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References and Documentation
 
  For archived technical references and guides, click here.

Customer Service Centers

Description: Federal Student Aid�s customer service centers are available to assist the financial aid community with questions or concerns related to the financial aid process. These resources allow a customer to go directly to the source to get specialized help. Contacting the customer service centers during their operating hours is the most efficient way to resolve a problem and find the answer to a question. The contact information available includes toll-free phone numbers and Web site information for easy access.

COD Technical Reference
2014-2015
2013-2014
2012-2013

Description: The Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Technical Reference provides technical specifications and record layouts for transmitting Pell Grant and Direct Loan data to the COD System.  This document is an accurate reflection of the COD System at the time of the document's publication.

CPS Test System
2014-2015
2013-2014
2012-2013

Description: The CPS Test System is designed to allow schools to test electronic application and/or correction data from their system with the CPS. This testing is done outside the normal CPS production environment. The CPS will provide test files of application records and matching ISIRs to be used for the tests. As an alternative, schools can submit application and renewal records they have created to match the school's expected results. To submit test correction records that have been created by the CPS, the school will need to call CPS/SAIG Technical Support for record IDs that will process successfully in the CPS Test System. The CPS Test System also has demos for FAFSA on the Web, Spanish FAFSA on the Web, Corrections on the Web, Renewal FAFSA on the Web, and FAA Access to CPS Online. For questions regarding the CPS Test System, please contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947, or via email at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

EDExpress Packaging Technical Reference
2014-2015
2013-2014
2012-2013


Description: The EDExpress Packaging Technical Reference provides instructions and record layouts for schools or other organizations that need to interface their own software with EDExpress for packaging. Record layouts are included for all imports from external systems, such as Packaging Import External Add, Packaging Import External Change, and Packaging Import Add Funds. Packaging module setup guidance and setup worksheets are also provided.

 

Electronic Data Exchange Technical Reference
2014-2015
2013-2014
2012-2013


Description: The Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) Technical Reference provides sufficient programmer specifications and information to design or build your own software to complement or take the place of the EDExpress software provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for sending and receiving Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data. The EDE Technical Reference includes information about record layouts, required edits, print assistance, and reject messages that are applicable for electronic FAFSAs, Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs), electronic corrections, and signature records.


Guaranty Agency TEF File

Description: The Guaranty Agency (GA) Threshold, Error Code, and Field Code (TEF) file, contains the software parameters for load error processing, error field names, and messages for processing of the Load Error file.  GAs must ensure they “refresh” the TEF file on a quarterly basis.  If you need any assistance importing the updated TEF file into the GA DataPrep software contact NSLDS customer service at 1-800-999-8219 or by email at nslds@ed.gov.
ISIR Guide
2014-2015
2013-2014

Description: The ISIR Guide assists Financial Aid Administrators (FAAs) in interpreting student information on the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).  The term ISIR refers to all processed student information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as key processing results and National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) financial aid history information.  The ISIR is sent electronically to institutions by the Central Processing System (CPS).

 

Perkins TEF File

Description: The Perkins Threshold, Error Code, and Field Code (TEF) file, contains the software parameters for load error processing, error field names, and messages for processing of the Load Error file for schools or servicers that submit Perkins Loan data.  Schools and/or servicers must ensure that they “refresh” the TEF file on a quarterly basis.  If you need any assistance importing the updated TEF file into the Perkins DataPrep software contact NSLDS customer service at 1-800-999-8219 or by email at nslds@ed.gov.

Renewal FAFSA Process Guide
2007-2008
2006-2007

Description: The Renewal FAFSA Process Guide provides useful information to financial aid administrators (FAAs) regarding the renewal application process, including a summary of major changes and enhancements, a schedule of important dates, and samples of Renewal Reminders.

SAR Comment Codes and Text
2014-2015
2013-2014

Description: The SAR Comment Codes and Text document is designed as a standalone guide, as well as a companion to the 2014-2015 Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) Technical Reference. This guide includes a description of changes to the comments for 2014-2015, provides the complete text for all 2014-2015 comments, and database match information. A text file of the SAR comments can be found under the CPS Test System.

Summary of Changes for the Application Processing System
2014-2015
2013-2014

Description: The Summary of Changes for the Application Processing System is designed to meet the reference needs of financial aid administrators (FAAs), programmers, and data processing staff. In this guide, we describe updates and enhancements to the 2014-2015 application processing system and to the student and school Web products. We recommend you review the information provided in this guide as some enhancements may require you to modify your office procedures and system operations.

This guide provides information about changes and enhancements made to the application processing system for 2014-2015, including the following topics:

• Major changes to the 2014-2015 application processing system
• Application processing system schedule for 2014-2015
• 2014-2015 FAFSA, including information about ordering and distribution of FAFSA on the Web Worksheets
• 2014-2015 FAFSA on the Web
• 2014-2015 FAA Access to CPS Online (including Return of Title IV Funds and the ISIR Analysis Tool)
• 2014-2015 Central Processing System (CPS), including database matches, edits, need analysis, communications sent to students, and other notable changes

XML ISIR
2004-2005
Description: The XML schema describes in detail the structure of the ISIR document. It is intended for the application developers who are familiar with the tools and technologies around XML. The ISIR record layout/data description lists all the XML tags available for the ISIR record, provides a brief description of the field and lists valid field content for each tag. The 2004-2005 ISIR field number is also provided as a reference. A sample ISIR in XML format is included in this posting. For informational purposes, the sample ISIR contains values for all possible ISIR fields.
 
    This page was last modified on 12/23/2013