Posted Date: April 22, 2015
Sue O'Flaherty, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid
Subject: Electronic Processing Option for Perkins Loan Assignments Planned for Fall 2015
We are pleased to announce our plans to implement functionality for schools to electronically submit Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) assignment information to the Department of Education (the Department).
Over the past two years we have been evaluating the existing paper-based Perkins Loan assignment process and developing a new electronic Perkins Loan assignment process. Later this year, schools will have the option to submit Perkins Loan assignment information and supporting documentation electronically which will reduce paper processing. In this announcement, we provide a high-level summary of the electronic option for Perkins Loan assignments, preliminary information about the batch file process, and the expected timeframe for implementation.
Electronic Assignments Using the Perkins Loan Assignment System
With the electronic Perkins Loan Assignment process, authenticated users will complete the Perkins Loan Assignment Form online using the new Perkins Loan Assignment System (PLAS). Users will need to request access to the system and will be provided a User ID and temporary password (which must be changed the first time the user logs in to the system). Once logged in, users will be able to complete a Web-based assignment form and upload supporting documentation as file attachments.
The Perkins Loan Assignment System will allow authenticated users to:
Submit multiple loans as a “batch file” or submit individual loans
Securely upload supporting documentation (promissory notes, payment histories, etc.)
Search, view, and edit submitted loan assignment information
View reports of Perkins Loans that have been accepted or rejected for assignment
More information about PLAS will be provided in forthcoming communications, which will include details about system access, how to obtain a User ID and password, instructions for using PLAS, and instructions for completing the Web-based assignment form. Schools should monitor the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site for this information.
Preliminary Batch File Process Information
For schools that may be submitting multiple loans using PLAS, we are providing preliminary information about the batch file submission process. In the attachment to this announcement, we provide a draft version of the batch file layout for the loan assignment process. This draft layout allows schools to begin preparing system updates to create and electronically transmit multiple loans for assignment.
Other important requirements of the batch file are provided below.
File Size Limit: 50MB
Batch File Type: pipe delimited text
Batch File Naming Convention: ASSIGN-OPEID-YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.txt
Batch Collateral File Type: one zip file containing PDF versions of the required supporting documentation
While we do not anticipate major changes to the file layout before final implementation this fall, this is only a DRAFT file layout. We will provide the final file layout and additional technical information in forthcoming communications.
The batch file process is specific to the loan assignment data. Supporting documentation will be uploaded in PLAS separately using a zip file. Each batch file will have one corresponding zip file with the associated supporting documentation.
Summer 2015 – End-user materials for PLAS will be provided to schools and servicers.
Fall 2015 – Schools will be able to use PLAS to submit Perkins Loan assignments and supporting documentation.
We appreciate your cooperation as we work to implement an electronic option for the Perkins Loan assignment process.