Posted Date: February 12, 2019

Author:  Federal Student Aid

Subject: Operational Implementation Guidance – Federal Student Aid’s Implementation of 2019–20 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

This Electronic Announcement provides institutions with important information about the system, web, and software modifications we are making to reflect the 2019–20 Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) payment and disbursement schedules, including changes we must implement to the Central Processing System (CPS), the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, and the EDExpress for Windows software.

In Dear Colleague Letter GEN-19-01, posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website on January 23, 2019, we provided schools with payment and disbursement schedules for determining Pell Grant awards for the 2019–20 Award Year. These schedules must be used for all 2019–20 Pell Grant award calculations.

As noted in the Dear Colleague Letter, the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2019–20 Award Year is $6,195, an increase of $100 from the $6,095 maximum Pell Grant award for the 2018–19 Award Year. The maximum expected family contribution (EFC) eligible for a Pell Grant for the 2019–20 Award Year is 5576 as compared to 5486 for the 2018–19 Award Year.

We have begun the work needed to modify our systems, web and software products, technical documents, training materials, and publications to reflect the 2019–20 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules. In the sections below, we describe the impact to the following systems and software products, as well as provide the anticipated completion date for each update:

  • Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing

  • Impact on the COD System

  • Impact on EDExpress

Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing

When we began processing the 2019–20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) on October 1, 2018, we used the 2018–19 maximum EFC of 5486 to establish Pell Grant eligibility and reported that eligibility on Student Aid Reports (SARs) and in Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs). As a result of the maximum EFC increase for 2019–20, some applicants (those with EFCs greater than or equal to 5487 and less than or equal to 5576) who were not Pell Grant eligible using the 2018–19 schedules are now Pell Grant eligible for the 2019–20 Award Year.

On March 17, 2019, we will update the CPS to use the 2019–20 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules (and maximum eligible EFC) to determine Pell Grant eligibility and estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts for all newly-submitted 2019–20 FAFSA forms, as well as for all newly-submitted corrections to previously-filed FAFSA forms.

As part of the CPS system update, we will update our SAR print operations to display estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts based on the 2019–20 schedules. Similar updates will be implemented to fafsa.gov confirmation page functionality. Help text on fafsa.gov will also be updated at this time.

After we implement the changes to the CPS, we will need to reprocess records for those students who completed a 2019–20 FAFSA form or submitted a correction before March 17 and who are now newly eligible for a 2019–20 Pell Grant, based upon the 2019–20 schedules and maximum EFC.

The CPS will reprocess 2019–20 transactions on March 19, 2019 in order to properly indicate Pell Grant eligibility. The March 19 reprocessing will create a new SAR and ISIR transaction for any student with an EFC that is greater than 5486 (the previous maximum Pell-eligible EFC) and less than or equal to 5576 (the new maximum Pell-eligible EFC) to reflect the addition of Pell Grant eligibility.

Note that student records that had been Pell Grant eligible based on the 2018–19 schedules and maximum EFC do not need to be reprocessed even though the estimated Pell Grant award amount presented to the student has changed. Schools should simply use the 2019–20 schedules published in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-19-01 when awarding and disbursing 2019–20 Pell Grants.

Several methods exist for schools to identify records resulting from the March 19 reprocessing:

  • Reprocessed ISIRs will be sent under the IGSG20OP message class.

  • Paper 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 March 19 reprocessing will include a value of "01" for the Reprocessed Reason Code (ISIR field #248).

  • The FAA Information page in Student Inquiry on the FAA Access to CPS Online website will display “01 – Reprocessed due to change in the Pell Maximum EFC” for the Reprocessing Code for the transaction resulting from the March 19 reprocessing.

Note: On April 28, 2019, we will update the ISIR Request edits that enable FAA Access to CPS Online users to request Pell-eligible ISIRs with EFCs in the range of 5487 to 5576. We will also update help text in FAA Access to CPS Online to reference the maximum Pell Grant award and/or new maximum Pell-eligible EFC for 2019–20.

Impact on the COD System

In early April 2019, we plan to implement COD System functionality that supports processing for the 2019–20 Award Year. We will implement the 2019–20 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System at that time. Detailed information about the April 2019 COD System update will be provided in an Electronic Announcement posted to the IFAP website prior to the COD System release.

Impact on EDExpress

EDExpress 2019-2020, Release 1.0, posted to the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) website on September 28, 2018, does not include the 2019–20 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules and instead carries over the schedules from the 2018–19 Award Year. Release 2.0, scheduled for release in early April 2019, will update the Packaging and Pell Grant modules to use the 2019–20 schedules.

EDExpress Packaging users who want to manually add or adjust Pell Grant awards according to the 2019–20 schedules before Release 2.0 is available must use the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-19-01. After Release 2.0 is available, EDExpress users who already packaged students using Release 1.0 must repackage those students using Release 2.0 to ensure an accurate Pell Grant award.

Note: If Release 2.0 is posted before the implementation of the 2019–­20 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System, EDExpress users will need to delay exporting origination and disbursement information created in Release 2.0 for processing until the COD System is available.

Contact Information

If you have questions regarding the updates to the CPS or EDExpress, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 1-800-330-5947 (TDD/TTY 1-800-511-5806) or by email at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

If you have questions regarding the updates to the COD System, contact the COD School Relations Center at 1-800-848-0978 or by email at CODSupport@ed.gov.

   

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