Posted Date: March 2, 2012

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

Subject: COD System Implementation for 2012-2013 Award Year

During the period March 9-10, 2012, 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 2012-2013 Award Year.

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

  • Future Guidance
  • Important Reminders
  • 2012-2013 Funding Authorization and Disbursement Information (multiple subsections)
  • COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information
  • COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2012-2013
  • Contact Information
  • Attachments/Enclosures

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

Future Guidance

As explained in a February 28, 2012 Electronic Announcement, additional functionality for the 2012-2013 Award Year will be implemented in April 2012 and July 2012. We will communicate details related to these system implementations, as well as all necessary operational implementation guidance, through Electronic Announcements on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site in the near future.

Important Reminders

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

  • Beginning March 10, 2012, COD Common Record Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schema Version 3.0e will be in place. For the 2012-2013 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 3.0e. 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 3.0e.

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

  • Any school that uses a solution developed in-house (mainframe system, server, software, or other) and will participate in the Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, or Direct Loan program for the first time in the 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 Award Year Electronic Announcement on the IFAP Web site, or refer to Volume V, Section 1 of the 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 software release.

Note for EDExpress Users: EDExpress for Windows 2012-2013, Release 2.0, scheduled for release on March 28, 2012, will add Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, and Direct Loan functionality for the 2012-2013 Award Year. We will communicate EDExpress Release 2.0 information through a forthcoming electronic announcement on the IFAP Web site.

Beginning March 10, 2012, the following will be in place:

  • All 2012-2013 Award Year-specific message classes will include “13” as the award year indicator. All message classes are listed in Volume II, Section 2 of the 2012-2013 COD Technical Reference.

  • The Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) ID will include “13” as the award year indicator.

  • The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) ID will include “13” as the award year indicator if the ATS is completed for the 2012-2013 Award Year.

  • The default award year will be 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 Award Year after March 10, 2012.

  • 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 2012-2013 COD Technical Reference.

With the implementation of the COD System for the 2012-2013 Award Year, a school’s StudentLoans.gov Web site processing options will default to the current selections. For the options set with a date, we will increment the date by one year (for example, 4/1/2012 will become 4/1/2013).

If desired, a COD Web site School User Levels 3-5 and Third Party Servicer User Levels 3-5 can change the StudentLoans.gov Web site processing options on the COD Web site’s School Information Options screen.

2012-2013 Funding Authorization and Disbursement Information

2012-2013 funding authorization and disbursement information is summarized below.

Pell Grant Program

There will be no Initial Authorization for the Pell Grant Program for the 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 Award Year, either with federal funds or its own funds, is January 12, 2012. However, the COD System will not accept 2012-2013 actual disbursement data [Disbursement Release Indicator (DRI) = “True”] until April 16, 2012.

Note: As explained in a February 17, 2012 Electronic Announcement, the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) change will not be fully implemented until July 6-7, 2012. Schools will need to carefully evaluate a student’s eligibility for Pell Grant disbursements between April and July 2012.

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

Note: Dear Colleague Letter P-12-01 provides the payment and disbursement schedules for determining Pell Grant awards for the 2012-2013 Award Year for full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time students. All 2012-2013 Pell Grant awards must be based on the schedules attached to the letter.

Special notes about the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules:

1.
We will implement the 2012-2013 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System during this release.
2.
EDExpress for Windows 2012-2013, Release 2.0 will include functionality needed to support the 2012-2013 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules.

TEACH Grant Program

There will be no Initial Authorization for the TEACH Grant Program for the 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 actual disbursement data (DRI = “True”) for TEACH Grant awards beginning March 10, 2012.

Direct Loan Program

Schools that receive funds under the Advanced or HCMI funding methods and historically report disbursements early in the year will receive an initial CFL the week of March 16, 2012 with subsequent increases in June and November 2012. Most other schools under the Advanced or HCM1 funding method will receive an initial CFL in June 2012 with a subsequent increase in November 2012. 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 2012-2013 actual disbursement data (DRI = “True”) for Direct Loan awards beginning March 10, 2012.

Note: As noted in the February 28, 2012 Electronic Announcement, schools should hold Direct Loan awards with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2012 until April 2012.

COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information

To install the additional COD System functionality, we will suspend COD batch processing beginning at 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, March 9, 2012. Records submitted after this time will be held and processed after 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Note: All actual disbursements with a disbursement date from March 9, 2012 through March 10, 2012 must be received by the COD System no later than 9:00 AM (ET) on Friday, March 9, 2012, 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 March 10, 2012 will be processed and funded after the outage.

In addition, between 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, March 9, 2012 and 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, March 10, 2012—

  • 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, March 11, 2012 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.

COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2012-2013

In the attachment to this announcement titled “COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications for 2012-2013,” we highlight the processing function enhancements and modifications we will implement during the March 9-10, 2012 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 2012-2013 in PDF Format, 168KB, 4 Pages

   

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