Posted Date: May 18, 2009

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

Subject: CCRAA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, and EDESuite) - Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009, Release 5.0

We are pleased to announce the posting of EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009, Release 5.0, on our Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site, located at https://www.fsadownload.ed.gov. Release 5.0 is the final EDExpress 2008-2009 enhancement release to implement provisions of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), Pub. L. 110-84. Release 5.0 also implements updates to the EDExpress interface with the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site.

 

Important Note! You must install Release 5.0 to continue to use the EDExpress 2008-2009 interface with the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site. For more information, see the “Security Authentication Updates for FAA Access to CPS Online Interface in EDExpress” section later in this letter.

 

In addition to other changes, the CCRAA authorized the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program for implementation beginning with the 2008-2009 Award Year. The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year in grant assistance to a student who agrees to serve for at least four years as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. A TEACH Grant recipient who does not complete the required teaching within a specified timeframe, or fails to meet certain other requirements of the TEACH Grant Program, will be required to repay the TEACH Grant as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.

 

EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 5.0 enhances TEACH Grant functionality by adding the ability to recreate TEACH Grant records in your EDExpress database by importing a Rebuild file (messages class THRB09OP) generated by the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System.  Release 5.0 also adds the ability to import TEACH Grant ATS Discharge Report (message class ATSDISOP) generated by the COD System. 

 

Note: The COD System began producing TEACH Grant Rebuild files and the ATS Discharge Report on March 28, 2009. For more information, see the March 20, 2009 Electronic Announcement posted on the IFAP Web site at http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/032009CODSysImpl0910.html.

 

As with Release 4.0 (posted in January 2009), Release 5.0 also includes updates to data edits in the Direct Loan module to enable the origination and disbursement of Direct Unsubsidized loans according to the annual loan limit increases authorized by the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 (ECASLA), Pub. L. 110-227. See the “Direct Loan Award Limits in Release 5.0” section of this message for more information.

 

In addition to the Release 5.0 software, the EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 5.0 Cover Letter is now available on the FSAdownload Web site. This document, along with the Installation Guide for EDExpress for Windows 2008-2009 (also available on the FSAdownload Web site), contains important information and guidance regarding EDExpress 2008-2009 functionality that you should review.

 

Security Authentication Updates for FAA Access to CPS Online Interface in EDExpress

 

As described in the April 6, 2009 Electronic Announcement posted on the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/040609PMSARegistration.html, Federal Student Aid implemented a new authentication process for the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site on May 17, 2009 in order to eliminate the use of personal identifiers such as Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth (DOB), and name ID as login elements.

 

To access the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site through the EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 5.0 interface (or directly through a Web browser at faaaccess.ed.gov), you must apply for and use a new FSA User ID and password. The login credentials you used in previous EDExpress 2008-2009 versions will no longer work as of May 17, 2009.

 

All destination point administrators (DPAs), secondary destination point administrators (SDPAs), and other FAA Access users at your school can obtain their new FSA User ID by completing the FSA User ID enrollment process.

 

Note: For more detailed information on the FSA User ID creation process, see the April 6, 2009 Electronic Announcement posted on the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/040609PMSARegistration.html.

 

We made the following changes to EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 5.0 as a result of the new authentication process:

  • We modified FAA Access setup (Tools, Global, FAA Access) to eliminate collection of all personally identifiable information (SSN, DOB, and Name ID). You can continue to define default values for TG #, School Code, and the Application Save/Restore Password, which EDExpress will feed to the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site when you access it through the software's interface.

  • We also updated all EDExpress interfaces to the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site, including the FAFSA and Student Inquiry tabs and all applicable View menu options, to eliminate collection of personally identifiable information during the authentication process. After you provide the TG #, School Code, and the Application Save/Restore Password on the FAA Access Automation Information dialog box, EDExpress interfaces with the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site using the new authentication process, where you must provide your new FSA User ID and password.


If you require any assistance with using the updated EDExpress interface to the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site or have questions regarding establishing your FSA User ID or password, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

 

Direct Loan Award Limits in Release 5.0

 

As with EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 4.0, the installation of Release 5.0 will load an updated program file we originally posted to the FSAdownload Web site (https://www.fsadownload.ed.gov) in July 2008 as an optional enhancement for Release 3.0. This program file change enables Direct Loan module users to originate and disburse Direct Unsubsidized Loans according to the annual loan limit increases authorized by the ECASLA. The ECASLA loan limit increases are effective for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008.

 

As noted in the July 17, 2008 electronic announcement posted to the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/081708ECASLALoanLimits.html, Federal Student Aid originally advised schools to originate additional loans in EDExpress 2008-2009 to cover the increased loan eligibility provided by the ECASLA, but received subsequent feedback from EDExpress Direct Loan users indicating that creating additional loan records was not a viable workaround. As a result, we developed and posted the program file, which relaxed the software’s loan limit edits, as an interim solution for users, and we have now incorporated the program file’s functionality into EDExpress 2008-2009 from Release 4.0 forward.

