Federal Student Aid - IFAP
   

Publication Date: June 15, 2007

Author: William Leith, Acting General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid

Summary: Implementation of Additional 2007-2008 COD System Functionality


Posted on 06-15-2007


During the period June 29-30, 2007, we plan to update the 2007-2008 Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System with new COD Web site user enhancements and functionality. Of particular note, we will implement functionality that will allow COD Web site users to reset their own passwords and unlock their own accounts. In addition to this and a few other COD Web site improvements, we will implement revised Direct Subsidized Loan/Direct Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) materials to reflect the loan limit changes effective July 1, 2007.

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

  • COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information

  • COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications (three subsections)

  • Contact Information

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

COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information

In order to install the system changes that will enhance the COD System and Web site—

  • We will suspend COD batch processing beginning at 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, June 29, 2007. Records submitted after 8:00 P.M. (ET) will be held and processed after 1:00 A.M. (ET) on Saturday, June 30, 2007.

  • The COD Web site will be unavailable from 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, June 29, 2007 until 1:00 A.M. (ET) on Saturday, June 30, 2007.

Additionally, for Direct Loan participants—

  • The Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site will be unavailable from 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, June 29, 2007 until 1:00 A.M. (ET) on Saturday, June 30, 2007.

    Individuals starting the process by 7:00 P.M. (ET) on June 29th will be able to complete their MPNs before the Web site becomes unavailable. Individuals attempting to access the Web site after the cutoff time will see a Web site maintenance message and will not be able to start the process or retrieve an existing MPN.

COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications

New Password Reset & Account Unlock Via COD Web Site

We will implement additional COD System functionality that will allow COD Web site users to reset passwords, unlock accounts, and update profiles via the COD Web site. The implementation of this new functionality will require each user to set up a Challenge Questions Profile. After the user’s profile is set up, he or she will be able to reset his or her password, unlock his or her account, and update his or her profile.

  • A user’s password will continue to be valid for 90 days after the date of the most recent password change. As a new feature, 10 days before a password is due to expire, we will inform the user via e-mail of the upcoming password expiration.

  • A user’s account will continue to be valid for 90 days after the date of the most recent login to the COD Web site. As another new feature, 10 days before an account is due to expire, we will inform the user via e-mail of the upcoming account expiration.

    Note: If there is no activity on a user’s account for 90 days, we will deactivate the account. A user whose account has been deactivated will not be able to use the new password reset and account unlock functionality. The user will need to contact his or her security administrator to reactivate the account.

The basic steps for completing the new password reset and account unlock functions are explained below. For additional information, including COD Web site screen shots that illustrate these new functions, refer to the “Password Reset & Account Unlock User Guide” attached to this announcement.

Setting Up A Challenge Questions Profile (Completed by User)

Upon completion of the 2007-2008 COD System update on June 30, 2007, the first time a COD Web site user accesses the COD Web site, he or she will be redirected to a new screen called Set Challenge Questions. This will apply to previously established COD Web site users and new COD Web site users.

From the Set Challenge Questions screen, the user will be required to complete the following actions:

  • Update e-mail address – It is important for the user to provide his or her most current e-mail address. This is the address to which we will e-mail temporary passwords when the user resets his or her password or unlocks his or her account in the future.

  • Set up a Challenge Questions Profile by selecting and providing unique answers to three out of five challenge questions – The selected challenge questions will display for the user when he or she attempts to reset his or her password or unlock his or her account in the future. This process ensures that only the authorized user is allowed to utilize the password reset and account unlock functionality associated with his or her account.

For detailed instructions on how a user provides the most current e-mail address and sets up challenge questions via the COD Web site, refer to pages 2-3 in the “Password Reset & Account Unlock User Guide” attached to this announcement.

Resetting A Password (Completed by User)

Once a Challenge Questions Profile has been established, a COD Web site user who has forgotten his or her password can reset it by simply entering his or her valid User name and clicking on the new Reset Password link. This link will be located on the Login to the Common Origination & Disbursement Web Site screen. After clicking on the Reset Password link, a new Password Reset and Account Unlock screen will appear. This new screen will display the three challenge questions previously established by the user. The user’s password will reset when all three questions are answered correctly. Additionally, the user will receive a new temporary password via e-mail.

Note: A user’s Challenge Questions Profile will be locked if all challenge questions are answered incorrectly on the third of three failed attempts. If this happens, the user will need to contact his or her security administrator to reset the user’s password.

For detailed instructions on how a user resets a password via the COD Web site, refer to pages 4-8 in the “Password Reset & Account Unlock User Guide” attached to this announcement.

