note: The COD System will not process records for the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) programs for the 2015-2016 Award Year. However, changes to the COD Common Record XML Schema may still apply to records submitted for these programs for prior award years.

Effective upon completion of the spring 2015 COD System implementation—

  • All 2015-2016 Common Record documents must be sent using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b. All 2015-2016 Common Record responses will be sent by the COD System using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b.

  • Unsolicited system-generated responses for all award years will be sent by the COD System using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b.

  • COD Web Activity responses for all award years will be sent by the COD System using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b.

  • All available school reports, including data requests, will continue to be sent in formats other than XML.

  • We will continue to fully validate all Common Record files against the published COD Common Record XML Schema.

In this announcement, we cover information in the following order:

  • COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b

  • Schema Files and 2015-2016 COD Technical Reference Information

  • Contact Information

  • Attachments/Enclosures

COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b

COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b incorporates several COD System changes, including: adding new tags and valid values to support new Direct PLUS Loan Counseling requirements; adding a new Student Eligibility tag (to replace the Ability to Benefit tag) and adding valid values related to Ability to Benefit information; changing fields from enumerated lists to non-enumerated lists; and adding new tags to the Pell Grant award block that will be reserved for possible future use.

All incorporated changes are outlined in the attachment titled “Common Record Change Log.” It is important that a school or third party software provider carefully review the COD Common Record XML Schema changes, including the new tags and valid values, in conjunction with the Common Record Layout. When planning the update to COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b, a school or third party software provider should consider the following impact areas:

  • Common Record Documents

  • Unsolicited System-Generated Responses

  • COD Web Activity Responses

  • School Reports and Data Requests

  • Full COD Schema Validation

Note to EDExpress Users: We plan to post EDExpress for Windows 2015-2016, Release 2.0 in spring 2015. This release will incorporate schema version 4.0b for 2015-2016 records.

Information about each of the impact areas follows below.

Common Record Documents

All 2015-2016 Common Record documents must be sent using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b. All 2015-2016 Common Record responses will be sent by the COD System using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b.

Unsolicited System-Generated Responses

Unsolicited system-generated responses for all award years will be sent by the COD System using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b.

Unsolicited system-generated responses are listed in the table below.

ACG

National SMART Grant

  • Negative Disbursement

Pell Grant

  • Negative Disbursement

TEACH Grant

  • ATS Acknowledgement
  • Booking Notification
  • Counseling Acknowledgement

Direct Loan

  • Booking Notification
  • Counseling Acknowledgement (which includes Entrance, Financial Awareness, and Exit)
  • Credit Decision Override (This response will be discontinued in spring 2015 and replaced with a new Credit Status response.)
  • MPN Response
  • Payment to Servicer
  • PLUS Application Acknowledgement
  • Subsidized Usage Change
  • Credit Status Response (More information about the new response will be provided in forthcoming communications.)

COD Web Activity Responses

Like unsolicited system-generated responses, COD Web Activity responses for all award years will be sent by the COD System using COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b.

If a school is unable to import COD Web Activity responses, it has two options:

  1. Submit new records or update existing records for an impacted award year via batch processing. These records will be acknowledged by the COD System using the schema version used by the school for Common Record documents.

  2. Change its “Web Activity Response Option” for each applicable program/award year so that it will not receive COD Web Activity responses. The school will make these changes on the COD Web site’s School Options Information screen. To change the “Web Activity Response Option” from “Y” to “N”:

    1. Click on the School link on the COD Web site’s main menu bar, then click on School Information, and then click on Options. The School Options Information screen will open.

    2. After selecting the applicable program and the applicable award year, scroll to the Program Relations Information section and change “Web Activity Response Option” from “Y” to “N.”

    3. Click on Update.

School Reports and Data Requests

All available school reports, including data requests, will continue to be sent in formats other than XML.

Full COD Schema Validation

We will continue to fully validate all Common Record batches against the published COD Common Record XML Schema (versions 3.0d, 3.0e, 4.0a, and 4.0b). This means that if a school submits a Common Record that does not conform to the published schema format, all student, award, and disbursement information within the batch will not be processed by the COD System.

To help schools and software providers identify XML errors, we continue to send COD System edits as follows:

COD Reject Edit 210 – This reject edit will be returned if an incoming batch fails XML validation.  The new reject edit will be returned at the document level and will indicate that the batch contains invalid XML.  The student, award, and disbursement information within the batch will not be processed.

COD Warning Edit 211 – This warning edit will be returned for batches that contain invalid XML, but the batches can still be processed by the COD System.  Note: This warning edit is intended to help schools and software providers identify and fix invalid XML, but still allow the data to be processed by the COD System. Later in 2015, we will transition from returning Warning Edit 211 and begin rejecting batches with invalid XML with Reject Edit 210 as noted above. We encourage schools and software providers to fix these errors as soon as possible to avoid future rejects.

Schema Files and 2015-2016 COD Technical Reference Information

Attached to this announcement are files that schools and third-party software providers will need to update to COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b. Also attached is a change log that identifies the changes made to the current version of the COD Common Record XML Schema (4.0a). In addition, information about the COD Common Record XML Schema will be included in the initial posting of the 2015-2016 COD Technical Reference (planned for November/December 2014).

Contact Information

If you have questions, 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@ed.gov.

Attachments/Enclosures:

XML Common Record 4.0b in XML Code

Common Record Change Log in PDF Format

   

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