6 Things to Keep Your NSLDS Score Above 90%

How’s your National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Enrollment Statistics Score? Our infographic guides you through the six things you should know that can help you keep your NSLDS score above the 90 percent threshold.

> Download it now.

 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Clearinghouse at 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #4) or service@studentclearinghouse.org.

We also invite you to “Join the Journey” as the Clearinghouse gets a head start on our 25th anniversary as your trusted partner in 2018 with an academic year filled with new events, services, and more.

Resources

Clearinghouse Academy: Learning resources and events

Compliance Central: Updates, tips and resources to help you stay in compliance

 

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Audit Peak Season Is Here: How to Find the Answers You Need

The Clearinghouse’s Audit Resource Center (ARC) is hard at work during this peak audit season. As many of our participating schools are currently undergoing their annual A-133 compliance audit, the ARC is fielding inquiries as quickly as possible and with urgency. However, because this is the peak summer season, our response time may be delayed by three business days. Therefore, we wanted to provide some helpful resources to you that you can use to answer your compliance- and audit-related questions.

  • Download and/or print our Audit Guide and the Clearinghouse’s most recent annual audit. Our annual audit is currently underway, so we’ve also provided you with a bridge letter you can use until it is completed and published to our web site.
  • Visit our Frequently Asked Questions. These are the most common questions we’ve received from schools and auditors and may assist you quickly in answering your question.
  • Log onto our secure online portal to view:
    • Student Reporting Details, including:
      • Transmission History
      • NSLDS Reporting (Enrollment Reporting to NSLDS)
    • Student Look-Up Details:
      • Enrollment reporting history, including the information your school submitted for the student, as well as the information sent to NSLDS for the student
  • Understand the 60-day, timely reporting requirement. Per the Department of Education (ED), “accurate and timely reporting” requires Title IV aid recipient enrollment to be certified every 60 days, at a minimum. ED’s requirement aligns with that of the Code of Federal Regulations to report students who “ceased to be on at least a half-time basis,” as stated in regulations 610/685.309.
    • Therefore, to comply with federal reporting requirements, you must submit a Student Status Confirmation Report (SSCR) a minimum of every 60 days. On your behalf, the Clearinghouse complies with this requirement by scheduling an SSCR every month of the year.
  • Count the 60 days from the Date of Determination. Per federal requirements, after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, an institution has 60 days from the date of determination to report the student’s enrollment to NSLDS. The date of determination is the date your institution became aware of the student’s enrollment status change. Typically, the date of determination is subsequent to the effective date of the enrollment status.
  • Select the most comprehensive search options when reviewing student information on NSLDS.In order to confirm your reporting timeliness, make sure you choose the optimal selections from the “Advanced Display Options” drop-down menus on the NSLDS “Enrollment Detail” screen.
    • Select all active and inactive records for all schools, then click “Apply.” These search conditions will yield the most comprehensive details, including the first instance when NSLDS accepted an enrollment status and its corresponding effective date.

Thank you for your continued collaboration as we work together to create another incredibly successful academic year. For any other questions, please contact auditresource@studentclearinghouse.org.

Resources

NSLDS Statistics:

Compliance Central
Audit Resource Center blog
Clearinghouse Academy

Do You Know Your NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Score?

Each month, NSLDS calculates a score based upon the data it accepts through the NSLDS enrollment roster reporting (aka SSCR) process and displays it on this page. Any institution with a score below the acceptable 90 percent threshold of “Percent Certified with Program Enrollment” is subject to receiving a letter from FSA.

Make sure you read our NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Statistics Page FAQs for key summary-level information about the data fields and calculations.

Important NSLDS Change to the SSCR Error Corrections Process

As a part of your compliance reporting service, the National Student Clearinghouse responds to NSLDS on your behalf, providing up-to-date information on your students, who have been identified as possible Title IV Aid or Direct Loan recipients. We work closely with you to ensure your data passes a series of robust validations throughout our enrollment reporting data intake process. In certain instances, there are records reported to NSLDS during the SSCR Roster response process that do not pass NSLDS’s edits and, as a result, are rejected.

