ERIC Number: ED471738
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Federal Student Aid: Progress in Integrating Pell Grant and Direct Student Loan Systems and Processes, but Critical Work Remains. Report to the Secretary of Education.
Powner, David A.
To address system problems and other management weaknesses, in 1998 Congress created the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) within the Department of Education. This office adopted a new approach to systems integration using middleware (software that can allow an application to access data residing indifferent databases) and Extensible Markup Language (XML), a flexible nonproprietary set of standards that is intended to make it easier to identify, integrate, and process information widely dispersed among systems and organizations. FSA first used this approach in the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Process for the Direct Loan, Pell Grant, and campus-based programs. This study was a follow-up review by the General Accounting Office (GAO) to assess FSA's progress in implementing this process. Data were from a variety of sources, including review of FSA documentation and reports from outside contractors. The GAO concludes that FSA has made progress in implementing the COD process, although implementation is behind schedule. The GAO has made recommendations to improve the process, and among these is the recommendation that the Secretary of Education direct the Chief Operating Officer, FSA, to establish a process to capture and disseminate lessons learned in schools. Appendixes contain a diagram of the COD process and comments from the FSA about the report. (SLD)
Descriptors: Database Management Systems, Information Dissemination, Integrated Activities, Student Financial Aid, Student Loan Programs, Systems Development
U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-6061. For full text: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-241.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.