Unlocking An Account (Completed by User)

Once a Challenge Questions Profile has been established, a COD Web site user whose account has been locked can unlock it by simply entering a valid User name and clicking on the new Unlock Account link. This link will be located on the Login to the Common Origination & Disbursement Web Site screen. After clicking on the Unlock Account link, a new Password Reset and Account Unlock screen will appear. This new screen will display the three challenge questions previously established by the user. The user’s account will unlock when all three questions are answered correctly. Additionally, the user will receive a new temporary password via e-mail.

Note: A user’s Challenge Questions Profile will be locked if all challenge questions are answered incorrectly on the third of three failed attempts. If this happens, the user will need to contact his or her security administrator to reset the user’s password.

For detailed instructions on how a user unlocks an account via the COD Web site, refer to pages 9-13 in the “Password Reset & Account Unlock User Guide” attached to this announcement.

Updating A Profile (Completed by User)

A COD Web site user will be able to update his or her e-mail address, phone number, password, and challenge questions via a new Update Your Profile screen. The user will be able to make these updates at any time.

For detailed instructions on how a user updates his or her profile via the COD Web site, refer to page 14 in the “Password Reset & Account Unlock User Guide” attached to this announcement.

Updating A Profile (Completed by Security Administrator)

A COD Web site security administrator will be able to update a COD Web site user’s profile via the Update User Profile screen. When using this screen, the security administrator must confirm the user’s current e-mail address. The security administrator will be able to view the Challenge Questions Locked flag but will not be able to update this flag. In addition, the security administrator will be able to view the questions previously established by the user; however, he or she will not be able to view the user’s answers to these questions.

For detailed instructions on how a security administrator updates a user’s profile via the COD Web site, refer to page 15 in the “Password Reset & Account Unlock User Guide” attached to this announcement.

Unlocking Challenge Questions Profile (Completed by User)

As noted above, a COD Web site user’s Challenge Questions Profile will be locked if all challenge questions are answered incorrectly on the third of three failed attempts. If this happens, the user will need to contact his or her security administrator to reset the password. After the security administrator resets the user’s password, the user will need to unlock his or her Challenge Questions Profile.

Once the security administrator provides the user with a temporary password, the user will use it to update his or her password and log in to the COD Web site. After logging in, a new Update Challenge Questions screen will appear. This new screen will display the user’s e-mail address and the three challenge questions and answers previously established by the user. The user will review and update his or her challenge questions and answers and then click UNLOCK to save the questions and answers and unlock the Challenge Questions Profile. The user will then be forwarded to the Welcome screen or the School Search screen.

For detailed instructions on how a user unlocks a Challenge Questions Profile via the COD Web site, refer to pages 16-17 in the “Password Reset & Account Unlock User Guide” attached to this announcement.

Improvements to Person Information Screens on COD Web Site

We will implement improvements to the COD Web site’s Person Information screens for the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant), Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant), and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) programs. Upon completion of the 2007-2008 COD System update on June 30, 2007, the following improvements will be in place:

  • A new column, Grade Level, will be added to the Person ACG Information, Person National SMART Information, and Person Direct Loan Information screens.

  • New totals will display on the Person Pell Information, Person ACG Information, Person National SMART Information, and Person Direct Loan Information screens.

    • The Person Pell Information screen will reflect total award amount approved and total award amount disbursed figures for a specific award year.

    • The Person ACG Information, Person National SMART Information, and Person Direct Loan Information screens will reflect total award amount approved and total award amount disbursed figures for a specific grade level within a specific award year.

Revised Direct Subsidized Loan/Direct Unsubsidized Loan MPN Addendum and PLD

As part of the changes to the student loan programs made by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (the HERA), Pub. L. 109-171, some (but not all) of the annual loan limits that apply to Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan borrowers will increase for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2007. We previously communicated the details related to these annual loan limit changes in Direct Loan Bulletin 07-07 .

At this time, we will implement a revised Addendum to the Direct Subsidized Loan/Direct Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (addendum) and a revised Plain Language Disclosure for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans (PLD) to reflect the loan limit changes effective July 1, 2007. Upon completion of the 2007-2008 COD System update on June 30, 2007, we will use the revised addendum and the revised PLD as follows:

  • The revised addendum will be presented to borrowers who complete the Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN on the Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site and included in paper Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN packages.

  • The revised PLD will be included in paper Subsidized/Unsubsidized Disclosure Statement packages when a borrower receives a second or subsequent loan under a previously signed MPN.

Note: In a forthcoming Direct Loan Bulletin posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site , we will communicate information about the availability and use of the revised addendum and the revised PLD by schools that produce and/or provide MPNs and Disclosure Statements to students.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the update to the 2007-2008 COD System, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/4PGRANT (800/474-7268) for ACG, National SMART Grant, and Pell Grant or 800/848-0978 for Direct Loan. You may also e-mail CODSupport@acs-inc.com.

Attachments/Enclosures:

Password Reset & Account Unlock User Guide (June 2007) in PDF Format, 2MB, 18 Pages