Historically, responding to the SSCR Error Report within 10 days fulfills the federal requirement. The Clearinghouse has consistently done this on your behalf and will continue to do so. Recently, NSLDS and FSA have focused on ensuring schools correct students with errors vs. the requirement to respond within the 10-day timeframe. This is emphasized in the most recent NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide, published in November 2016, which states on page 7: Schools must also correct any returned errors that are identified by NSLDS within 10 business days.

The Clearinghouse released new functionality in December 2016 so your institution can view and correct these SSCR errors. Our system automatically sends you an email notifying you that your SSCR errors are ready for review. This is a trigger to let you know that the Clearinghouse has received your SSCR Error Report from NSLDS and it is ready to be worked. You can now see and correct SSCR errors through the Clearinghouse’s secure site. (Note: SSCR errors are different than those associated with the enrollment reporting files you send to us, so it’s not unusual if this is the first time you have ever seen SSCR errors.)

Because NSLDS has started to focus more on schools fixing their errors from roster to roster, as your partner, we wanted to ensure we made you aware of this important change and are working in partnership with you to meet these new requirements.

We encourage you to sign up on our Clearinghouse Academy page for our live webinars on SSCR error resolution (as well as the other useful webinars that are also available) or one of our free in-person “Clearinghouse Academy in Your Neighborhood” events, when we come to your area.

Don’t forget to visit our Compliance Central page regularly for updates on this process and other key compliance information.

To learn how to use our SSCR Error Correction functionality, watch our short tutorial.

 

Best Practices to Help You Accurately Report Anticipated Completion Dates

It’s critical that you report an accurate Anticipated Completion Date (ACD) — also commonly known as the Anticipated Graduation Date or AGD — for each student for whom it is required. This enables loan servicers to correctly communicate changing obligations to borrowers as they approach repayment and helps prevent student loans from being converted to repayment either too early or too late.

To help you with your ACD reporting, read the list of best practices on our Compliance Central page, which also contains other helpful enrollment reporting information and resources.

How to Find Out When Your School’s Enrollment Information Was Sent to NSLDS

You can log on to the Clearinghouse secure site to see when your enrollment information was sent to NSLDS. On the “Student Reporting” tab, select “Enrollment Reporting” and then select the “NSLDS Reporting” tab. This will display a summary of the enrollment data reported to NSLDS by the Clearinghouse on your behalf, as shown in the image below.

NSLDS Reporting Tab

You can use the Clearinghouse secure site to find out when your school’s enrollment information was sent to NSLDS.

The rows with “NSLDS” listed in the “Originator” column show when the Clearinghouse sent your enrollment information to NSLDS via the SSCR process. The Clearinghouse has a schedule in place that shows when an SSCR Roster is due from NSLDS for your school every month of the year. Typically, we receive SSCR Rosters within the first few business days of each month and, once received, begin processing them almost immediately. If the Clearinghouse receives and processes new information from your school between the 3rd and 11th of the month, we may opt to re-process the original SSCR in the middle of the month (this is the mid-month SSCR process).

For rows with “NSLDS” listed in the “Originator” column:

  • “SSCR Creation Date” is the date that NSLDS created the SSCR Roster
  • “Clearinghouse Receive Date” is the date the Clearinghouse received the SSCR Roster from NSLDS
  • “Clearinghouse Processed Date” is the date the Clearinghouse sent the SSCR Response to NSLDS

The rows with “CH” listed in the “Originator” column are associated with our Supplemental SSCR Roster Reporting process, whereby the Clearinghouse requests that NSLDS add students to your SSCR Roster. This process, which the Clearinghouse implemented in December 2015, helps ensure that students who should be on your SSCR Roster are added.

As part of our Supplemental SSCR Roster Reporting process, whenever the Clearinghouse receives an updated status from you for a student, we check to see if that student has been on an SSCR Roster for any school during the past 10 years. If the student has appeared on an SSCR Roster within the past 10 years, and is not currently listed on your SSCR Roster, the Clearinghouse will request that NSLDS add the student to your SSCR Roster.

You can review the students the Clearinghouse is requesting NSLDS add to your SSCR Roster by clicking the “CH” link in the “Originator” column and then selecting the “Students to be Added” tab.

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When Does the Clearinghouse Send My Institution’s Enrollment Data to NSLDS?

