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Important Information about October 2017 NSLDS Enrollment Rosters

The Clearinghouse has identified approximately 700 institutions for whom the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) did not send an October enrollment roster. We were expecting to receive a roster from NSLDS based upon the NSLDS/SSCR Enrollment Reporting Roster schedule we have established for each of these institutions.

We have notified the NSLDS and Federal Student Aid (FSA) of the issue and requested that they create and send to us an ad hoc roster for processing.

IMPORTANT: NSLDS has confirmed there is no obligation to respond to the roster within 15 days, if your institution was one of those for which an SSCR roster was not sent by NSLDS. However, the Clearinghouse is keenly aware of how critical timely reporting to the Department of Education is, including the requirement to report changes in student statuses within 60 days.

On behalf of all impacted institutions, the Clearinghouse has taken the following actions:

  1. Notified NSLDS of the missing rosters that were confirmed as not yet sent by NSLDS
  2. Reached out to our FSA contacts requesting additional support regarding this issue. We also requested that an ad hoc roster from NSLDS be created for those institutions that were impacted and sent to the Clearinghouse.
  3. Communicated directly with our impacted schools regarding the missing rosters
  4. Posted this notification on our Audit Resource Center blog for additional transparency for our institutions

We will continue to work with NSLDS and FSA until this issue is resolved and communicate updates on our progress via our Compliance Central page, Audit Resource Center blog, and email.

If you need assistance with your Enrollment Reporting, or have questions related to compliance that you would like to send to the Clearinghouse, please contact us by emailing service@studentclearinghouse.org or calling 703.742.4200, prompt 7, option 2.

 

Resources

Don’t Miss Our “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” Webinar

Register Now for Our October 5th or 10th Live Webinar Sessions

Do you participate in the Clearinghouse’s G from Degree process? If so, you won’t want to miss our new 60-minute webinar, “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement.”

As a G from Degree participant, the Clearinghouse generates a G (graduation) status in our enrollment database from the degree file your school sends to us. The data in our enrollment database is then sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to complete Title IV compliance reporting. However, there are some scenarios in which a G status is not generated from your school’s degree file.

During our “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” webinar, we will explain the reasons a G status may not be generated in the Clearinghouse enrollment database.

Webinar Also Offers a Look at Our New G from Degree Enhancement

Attending our webinar also provides an opportunity for you to get a look at the G from Degree enhancement the Clearinghouse is releasing in mid-October. Using our enhancement, you will be able to review students who had a G status applied to their record in the Clearinghouse enrollment database as well as those who did not have a G status applied to their record in our database. This enhancement also helps fulfill the Clearinghouse’s goal to provide transparency behind our processes to our schools.

What You Will Learn During Our Webinar

During our webinar, you will learn:

  • Why a G status may not be generated for a student
  • How to use our new G from Degree enhancement, including how to review students who had a G status applied and those who did not and how to export the information to Excel
  • How to update the G status for students who did not have a G status applied in the Clearinghouse enrollment database

Register Now for Our Webinar on October 5th or 10th

Please join us for one of the two upcoming “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” webinars.

If you have any questions on G from Degree or the upcoming enhancement 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

  • “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” webinar on October 5 at 2 PM, ET. Register now.
  • “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” webinar on October 10, at 1 PM, ET. Register now.
  • Clearinghouse Academy: Learning resources and events
  • Compliance Central: Updates, tips and resources to help you stay in compliance

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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Important Information on “Move To” Field and Error Codes 51 and 52

The Clearinghouse recently identified a discrepancy that caused the “Move To” field NOT to be transmitted to National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The “Move To” field is an optional field within each student record that should be populated whenever a school wants to request that NSLDS move a student from the current location and “Add/Update” that student to another location to comply with student location reporting requirements.


Where to Find the “Move To” field

Depending on which file format you use to report enrollment, here’s where you can find the “Move To” field:

  • Flat file: Beginning at space 666
  • Excel: Column AU
  • EDI: In the fourth position of the ENT|05 statement

The Clearinghouse implemented a system update on September 7, 2017, to address the discrepancy and ensure the “Move To” field is being sent appropriately. As a result of our September 7th system update, the “Move To” field is now populated with the “Move To” information you enter in your submission file.

