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Using the DoE integration

Requirements and Warnings

The DOE integration features link your school's financial aid processes with the Federal government's origination and disbursement systems. Among other things, the COD sync feature can affect your school's Current Funding Level in G5. The integration, in other words, triggers real-world changes in how much money the Federal government gives you.

If you are not confident about your knowledge of Federal student aid, its requirements, and its processes, DO NOT USE THIS INTEGRATION! Improper use of these features can lead to considerable financial and even legal penalties for your school.

Only use the DOE integration if:

  • Your school participates in the Title IV program.
  • Your school has credentials to interact with the COD/SAIG system.
  • You employ or contract with an experienced financial aid officer with a thorough knowledge of Federal financial aid and the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

We recommend that financial aid staff at your school complete the DOE's Federal Student Aid Training Course.

DOE integration and Populi

Populi gives an experienced financial aid officer the tools to:

  • Import ISIRs from the Central Processing System (CPS) via the Student Aid Information Gateway (SAIG).
  • Create a financial aid package for a student based on the information from the ISIR.
  • Communicate with the Common Origination and Disbursement system (COD) via SAIG about the accepted aid awards, the funds you intend to draw down, and the estimated disbursement dates (origination). COD, in turn, adjusts your Current Funding Level in G5 using the information it receives from Populi.
  • Sync information to COD when aid must be refunded to the source.

In short, when using the aid application and disbursement/refund workflows in concert with the DOE integration, you can effectively manage your entire financial aid process right in Populi.

Setup

To use the DOE integration, you'll need to fill in the settings described here. If you wish to use SAIG only to download ISIRs, have a look at this article.

You will need to reset your SAIG mailbox password every 90 days. You can do so using this site. When your SAIG mailbox password expires, the COD sync will stop working!

After entering your SAIG credentials (TG number and mailbox password), Populi will begin importing files from your SAIG mailbox every half hour.

SAIG Log

The SAIG log shows you all the files transmitted between Populi and COD (in either direction).

  • When you sync awards with COD, those are automatically sent through SAIG. They appear in the log as Outbound COD Submissions.
  • SAIG generates thousands of different message classes. Most of these are year-specific and obsolete; moreover, the useful message classes have no meaningful difference (there are dozens of message classes for ISIRs, for example). To help you cope with the madness, Populi groups like message classes into message types. (You can still filter for specific SAIG message classes.)
  • Unless you specify otherwise in settings, Populi imports all message classes from your SAIG mailbox. However, it only processes ISIRs, COD Submissions and Responses, and MPN, Booking, and Counseling Notifications.
  • If you're set up to receive ISIRs, click the view ISIRs link to process those files.
  • MPN, counseling, and booking notifications are matched to students using Social Security Numbers. These messages link to the student's Profile > Financial Aid view.
  • Click   to download the file to your computer. This works for all types/classes, even those that Populi does not process.

In addition to the regular SAIG downloads, you can also upload an XML file received from COD via other means; you can also manually send a file to SAIG:

  1. Click Send File via SAIG.
  2. Drag/drop the file into the upload area.
  3. Enter the message class and destination mailbox. SAIG will need these in order to get it to the right place in the DOE!
  4. Click Send.

After sending the file, it will appear in your SAIG log.

COD Awards

The COD Awards view shows you all FSA awards that require some sort of communication with COD, together with a mass-sync function.

  • Use the filter to focus the report on certain kinds of awards. The Sync to COD button will only sync the awards shown on the screen at the time.
  • This view shows only those awards marked COD in Settings > Award Types, as well as any custom awards that Report As a COD award.
  • Awards first appear here when they are set to Accepted.
  • Awards require syncing with COD when any of the following occur:
    • The award is canceled.
    • A substantive change occurs—a disbursement date is changed, an amount decreases, etc.
    • Part of the award is going to be refunded to the source.

Here's how syncing award information with COD works in Populi:

  1. You offer a $3,000 Pell Grant and a $4,000 Direct Loan to Timothy Silceaux, a new full-time student, for 2017-2018. Each award has one disbursement each in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. He accepts the Pell Grant and $3,000 of the Direct Loan. Both awards are pushed to the COD Awards view.
  2. You sync both awards to COD. These appear in your SAIG Log as COD submissions. COD later responds and accepts both awards; these show in your SAIG Log as COD responses.
  3. A work study position opens up and you offer Timothy a $2,500 FWS award. He accepts it and the award is pushed to COD Awards for sync.
  4. In light of the FWS award, Timothy requests that you lower his Direct Loan amount to $2,000. You edit the DL award and its disbursements. The DL award is synced with COD, and your CFL as of the DL disbursement dates is reduced.
  5. Timothy begins attending classes in Fall 2017; his invoice for tuition and fees is due two weeks after classes begin. You include his Pell and Direct Loan awards in a disbursement batch.
  6. At the Authorization Requested stage of the batch, the Released indicator is set to Yes. COD tells G5 to adjust your Current Funding Level (CFL) before the disbursement date and informs you that the funds have been requested.
  7. You draw down the Pell and DL funds from G5 and apply them to Timothy's charges.
  8. For the FWS disbursements, you adjust each scheduled disbursement to reflect the hours Timothy worked. Before starting the FWS disbursement batch, you sync the award with COD. After receiving a COD response of Accepted, you proceed with the batch.
  9. You repeat the above process for the Spring 2018 disbursements.
  10. A week after the FSA awards are disbursed to Timothy's account, he withdraws from two courses and goes down to half-time. A portion of his FWS and $500 of his Direct Loan must be refunded to the Federal government.
  11. You schedule a refund-to-source for his Direct Loan and you adjust the amount for the FWS award.
  12. You sync the FWS award with COD. For the Direct Loan, you run a refund-to-source batch. Because COD does not record negative transactions (as one would expect for a refund), here is what happens:
    • Populi tells COD that the $2,000 Direct Loan is to be downward-adjusted to $1,500. The $1,500 is recorded in Populi as the COD Amount.
    • Populi shows you a $2,000 Direct Loan: two $1,000 disbursements and one $500 refund to source.
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