Enrollment information sent by postsecondary institutions to the National Student Clearinghouse is sent to NSLDS via the SSCR (Student Status Confirmation Report) process.

First, the Clearinghouse receives enrollment files from participating colleges and universities. After checking for any errors, we upload each school’s information to the Clearinghouse’s enrollment database. Once the Clearinghouse receives the school’s SSCR Roster from NSLDS – typically within the first week of every month – we begin responding almost immediately, sending the most recent enrollment information for those students listed on the SSCR to NSLDS.

It is important to note that the Clearinghouse can only respond to the SSCR Roster with information that is fully uploaded into our enrollment database. Ideally, you should ensure your enrollment files are processed (and that errors are resolved as soon as possible) by the end of the month in order to have the most recent information sent to NSLDS.

For instance, let’s say your school submits an enrollment file on June 15 and the Clearinghouse processes the file and uploads the information to our enrollment database on June 18. This data could be sent to NSLDS when we receive the July SSCR Roster.

Suppose, on the other hand, your school submits an enrollment file to the Clearinghouse on June 29, and we upload the information to our enrollment database on July 6. This data would have to be sent to NSLDS when the Clearinghouse receives the August SSCR Roster, unless a mid-July SSCR is processed.

If you would like to adjust your enrollment file submission schedule to ensure the Clearinghouse can send your most current information to NSLDS each month, contact our School Operations department.

Additional tips and resources to help you with your enrollment reporting are available on our Compliance Central page.


How to View Your School’s NSLDS Reporting History

  1. Login to our school secure site at www.studentclearinghouse.org
  2. Go to the “Student Reporting” tab
  3. Select “Enrollment Reporting”
  4. Select the “NSLDS Reporting” tab
  5. Review the rows with “NSLDS” in the “Originator” column, which are associated with the SSCR process. This will give you an idea of when the Clearinghouse typically receives your institution’s SSCR Roster from NSLDS.

Follow the Latest NSLDS Guidelines to Correctly Report Published Program Length Measurements and Begin Dates

In NSLDS Newsletter #55, FSA announced a series of new error codes to improve the accuracy of program-level reporting.

These include SSCR Error Codes:

  • 77: Identifies program lengths that are too short for the associated credential level
  • 78: Identifies program lengths that are too long for the associated credential level
  • 79: Imposed on a student’s record when the reported program begin date is too far in the past

In the newsletter, NSLDS reminded schools to “report traditional programs in Years rather than in Months. For example, report a four year program as 4 years, not as 48 months. When program length is reported in months or weeks, NSLDS uses this value along with the ‘Weeks in Academic Year’ value to calculate a program length in years. This can result in program lengths that are too long.”

As a result of these new error codes and evolving NSLDS guidance, we strongly encourage our schools to review their program lengths and Program Begin Dates to avoid potential compliance findings. As your partner, the Clearinghouse will continue to work with FSA and NSLDS to interpret these new error codes and what they mean for our participating schools.

If you have questions or concerns related to your SSCR Error Reports, contact our Audit Resource Center at auditresource@studentclearinghouse.org.

How to Report Graduated Status

Did you know that under the 150% requirement NSLDS1 can use Graduated enrollment status to help determine a borrower’s maximum interest subsidy and remaining eligibility? It’s true!

It’s important you understand how to meet the Department of Education’s (ED) expectation for reporting Program Level graduation, used by NSLDS for Title IV recipients who are subject to the 150% Limit. Although NSLDS continues to allow only one Campus Level record to be reported via the SSCR process, up to six programs per student can now be reported at the program level. In order to fulfill the 150% requirement, Program Level graduation status must be reported to NSLDS.

To address potential Graduated enrollment status reporting challenges, your school may need to consider adjusting your reporting practices to the Clearinghouse. Under the 150% reporting requirement, you will encounter instances where you should report Graduated enrollment status to the Clearinghouse via Enrollment Reporting, in addition to reporting degree files to us.

