ED Details ISIR Delivery Rollout, Updated Issue Alerts, and New FAFSA Functionality

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Managing Editor

The Department of Education (ED), in an electronic announcement posted on Tuesday evening, informed stakeholders that the transmission of Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) formally began over the weekend and will gradually begin to ramp up.

ED also reminded stakeholders that, per its processing timeline, once ISIRs have started to be delivered at full scale it will take roughly an additional two weeks to clear the backlog of applications that have already been submitted.

This notice from ED also highlighted four issues that have been resolved – each of which had no workaround and prevented applicants from submitting the FAFSA form – with updates to its issues alert page. Those issues preventing the submission of a  FAFSA include: entering an Alien Registration Number that ends in zero; an applicant using a date of birth of 2000 being looped to the unusual circumstances page; users without a Social Security number being unable to enter a FAFSA when upgrading their limited account to a full FSA ID account; and customers who change their citizenship status from eligible non-citizen.

Per ED, the FAFSA Submission Summary will now be available to students who have had their FAFSA processed when they log in to their studentaid.gov account. As ED clears the backlog of submissions, those applicants will receive an email updating them on their FAFSA Submission Summary. Updates will also be made for applicants concerning messaging around Pell Grant eligibility.

ED also announced that the Partner Portal is now live. This replaces FAA Access to CPS Online beginning with the 2024-25 application cycle, though both systems will operate concurrently during the first two application cycle years. Per ED, the new site maintains the functionality of FAA Access with changes to the overall look and feel of the site. At this time, schools may use the Applicant View functionality, which displays the data from applicant records. Additional functionality will be announced as it becomes available for use.

ED also noted that in the initial delivery of ISIRs four new issues were discovered that impact user experience and the overall application process.

The first issue, which has been partially corrected, occurs when the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation omits reported assets for families whose combined AGI of greater than $60,000 requires them to report assets on the FAFSA form, when as individual tax filers their AGIs are below the threshold. The estimated SAI on the FAFSA Submission Summary and the ISIR will correctly consider any required reported assets.  ED is still working to adjust the initial estimated SAI that is provided to students upon completion of the form, prior to processing. Students impacted by this issue will potentially see a discrepancy in their initial SAI upon completion of the FAFSA form versus what their SAI calculation reflects after their form is processed.

Another issue is that if a student has missing family size information, their SAI is not calculated and the FAFSA Submission Summary does not indicate why the SAI has not been calculated. ED said that a potential workaround for this issue is for the student to provide the family size when the student corrections process is available in late March.

On certain internet browsers, the “My Activity” section of the studentaid.gov dashboard does not load when a FAFSA application already exists for a user. ED recommends using Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome.

Lastly, the student’s federal Pell Grant history, that is pulled from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and appears on the ISIR after processing, does not reflect the last three Pell Grant award sequences. However, Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) and Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) flags are still triggering correctly on the ISIR, and schools should continue to review and resolve these flags to ensure students are packaged correctly.


Publication Date: 3/13/2024

William M | 3/13/2024 11:13:30 AM

And the hits keep on coming.

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