Federal Student Aid - IFAP
   

Publication Date: July 10, 2006

Author: G. Kay Jacks, General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid

Summary: Availability of Direct Loan (DL) Tools, Release 6.0

Posted on 07-10-2006

The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the availability of Direct Loan (DL) Tools for Windows, Release 6.0, a supplemental software product for Direct Loan participants. The software is available for download from the Department's Federal Student Aid Download Web site, located at fsadownload.ed.gov.

In addition, the DL Tools Release 6.0 Cover Letter and the DL Tools Installation Guide are available on the FSAdownload Web site. These documents contain important information regarding DL Tools functionality, enhancements, and installation that you should review.

Volume IV (DL Tools) of the 2006-2007 COD Technical Reference, which includes external import record layouts and other information for system administrators, will be posted to the FSAdownload Web site in late July 2006. A separate message will be posted when the document is available.

DL Tools is a multi-year, Windows-based application designed to provide the following functionality related to all Direct Loan schools' software:

* Compare the School Account Statement (SAS) report loan/disbursement data to loans and actual disbursements recorded in EDExpress or an external file, and/or compare the SAS to the DL Tools Cash Database.
* Print the SAS in a readable format.
* Track Cash Receipts (drawdowns) and Refunds of Cash for Direct Loans.
* Rebuild your Direct Loan origination and disbursement records in EDExpress using an automated process.

DL Tools processes data for multiple cycles. Release 6.0 contains Rebuild, Cash Management, and Compare functionalities for the 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007 cycles.

All Direct Loan schools can use the Compare and Cash Management functions. The Rebuild function can be used by schools to rebuild Direct Loan module records in EDExpress for Windows databases. Non-EDExpress users can export data from a rebuilt EDExpress database to recreate non-EDExpress loans or databases. For information on exporting from EDExpress to an external system and creating file formats, see Volume III of the 2006-2007 COD Technical Reference.

If you do not use EDExpress, you can still use DL Tools to assist in reconciling. You can import cash, loan, or disbursement data from your external Direct Loan system into DL Tools and compare your data to the SAS.

**Important DL Tools Comparison Reports Note** DL Tools Loan and Disbursement Comparison Reports are designed to be run using the SAS Reports with YTD (Year-to-Date) detail, not monthly detail. See Direct Loan Bulletin (DLB) 02-36 for information about default settings and SAS option selections. You may change your report options (YTD detail, for example) by contacting your COD School Relations customer service representative at 800/848-0978 or by e-mail at CODSupport@acs-inc.com or by accessing the COD Web site at cod.ed.gov.

DL Tools Release 6.0 is available on the FSAdownload Web site in two formats. You can download the entire software in one file, called DLTool60.exe, or you can download the software in eight separate "disk" installment files, which can be copied to a network drive or CD-ROM. Review the download 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 DL Tools Release 6.0. Other system and network requirements are outlined in the Installation Guide.

** Important Installation Alert** To install DL Tools for Windows, Release 6.0 in Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you must be an Administrator on your workstation. If you are not an Administrator, you receive a warning when you try to install DL Tools. After an Administrator has installed DL Tools, you can run DL Tools 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 DL Tools software.

DL Tools for Windows Release 6.0 can be installed as an upgrade to DL Tools Release 5.0 in order to carry existing 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 DL Tools data forward.

Note: You cannot access 2003-2004 data in your DL Tools database after you upgrade from Release 5.0 to Release 6.0. We strongly recommend you create a back-up copy of your Release 5.0 database (DLT.mdb) before upgrading to Release 6.0, in the event that you need to access your 2003-2004 data using an earlier version of DL Tools on another PC.

To upgrade DL Tools from Release 5.0 to Release 6.0, run the Stand Alone Custom installation option (for standalone PC environments) or Workstation installation option (for network environments). The Workstation installation option should be run on all PCs in your office that currently access the DL Tools Release 5.0 database on your network.

The DL Tools database is updated with the Release 6.0 changes the first time you access the DL Tools software following completion of your Stand Alone Custom or Workstation installation(s). You will no longer be able to access data in this database using DL Tools Release 5.0 after this update is completed.

Users installing DL Tools for the first time should perform either the Stand Alone Full installation option (for standalone PC environments) or the Network Server and Workstation installations (for network environments) of Release 6.0. New DL Tools users are not required to have Release 5.0 installed prior to installing Release 6.0.

If you receive any prompt while installing DL Tools indicating an existing file was found and asking if you want to overwrite it, click "Yes."

If you need assistance connecting to the FSAdownload site, downloading DL Tools in single or multiple file format, or with the installation or use of DL Tools, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

If you have technical questions about Federal Student Aid's systems and software, you may want to subscribe to our e-mail listserv, FSATECH. For more information about FSATECH, including how to subscribe, go to http://FSA4Schools.ed.gov, click "Listservs/Mailing Lists" on the left menu, and click the "FSATech" link.