TSYS picks up Education subcontract

Total System Services Inc. has signed a five-year agreement valued at more than $120 million with Accenture Ltd. to process postsecondary student grant and loan funding for the Department of Education, the company announced April 30.

Accenture of Hamilton, Bermuda, is the prime contractor on a project to improve federal financial aid delivery to students through the Office of Federal Student Aid.

Columbus, Ga.-based Total System Services, known as TSYS, will develop a central Web site, process new aid requests, called originations, and convert student records currently residing on two legacy systems to the company's new standalone platform during several phases.

The first conversion phase, which involves 4 million records, is scheduled to begin in December. With that conversion, TSYS expects to service almost 11 million student accounts by the end of the year, said company officials.

The company ultimately expects to process 16.3 million records when the system is fully implemented in 2006, officials said.

The new system will allow the Department of Education and schools throughout the nation to create and manage originations, administer school information, complete abbreviated credit checks and confirm account status.

In addition, the new Web site streamlines the process for incoming originations and disbursements for Title IV funding by providing a central storage area for all accounts.

The Department of Education provides more than $50 billion in financial aid a year, which amounts to about 70 percent of all student aid, to help millions of students and families pay for postsecondary education.

The agreement expands TSYS' ability to manage other financially sensitive data and process information beyond its traditional niche of credit card processing, company officials said.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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