 

Note:  Direct Loan schools that install any EDExpress 2008-2009 version from Release 4.0 forward should be aware that these versions remove all software edits pertaining to Direct Loan subsidized and unsubsidized annual loan limits from the origination process.  After installing any EDExpress 2008-2009 version from Release 4.0 forward, you should plan to more closely monitor and verify loan award amounts for individual students and ensure they do not exceed annual loan limits based on your students’ eligibility.

Policy guidance on ECASLA loan limits can be found in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-08-08, posted on the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/061908GEN0808.html, and operational guidance can be found in Direct Loan Bulletin DLB-08-16, posted on the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/dlbulletins/062708DLB0816.html.

 

Note:  EDExpress 2009-2010, Release 2.0, posted to the FSADownload Web site on March 30, 2009, restores loan limit edits to the EDExpress Direct Loan module for the 2009-2010 award cycle.

 

Before You Install Release 5.0

 

Before upgrading to Release 5.0 from an earlier version of EDExpress 2008-2009, ensure you have a valid, reliable backup copy of your current EDExpress 2008-2009 production database (expres89.mdb).

 

You must also make sure there are no record locks on the database and that no user IDs are logged in by following the steps listed below:

 

1) To check for record locks, select Tools, Utilities, Clear Locks from the menu bar. If you receive the message “No records selected,” there are no record locks. If the Clear Locks dialog box appears, click Select All, then OK to clear any record locks.

 

2) To check for logged-in user IDs, select Tools, Setup, Global, Security Users from the menu bar, and then click Retrieve. The user ID you are currently using should be the only ID with a “Y” displayed in the Logged In column (you can disregard the Locked column). Select any user ID displayed as logged in and click OK. Clear the Logged In? checkbox and click OK. Repeat the process for each logged-in user ID except the one you are using.

 

After clearing any record locks and logging out any user IDs, run the Compact and Repair Database and Verify Database utilities by selecting Tools, Utilities from the menu bar before installing Release 5.0. You should run Compact and Repair Database first, then Verify Database, and lastly run Compact and Repair Database again.

 

Release 5.0 Download/Installation Process 

 

Release 5.0 is available on the FSAdownload Web site in two formats. You can download the entire software in one file, called express89r5.exe, or you can download the software in separate “disk” installment files, which can be copied to a local area network (LAN) drive or CDs. Review the download and installation instructions in the Installation Guide for further information.

 

You are required to have Windows 2000 or Windows XP as your PC workstation operating system to run Release 5.0.

 

Note: We tested Microsoft Windows Vista as an operating system for our EDESuite PC products in 2008. For information on our Vista testing results, issues we discovered, and steps schools need to take in order to run EDExpress on Vista operating systems, see the September 18, 2008 electronic announcement posted on the IFAP Web site, located at ifap.ed.gov.

 

Important Installation Note: You must be an Administrator on your workstation to install EDExpress 2008-2009 in the Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating systems. If you are not an Administrator, you will receive a warning when you try to install EDExpress. After an Administrator has installed EDExpress, you can run it as a member of the Power Users group. If your database is on a network server, you must be a Power User or higher on the network (or “domain”) as well as on your workstation. There are no workarounds for these Windows rights issues. Consult with your school's technical department if you receive a warning that an Administrator must install the EDExpress software.

 

EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 5.0 can be installed as an upgrade to any earlier 2008-2009 version (Release 1.0 through Release 4.0).  You must have an earlier version installed to run an upgrade (or “custom”) installation of Release 5.0.

 

To upgrade to Release 5.0, select either the Stand Alone Custom or Workstation Custom option during installation, depending on your EDExpress operating environment. Do not select the “Database” checkbox unless you are performing a first-time installation or want to overwrite your EDExpress 2008-2009 database. If you choose to overwrite your database, all data previously entered will be lost.

 

Note: If you have not installed EDExpress 2008-2009 on your system, you can proceed directly to a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation of Release 5.0. Remember, a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation will load a completely new, blank 2008-2009 EDExpress database to your system. If a database already exists for 2008-2009 on your system, a full installation of Release 5.0 will overwrite it and all data previously entered will be lost.

 

If you receive any prompts during the Release 5.0 installation indicating an existing file was found and asking if you want to overwrite it, click Yes.

 

After you upgrade to Release 5.0, reboot your PC, then log in to EDExpress 2008-2009 to allow the software to perform a one-time only database update. This update loads important changes to your database structure.

 

If You Have Questions 

 

If you have any questions regarding downloading, installing, or using EDExpress 2008-2009, Release 5.0, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

 

You can also post questions regarding EDExpress on FSATECH. FSATECH is an
electronic mailing list for technical questions about Federal Student Aid systems, software, and mainframe products. For more information on subscribing to FSATECH, go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/services/fsatechsubscribe.html.

 

If you have any questions about the COD System, 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.

 

   

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