After the enhancement was installed, we identified a number of cases where the school/branch the student is currently attending (effectively no change) is reflected in the “Move To” field instead of the school/branch to which the student should be moved. This can result in either an NSLDS error 52 or both an NSLDS error 51 and 52 being applied to the student’s record.

NSLDS Guide Error Codes (November 2016)

NSLDS Error Code Field Name Error Message
51 Move to OPEID Invalid Move To location
52 OPEID Move To Location Not authorized to submit enrollment data for school, branch or move to location. Can only use the Move To function between locations that share the same Enrollment Administrator as indicated in the Enrollment Reporting Profile.

What Causes NSLDS Error 52 and How to Resolve It

If the branches where the student is currently located and where the student is being moved to share the same administrator, NSLDS moves the student to the roster identified in the “Move To” field and no error is applied to the record. However, if the branches do NOT share an administrator, an NSLDS error 52 is created. The branch administrator is part of your school’s Enrollment Reporting Profile, which was established by NSLDS, and is not something the Clearinghouse can change. If the administrator in your profile needs to be updated, please call NSLDS at 1.800.999.8219.

What Causes the NSLDS Error 51/52 Combination and How the Clearinghouse Is Resolving It

Student records can receive an NSLDS error 51/52 combination if they are being reported under what the Clearinghouse refers to as an “unofficial branch,” which is not an official branch assigned by the Department of Education (ED). “Unofficial branches” are created by the Clearinghouse at your request whenever you need to separate your students to accommodate special scenarios. Examples of when you may request the Clearinghouse create an “unofficial branch” include accommodating different schedules, schools (law, medical, dental, etc.), and/or status calculations. “Unofficial branches” are internal and visible to your school and the Clearinghouse only. External reporting via the Clearinghouse website or to lenders, servicers and guarantors always reflect branch 00.

Unfortunately, the “unofficial branches” under which students are being reported (e.g., 82, 83, or 84) are being included in the “Move To” field and, subsequently, are being transmitted exactly as reported to NSLDS. Because NSLDS does not recognize “unofficial branches,” student records that contain them receive both an NSLDS error 51 AND 52.

Our research into these errors revealed that schools using EDI format mentioned above have been most impacted. The Clearinghouse is working on a programmatic fix to eliminate any value in this if not specifically reported in an ENT|05 statement.

What to Do if You See a Sudden Spike in Error Codes NSLDS 51 and/or 52

If you find a sudden spike in NSLDS error codes 51 and/or 52, please contact service@studentclearinghouse.org (please put “Attn: SSCR NSLDS Errors 51 & 52” in the subject line). One of our Data Excellence & Customer Care team members will assist you in resolving these discrepancies. This may require that you send your next scheduled file early or that the Clearinghouse rerun your last files.

We apologize for any inconvenience you may experience due to this issue and look forward to helping resolve this for you in a timely manner.

Resources

Errors 22 and 38 webinar: Oct. 11, 1 PM, ET

Errors 30, 32, 69, 77, 78 and 79 webinar: Oct. 12, 2 PM, ET

Clearinghouse Academy: Learning resources and events

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

 

How to Properly Report a Student’s Primary Location Code

It used to be traditional for students to enroll in coursework at only one location. However, traditional is no longer the norm. Today’s students often attend multiple institutions or locations, whatever best satisfies their needs. To meet student demand, institutions offer courses at numerous locations and deliver course material through a variety of ways. A student can attend a morning course close to home, an evening course close to work, and even take a course offered online. If all these courses are offered by the same institution, it is the institution’s responsibility to determine which location is the student’s primary attending location.

The student’s primary location should be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse and associated with the eight-digit official Office of Postsecondary Education Identification (OPEID) location. This is the information that the Clearinghouse uses to respond to the Enrollment Rosters from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

The NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide (page 11, section 4.1 – Location/Campus) provides guidance on this subject. According to the guide, “A student’s primary location is the location where the student is taking more coursework than at any other location… If a school cannot determine which location is a student’s primary location, because they are taking the same number of credits at each location, then the school may choose a primary location to report for the student from the locations at which the student is enrolled.”  The guide also states that students should be reported at the location they are attending and not the location from which aid was disbursed.

What does this mean for Clearinghouse Enrollment Reporting? Students should appear on the eight-digit NSLDS Roster associated with the student’s primary location of attendance.

