Posted Date: October 20, 2015

Author:  Lisa DiCarlo, Director, Student Experience Group, Federal Student Aid

Subject: 2016-2017 CPS Test System User Guide Available on FSAdownload Web Site

We are pleased to announce the posting of the 2016-2017 CPS Test System User Guide on the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site, located at

This guide provides instructions for using the Central Processing System (CPS) Test System, which includes two testing environments: a mainframe test environment and a Web Demonstration (demo) site, located at

Mainframe Test System

The mainframe portion of the CPS Test System is designed to test application and correction data processing between your system and the CPS outside the production environment. You can use CPS test files of application records and matching Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs), or you can create and submit your own application records.

To submit only test correction records you have created, you must contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support to request record IDs that will process successfully in the CPS Test System. The mainframe portion of the CPS Test System will be available on December 27, 2015.

Note: If changes to the CPS occur between the date the 2016-2017 CPS Test System becomes available and January 2, 2016 (the date the CPS begins processing 2016-2017 data), the changes will be incorporated into the mainframe test system as they are identified and resolved. We will post an Issues Log in Microsoft Excel format to the FSAdownload Web site listing issues or changes to the mainframe test system. Each entry in the log will include the date the item was identified, resolved, or resulted in a change, and will include the status of resolved and unresolved issues so that you can easily determine if and when previously identified issues were resolved. It will also indicate whether the specifications or test cases have been updated for 2016-2017.

Web Demo Site

The Web portion of the CPS Test System contains demo versions of both the FAFSA on the Web and FAA Access to CPS Online Web sites. These demo sites offer most of the features of the production versions of FAFSA on the Web and FAA Access to CPS Online (including the Return of Title IV Funds) and can be used as a training tool for students, parents, and financial aid office staff.

The FAA Access to CPS Online and FAFSA on the Web demo sites will be available for use at on December 27, 2015. We will post an electronic announcement to alert the community when the sites are “live” and available for use.

Contact Information

The CPS Test System User Guide is available in the “Technical References and Guides” section of the FSAdownload Web site under the “2016-2017” link for “CPS Test System.”

If you have any questions regarding the 2016-2017 CPS Test System User Guide, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806), or by e-mail at


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