By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Accenture Federal Services a decade long, $966 million contract. This continuation centers around operations and maintenance of the federal financial aid system that helps make college a reality for millions of students and their families. Accenture has been working with the department on the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system since 2001 and COD has originated over $130 billion in aid to more than 14 million students and their families at 6,000 schools in 2014 alone. Ed Meehan, Accenture’s Senior Managing Director, US Safety and Citizen Services Portfolio, answered some questinos for us via email.
What’s the history of the Common Origination and Disbursement system?
In 2002, on behalf of the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid, Accenture
launched the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system which consolidated two separate, siloed legacy systems that processed William D. Ford Direct Loan and Federal Pell Grant programs. The COD system has consistently delivered stable and secure origination and disbursement services for Federal Student Aid, students, and schools.
Due to the system’s flexible and scalable design, COD has helped FSA rapidly respond to 36 legislative mandates since 2007, including the transition to 100 percent Direct Lending in 2010, which legislatively mandated the system double its processing capacity in three months to meet program processing demands. COD system success has played a material role in achieving the Congressional Budget Office’s projected 10 year, $60 billion savings associated with the 2010 implementation of 100 percent Direct Lending.
What does it do?
The Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System processes and financially tracks originations and disbursements for the Federal Pell Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant, Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant and Federal Direct Loan programs. The COD System includes three websites used to allow schools and students to complete required activities to enable funding of grants and loans: COD.ed.gov, TEACH-ATS.ed.gov and StudentLoans.gov.
What is Accenture’s involvement as far as operations and maintenance goes?
Accenture is responsible for integrated system operations, customer service call centers, maintenance and web hosting for all federal student loan programs, which annually processes over 30 million originations (valued at over $130B)
What are the other highlights from the announcement?
We are proud to be able to continue supporting the system that originated over $130 billion in aid to more than 14 million students and their families at 6,000 schools in 2014, including more than $5.1 billion in a single day. Since its inception, the system has processed more than $1 trillion in federal student loans and grants.
What’s in the future?
Accenture will continue support FSA’s core mission of “Funding America’s future, one student at a time” through the management of the COD system by helping to make funds available for students in pursuit of their postsecondary educational goals.