Posted Date: August 1, 2012

Author:  Michele Brown, Acting Director, Student Experience Group, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Issue Alert: FAFSA on the Web Issue Preventing Marital Status Change on 2012-2013 Corrections to be Resolved in Early August 2012

We are alerting schools that we have identified an issue on the 2012-2013 FAFSA on the Web site that is preventing users from submitting corrections to marital status information for changes that occur after the initial application was submitted. Under certain circumstances, we have confirmed that users who attempt to correct the marital status value and marital status date on FAFSA on the Web are unable to advance to the Sign and Submit Web page and subsequently submit their correction for processing.

This issue is scheduled to be resolved on August 5, 2012.

Refer to the sections below for more information on the background and workaround for this issue.

Issue Background

We implemented a regulatory-based update to our systems for the 2012-2013 processing cycle to provide financial aid administrators (FAAs) with the discretion to ask an applicant to correct marital status information for changes that occur after the initial application was submitted. If the FAA determines the update is necessary to address an inequity or to more accurately reflect the applicant’s ability to pay, the FAA can override the resulting marital status reject edit.

To support this new functionality, we added a reject (Reject 21) and a corresponding reject override code (Reject Override 21) for 2012-2013. When an applicant uses correction entry on FAFSA on the Web or corrects a paper Student Aid Report (SAR) to update his or her marital status date to a date that falls between the original FAFSA submission date and the correction submission date, the correction record is processed by the Central Processing System (CPS) with Reject 21. Records that have Reject 21 set also have comment 119 included on the SAR and Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) transaction. The FAA can then override the student’s Reject 21 transaction by reentering the new marital status and marital status date in the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site, in the FAA Access interface in EDExpress for Windows 2012-2013, or by using the Reject 21 override in an Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) correction record (CORR13IN).

As described earlier in this message, we have received and confirmed reports by FAAs and students indicating that FAFSA on the Web’s correction entry functionality is triggering a “loop” that prevents the validation and submission of marital status information updates that would otherwise result in a new transaction processed with Reject 21.

This FAFSA on the Web issue occurs when the user’s data meets an edit condition separate from the edit for correcting the marital status or marital status date. The user is presented with a message stating “You reported the date of the student’s marital status to be after the date the student submitted the application.  The student’s marital status and date should only be changed if they were reported incorrectly when the FAFSA was originally submitted, or if a financial aid administrator has instructed you to update this information.” On the error message, the user can either click “Check For Errors” or exit the FAFSA on the Web site without submitting the correction. If the user clicks “Check For Errors,” the same edits and options are generated repeatedly.

For additional background information on the 2012-2013 system changes related to marital status updates and Reject 21, see the 2012-2013 Summary of Changes for the Application Processing System guide, available on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site.

Workaround

There is currently no workaround to the correction entry issue on the FAFSA on the Web site; when it occurs, users must exit the FAFSA on the Web site without submitting the correction record.

To resolve these correction situations prior to the implementation of the FAFSA on the Web update on August 5, 2012, we recommend that you correct the student’s data using the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site or the EDE process. Note that if you submit the correction through the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site, you can correct the marital status and marital status date and set the Reject 21 override code in the same correction transaction. If you submit the correction through EDE, however, you must first correct the data elements that will generate the Reject 21 on the CPS, then submit a subsequent EDE correction on the rejected transaction to set the Reject 21 override code.

You can also ask the student to submit a corrected paper SAR to update their marital status information, and then submit the Reject 21 override code on the resulting rejected transaction using the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site or the EDE process.

Contact Information

We regret any inconvenience this issue may have caused you. If you have any questions regarding this message, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

   

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