11-17: Operational Implementation Guidance - Federal Student Aid's Implementation of 2017-2018 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

Posted Date: November 17, 2016

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

Subject: Operational Implementation Guidance - Federal Student Aid's Implementation of 2017-2018 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 2017-2018 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 2017-2018 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules provided in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-19, posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website on October 18, 2016, must be used for all 2017-2018 Pell Grant award calculations. As noted in the Dear Colleague Letter, the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2017-2018 Award Year is $5,920, an increase of $105 from the $5,815 maximum Pell Grant award for the 2016-2017 Award Year. The corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) for 2017-2018 is 5328 as compared to 5234 for the 2016-2017 Award Year. When we began processing 2017-2018 FAFSAs on October 1, 2016, we used the 2016-2017 maximum EFC of 5234 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 small maximum EFC increase for 2017-2018, a limited number of applicants (those with EFCs greater than or equal to 5235 and less than or equal to 5328) who would not have been Pell Grant eligible using the 2016-2017 Award Year Pell Grant schedules will be Pell Grant eligible for the 2017-2018 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 2017-2018 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules. In the sections below, we describe the impact to the following systems, websites, 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 December 11, 2016, we will update the CPS to use the 2017-2018 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules (and maximum eligible EFC) to determine Pell Grant eligibility and estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts for all newly-submitted 2017-2018 Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs), as well as for all 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 2017-2018 schedules. Similar updates will be implemented to FAFSA on the Web confirmation page functionality on February 5, 2017.

After we implement the changes to the CPS, we will need to reprocess records for those students who completed a 2017-2018 FAFSA® or submitted 2017-2018 corrections before the December 11, 2016 CPS changes were implemented and who are now, based upon the 2017-2018 schedules and maximum EFC, newly eligible for a 2017-2018 Pell Grant.

The CPS will reprocess 2017-2018 transactions on December 13, 2016 in order to properly indicate Pell Grant eligibility. The December 13, 2016 reprocessing will create a new SAR and ISIR transaction for any student with an EFC that is greater than or equal to 5235 and less than or equal to 5328 to reflect the addition of Pell Grant eligibility. We estimate that fewer than 11,000 students out of the more than 6.6 million 2017-2018 FAFSAs we will have processed prior to that date will be impacted by the change.

Note that student records that had been Pell Grant eligible based on the 2016-2017 schedules and maximum EFC do not need to be reprocessed even though the estimated Pell Grant award amount presented to the student has changed. Schools should simply use the 2017-2018 schedules when awarding and disbursing 2017-2018 Pell Grants.

Several methods exist for schools to identify records resulting from the December 13, 2016 reprocessing:

  • Reprocessed ISIRs will be sent under the IGSG18OP 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 December 13, 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 website will display “01 – Reprocessed due to change in the Pell Maximum EFC” for the Reprocessing Code for the transaction resulting from the December 13, 2016 reprocessing.

Note: FAA Access to CPS Online users who want to request Pell-eligible ISIRs with EFCs in the range of 5235 to 5328 must wait until after the ISIR Request edits are updated on February 5, 2017.

Impact on the COD System

In late March 2017, we plan to implement COD System functionality that supports processing for the 2017-2018 Award Year. We will implement the 2017-2018 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System at that time. Detailed information about the March 2017 COD System update will be provided in an Electronic Announcement posted to the IFAP website prior to the COD System release.

Impact on EDExpress

EDExpress 2017-2018, Release 1.0, posted to the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) website on October 3, 2016, does not include the 2017-2018 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules and instead carries over the schedules from the 2016-2017 Award Year. Release 2.0, scheduled for release in mid-April 2017, will update the Packaging and Pell Grant modules to use the 2017-2018 schedules.

EDExpress Packaging users who want to manually add or adjust Pell Grant awards according to the 2017-2018 schedules before Release 2.0 is available must use the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-19. 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 email 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 email at CODSupport@ed.gov.

 

Publication Date: 11/18/2016


Related Content

Education Dept. Restores Pell Eligibility to Nearly 300,000 Students

MORE | ADD TO FAVORITES

House GOP Bill Would Require Non-Completers to Repay Pell Grants

MORE | ADD TO FAVORITES

VIEW ALL
View Desktop Version