Posted Date: March 1, 2016

Author:  Sue O'Flaherty, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Operational Implementation Guidance - Federal Student Aid's Implementation of 2016-2017 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

This Electronic Announcement provides institutions with important information about the system, Web, and software modifications we are making to reflect the 2016-2017 Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) payment and disbursement schedules, including changes we must implement to the Central Processing System (CPS), the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, and the EDExpress for Windows software.

The 2016-2017 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules provided in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-01, posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site on January 29, 2016, must be used for all 2016-2017 Pell Grant award calculations. As noted in the Dear Colleague Letter, the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2016-2017 Award Year is $5,815, an increase of $40 from the $5,775 maximum Pell Grant award for the 2015-2016 Award Year. The corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) for 2016-2017 is 5234 as compared to 5198 for the 2015-2016 Award Year. When we began processing 2016-2017 FAFSAs on January 2, 2016, we used the 2015-2016 maximum EFC of 5198 to establish Pell Grant eligibility and reported that eligibility on Student Aid Reports (SARs) and in Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs). As a result of the EFC increase, a small number of applicants (those with EFCs greater than or equal to 5199 and less than or equal to 5234) who would not have been Pell Grant eligible using the 2015-2016 Award Year Pell Grant schedules will be eligible for the 2016-2017 Award Year.

We have begun the work needed to modify our systems, Web and software products, technical documents, training materials, and publications to reflect the 2016-2017 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules. In the sections below, we describe the impact to the following systems, Web sites, and software products, as well as provide the anticipated completion date for each update:

  • Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing

  • Impact on the COD System

  • Impact on EDExpress

Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing

On April 3, 2016, we will update the CPS to use the 2016-2017 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules to calculate Pell Grant eligibility and estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts for all new 2016-2017 Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs), as well as for corrections to previously-filed FAFSAs.

As part of the CPS system update, we will also update our SAR print operations to display estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts based on the recently-posted schedules. Similar updates will be implemented to FAFSA on the Web confirmation page functionality on July 1, 2016.

After we implement the changes to the CPS, we will need to reprocess records for students who completed a 2016-2017 FAFSA® or submitted 2016-2017 corrections before the April 3, 2016 changes were implemented and who are now, based upon the posted 2016-2017 schedules, newly eligible for a 2016-2017 Pell Grant.

Since the actual maximum EFC for 2016-2017 is 5234, the CPS will reprocess 2016-2017 transactions on April 6, 2016 for students whose most recent transaction has an EFC in the range of 5199 to 5234, in order to properly indicate that the student has Pell Grant eligibility.

The April 6, 2016 reprocessing will create a new SAR and ISIR transaction for any student with an EFC that is greater than or equal to 5199 and less than or equal to 5234 to reflect the addition of Pell Grant eligibility. We estimate that fewer than 5,000 students out of the more than six million 2016-2017 FAFSAs we will have processed prior to that date will be impacted by the change.

Several methods exist for schools to identify records resulting from the April 6, 2016 reprocessing:

  • Reprocessed ISIRs will be sent under the IGSG17OP message class.

  • Paper SARs and ISIRs will include SAR comment code 172, which states “This SAR was produced because we processed a change to your information based on information reported to us by another agency or as a result of a processing system change. Review your SAR to see what effect, if any, this change has had on your application, and call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) if you have any questions.”

  • ISIRs produced as a result of the April 6, 2016 reprocessing will include a value of “01” for the Reprocessed Reason Code (ISIR field #230).

  • The FAA Information page in Student Inquiry on the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site will display “01 – Reprocessed due to change in the Pell Maximum EFC” for the Reprocessing Code for the transaction resulting from the April 6, 2016 reprocessing.

Note: FAA Access to CPS Online users who want to request Pell-eligible ISIRs with EFCs in the range of 5199 to 5234 must wait until after the ISIR Request edits are updated on July 1, 2016.

Impact on the COD System

During the period March 9-14, 2016, we plan to implement COD System functionality that supports processing for the 2016-2017 Award Year. We will implement the 2016-2017 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System during this release. Detailed information about the March 9-14, 2016 COD System update was provided in the February 25, 2016 Electronic Announcement on the IFAP Web site.

Impact on EDExpress

EDExpress 2016-2017, Release 1.0, posted to the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site on January 4, 2016, does not include the 2016-2017 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules and instead carries over the schedules from the 2015-2016 Award Year. Release 2.0, scheduled for release in late April 2016, will update the Packaging and Pell Grant modules to use the 2016-2017 schedules.

EDExpress Packaging users who want to manually add or adjust Pell Grant awards according to the 2016-2017 schedules before Release 2.0 is available must use the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-01. After Release 2.0 is available, EDExpress users who already packaged students using Release 1.0 must repackage those students using Release 2.0 to ensure an accurate Pell Grant award.

Contact Information

If you have questions regarding the updates to the CPS or EDExpress, 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 questions regarding the updates to the COD System, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/474-7268 or by e-mail at CODSupport@ed.gov.

   

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