Posted Date: May 10, 2018

Author:  Federal Student Aid

Subject: Operational Implementation Guidance #2 – CPS and COD System Implementation of the Revised 2018–19 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

This Electronic Announcement provides institutions with additional information about the operational implementation of the revised 2018–19 Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) payment and disbursement schedules, including changes we must implement to the Central Processing System (CPS) and the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System.

In Dear Colleague Letter GEN-18-04, posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website on April 10, 2018, we provided schools with revised payment and disbursement schedules for determining Pell Grant awards for the 2018–19 Award Year. The previous schedules were issued on January 31, 2018, in accordance with the provisions of the Master Calendar specified in section 482 of the Higher Education Act. Congress subsequently passed, and on March 23, 2018, the President signed Public Law 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, which increased the maximum Pell Grant award and, thereby, required the issuance of revised payment and disbursement schedules. The revised schedules must be used for all 2018–19 Pell Grant award calculations, including those for students who may have already been awarded based on the January 31, 2018 schedules.

We provided preliminary information about the impact of the revised schedules in the April 13, 2018 Electronic Announcement. We have now finalized our implementation plans and in the sections below, provide additional information about the impact to the following systems:

  • Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing

  • Impact on the COD System

Reminder for EDExpress Schools: As described in the April 13, 2018 Electronic Announcement, EDExpress 2018-2019, Release 1.0 does not include the revised 2018–19 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules and instead carries over the schedules from the 2017–18 Award Year. Release 2.0, originally scheduled for release in April 2018, will be available in late May 2018, so that we can update the Packaging and Pell Grant modules to use the revised 2018–19 schedules. Monitor the IFAP website for an announcement of the software’s availability.

Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing

On May 20, 2018, we will update the CPS to use the revised 2018–19 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules (and the revised maximum eligible EFC) to determine Pell Grant eligibility and estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts for all newly-submitted 2018–19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) forms, as well as for all newly-submitted corrections to previously-filed FAFSA forms.

As part of the CPS system update, we will also update our SAR print operations to display estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts based on the revised 2018–19 Pell schedules. Similar updates will be implemented to fafsa.gov confirmation page functionality.

After we implement the changes to the CPS, we will need to reprocess records for those students who completed a 2018–19 FAFSA form or submitted a correction before May 20, 2018 and who are now newly eligible for a 2018–19 Pell Grant, based upon the revised 2018–19 schedules and maximum EFC.

The CPS will reprocess 2018–19 transactions on May 22, 2018 in order to properly indicate Pell Grant eligibility. The May 22, 2018 reprocessing will create a new Student Aid Report (SAR) and Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) transaction for any student with an EFC that is greater than 5328 (the previous maximum Pell-eligible EFC) and less than or equal to 5486 (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 previous 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 revised 2018–19 schedules published in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-18-04 when awarding and disbursing 2018–19 Pell Grants.

Several methods exist for schools to identify records resulting from the May 22, 2018 reprocessing:

  • Reprocessed ISIRs will be sent under the IGSG19OP 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 May 22, 2018 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 May 22, 2018 reprocessing.

Note: At a later date (that is still being determined), 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 5329 to 5486. We will also update help text in FAA Access to CPS Online and on fafsa.gov as needed to reference the new maximum Pell Grant award and/or new maximum Pell-eligible EFC for 2018–19.

Impact on the COD System

As described in the April 13, 2018 Electronic Announcement, we implemented the revised 2018–19 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System on April 16, 2018. Schools that have already awarded students based on the January 31, 2018 Pell Grant schedules must re-evaluate how the latest revised Pell Grant schedule may impact those awards. This is particularly important for students who have a Pell Grant Cost of Attendance (COA) less than $5,900 or attend school less than full-time.

Important: Any records sent to the COD System before April 16, 2018 were evaluated by the COD System using the January 31, 2018 Pell Grant schedules, and must be resubmitted to the COD System by the school to be corrected.

Also, in determining 150% of a student’s Federal Pell Grant Scheduled Award for an award year for Year-Round Pell, if a school does not package or disburse using cents, 150% of the revised 2018–19 maximum scheduled award is $9,142.00.

Records Submitted to the COD System On or After April 16, 2018 for Newly Pell-Eligible Students

For students who are newly Pell-eligible for a 2018–19 Pell Grant award based on the revised Pell Grant schedules, schools must send a Pell Grant origination record to the COD System referencing the new, Pell-eligible, CPS transaction number that results from the May 22, 2018 CPS reprocessing. This is true even if the student's EFC on the reprocessed transaction is the same as on the previous transaction. Otherwise, the COD System will reject the Pell Grant origination record.

Records Submitted to the COD System On or After April 16, 2018 for Students With Decreased Awards

For Pell-eligible students who already have a 2018–19 Pell Grant award in the COD System but whose Pell Grant award amount decreased due to the revised 2018–19 Pell Grant schedules, schools must take one of the following actions:

  1. Submit the decreased Pell Grant award amount based on the new schedules. Because the May 22, 2018 CPS reprocessing will not include students who were already Pell-eligible, the CPS transaction number corresponding to the award will not change.

    OR

  2. Let the current award stand without changes; the COD System will correct the disbursement amount to match the revised 2018–19 Full-Time Pell Grant schedule amount when a school submits a disbursement record. Note: This option only applies to “correcting” schools.

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.

If your students have questions regarding the 2018–19 fafsa.gov website or results they receive from application or correction submissions, they may contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or by email at FederalStudentAidCustomerService@ed.gov. TDD/TTY service is also available at 1-800-730-8913.

   

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