Federal Student Aid - IFAP

Publication Date: August 8, 2006

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

Summary:HERA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, EDExpress Suite) --Upcoming Enhancement Release for EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007 Adds Ability to Create Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate/Professional Students

Posted on 08-08-2006

Federal Student Aid wishes to alert all Federal Direct PLUS Loan (Direct PLUS Loan) participants that we are developing an enhancement release for EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007, Release 2.0, that will enable you to begin using the EDExpress software to process Direct PLUS Loan data for graduate or professional students.

The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (the HERA), Pub. L. 109-171, provides for eligible graduate and professional students to receive Direct PLUS Loans on or after July 1, 2006. The HERA provision does not create a new loan program, but rather, allows a new type of borrower-an eligible graduate or professional student-to borrow under the existing Direct PLUS Loan Program. Effective July 1, 2006, we have parent PLUS borrowers and graduate or professional student PLUS borrowers (Grad PLUS borrowers).

EDExpress 2006-2007, August Enhancement Release

The EDExpress 2006-2007 enhancement release, available August 11, 2006 on the Federal Student Aid Download (FSADownload) Web site (http://fsadownload.ed.gov), will load two program files. These files will update data edits in the Direct Loan module to allow the creation of Direct PLUS Loan records for independent students with a college grade level equal to or greater than "6" (1st year graduate/professional). These records can then be exported for transmission to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System. You will also be able to print Master Promissory Notes (MPNs), MPN Manifests, and Disclosure Statements for these records using existing Direct PLUS Loan print options.

Downloading and installing this enhancement release will allow for earlier processing for Direct PLUS Loans for graduate or professional students, prior to the release of EDExpress 2006-2007, Release 3.0. Release 3.0 will have additional functionality specific to Grad PLUS.

Schools that do not use EDExpress 2006-2007 for Direct Loan processing will not need to install this enhancement release.

EDExpress 2006-2007, Release 3.0

EDExpress 2006-2007, Release 3.0, available September 1, 2006, will update Direct Loan functionality to uniquely identify Grad PLUS records on entry tabs, reports, and in other software features.

After installing Release 3.0, a database update process will modify Direct PLUS Loan records with a college grade level equal to or greater than "6" that you created using the August 2006 enhancement release to be uniquely identified as Grad PLUS records within EDExpress.

Note: You do not need to install the August 2006 enhancement release before installing Release 3.0, unless you want to create Direct PLUS Loan records for graduate or professional students prior to September 1, 2006.

If You Have Questions

A follow-up announcement will be posted to the community later in August when the enhancement release for EDExpress 2006-2007, Release 2.0 is available for download.

If you have any questions regarding the EDExpress 2006-2007 software, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

For other questions about the HERA, contact the Federal Research and Customer Care Center (RCCC) at 800/433-7327, 202/275-5532 (fax), or by e-mail at fsa.customer.support@ed.gov.