The following are reporting adjustments you should consider implementing to your enrollment to the Clearinghouse:

  1. Report the corresponding CIP Codes for all degrees earned on your degree files, where applicable. This prevents reporting challenges that can occur when the Clearinghouse generates Graduated enrollment statuses from your degree files, during which we append the Graduated enrollment status at both the campus and program levels.
  1. Report Graduated enrollment status via Enrollment Reporting for the corresponding CIP Code, Credential Level, and Program Length for the degree earned, in the event the student continues enrollment at the school after the degree is awarded. You should include an additional program in your Enrollment Reporting file showing the student’s active Campus Level enrollment status AND that he or she has also completed a program. For example, you would report Campus Level Full Time status during the current term with program details as:
  • Program 1: Full time for the current term
  • Program 2: Graduated and include the status effective date and program completion details for the prior term
  1. Report Graduated enrollment status at both the campus- and Program Level, in the event the student is awarded a degree more than four months after his or her last date of attendance. You can submit the respective CIP Code, Credential Level, and Program Length via Enrollment Reporting’s batch exchange as a “Graduates Only” file. If you need to report the information for just one or a small number of students, you can use the “Update Student Record” option on our school secure site’s “Student Look-Up” tab.

1The Department of Education’s 150% Limit reporting expectation for reporting the Graduated enrollment status is specific to program level, as noted in the following NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide excerpts:

2.3.1 Program-Level Reporting, p 5: “In the past, schools were only required to report a student’s enrollment at the Campus Level. This information was used for, among other things, the determination of when a student’s grace period would begin or when an in-school deferment would end. Now, because the 150% Limit is based on the borrower’s enrollment in a program, schools are required to report all Title IV aid recipients’ enrollment at the Program Level in addition to the Campus Level.”

2.3.2 Loss of Subsidy, p 6: “NSLDS will perform this analysis by calculating a borrower’s maximum and remaining eligibility period based on the Program Level information that schools report to NSLDS and the subsidized usage period data calculated by the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System.”

2.3.3 Protection of Subsidy, p 6: “If a student who is subject to the 150% Limit regulations completes a program before losing interest subsidy (exceeding the 150% Limit), the reporting of the graduation will protect the interest subsidy on any outstanding Direct Subsidized Loan(s) that have not lost interest subsidy because of the 150% Limit.”

4.4.3 Reporting Graduation and Anticipated Completion, p. 17: “Because schools will report enrollment status, including ‘W’ and ‘G’ at both the Campus Level and Program Level, it is important to understand when each status is appropriate at each level. At the Campus Level, a student should only be reported as withdrawn or graduated if the student has either withdrawn or graduated from the school entirely.”

2015’s Top 10 Audit Review Findings from FSA Conference

Each year at the annual Federal Student Aid (FSA) Conference, the Department of Education gives a presentation on the “Top 10 Audit Findings.” And every year the findings (for the most part) seem to be the same.

So for this post, we are going to give you the list of the findings along with ways to help prevent those related to “NSLDS Roster Reporting Inaccurate/Untimely Reporting.”

Top 10 Audit Findings, according to the Department of Education:

  1. Repeat Finding – Failure to Take Corrective Action
  2. NSLDS Roster Reporting – Inaccurate/Untimely Reporting
  3. Return of Title IV (R2T4) Calculation Errors
  4. Return of Title IV (R2T4) Made Late
  5. Verification Violations
  6. Pell Overpayment/Underpayment
  7. Student Credit Balance Deficiencies
  8. Entrance/Exit Counseling Deficiencies
  9. Qualified Auditor’s Opinion Cited in Audit
  10. G5 Expenditures Untimely/Incorrectly Reported

“NSLDS Roster Reporting – Inaccurate/Untimely Reporting” is usually one of the top three audit findings each year at the FSA Conference. At the Clearinghouse, our processes are designed to help your school ensure compliance. Here are some ways you can prevent this finding from occurring at your institution.

  1. Review your Clearinghouse schedule: Are you reporting every 30-45 days? If not, modify your schedule on our secure website.
  2. Review the data you submitted to the Clearinghouse: Are enrollment status changes being transmitted properly? Feel free to log onto our secure site to complete random reviews of your students’ enrollment reporting for compliance.
  3. Check your SSCR submission history on our secure site. The reporting should show monthly submissions to NSLDS.
  4. Complete quality checks on your data: Does your data match what is stored in the Clearinghouse database? If not and a correction is needed, feel free to complete an online update via our secure site.
  5. Contact the Clearinghouse with any data integrity or quality issues or questions. We are always happy to help!