The Clearinghouse suggests that institutions confirm that the procedures between their financial aid and registrar offices are aligned to ensure that:

  • Student aid is processed properly
  • Data reported to the NSLDS through the COD (Common Origination and Disbursement) system by the financial aid office is consistent with the information maintained and reported by the registrar’s office to the Clearinghouse. This includes enrollment statuses, status effective dates, and information related to the student’s program(s) of study.

If you have any questions about proper reporting, 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

ED to Stop Using Transfer Monitoring and Financial Aid Queries to Add Students Back to Enrollment Rosters

We have important news to share on a change that has been made by the Department of Education (ED) regarding an issue that was negatively impacting the Enrollment Statistics score that the NSLDS calculates for institutions. (NSLDS, or the National Student Loan Data System, is the ED’s central database that keeps track of how much federal student loan debt a student has.)

Why Were Transfer Monitoring and Financial Aid Queries a Problem?

Financial Aid History and Transfer Student Monitoring reports were causing students to be added to the NSLDS’s Enrollment Roster for an institution. Frequently, there was no program-level information associated with these students because they were last reported prior to the 150 percent reporting regulations (when program-level data was not required) or they had not yet enrolled. This resulted in a lower percentage of students with program information being reported and, ultimately, a lower Enrollment Statistics score being assigned by NSLDS for the institution.

New ED Guidance Expected Soon from Federal Student Aid (FSA)

Through our ongoing collaboration with Department of Education (ED), the Clearinghouse was recently advised that ED will no longer use Transfer Student Monitoring or Financial Aid History queries to add students to rosters. The immediate result will be to prevent “pre-150 percent” students and students that have not enrolled from impacting an institution’s certified with program-level score. If your institution’s score has been negatively impacted by this issue in the past, it should not be an issue moving forward.

Federal Student Aid (FSA), the Department of Education office that manages the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV, has advised us that they will publish guidance on this change in the near future.

Updates on this topic will continue to be posted. So stay tuned to our Compliance Central page and Audit Resource Center blog for more information as we learn additional details!

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

 

Summer Reporting Update

The following update to our June 29, 2017, post provides information on our plans to help ensure your school’s compliance with the Department of Education’s April 20, 2017, announcement regarding modifications to summer enrollment reporting.

Reporting “Ws” During Summer

The Clearinghouse has approached ED’s guidance on summer reporting conservatively to help ensure your school’s compliance with both ED’s summer reporting requirements and the NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide’s requirement to report students via the NSLDS Reporting Roster/SSCR process “…no less frequently than every two months.” Our conservative approach also helps ensure data integrity by allowing for the release of a student’s true last date of attendance (LDA) to NSLDS, if a student who withdraws from all courses does not return for the next regularly scheduled term. As we mentioned in our June 29 post, summer less than half-time statuses are being suppressed by the Clearinghouse on your school’s behalf, as a result of our May 15, 2017, enhancement.  Our update, highlighted below, is surrounding the reporting of withdrawal statuses.

To accommodate ED’s new summer guidance requirements, we recommend you report withdrawals to the Clearinghouse in your summer enrollment/non-required term files, if you are certain the student will not return for the next regularly scheduled fall term. This enrollment reporting should be consistent with and reflect your school’s policies and procedures surrounding these types of withdrawals. The Clearinghouse will subsequently report the withdrawal to NSLDS via the standard Enrollment Reporting Roster/SSCR process, providing the withdrawal’s status effective date as reported by your institution to the Clearinghouse.

Note: The withdrawal record and summer effective date provided by your school will be sent to NSLDS via the standard SSCR process and indicate that the student has separated from your school. However, if the student does return for the next regularly scheduled term, their enrollment will place the student back into deferment and reset the student’s grace period. This conservative approach helps maintain data integrity by supporting ED’s requirement to report the student’s summer LDA if the student does not return for the fall semester.

Historically, the Clearinghouse has reported withdrawals during summer terms and will continue to do so. We are happy to work with you on including withdrawals in your summer enrollment files. Please contact SchoolOp@studentclearinghouse.org for assistance with your enrollment reporting file questions.

The second phase of our enhancement will be implemented in the coming weeks and includes:

  • Suppressing “L” (Less Than Half-Time) enrolled students reported in a non-required term from being added to your school’s SSCR roster.
  • Sending previous non-standard greater than “L” (Less Than Half-Time) enrollment in lieu of Less Than Half-Time enrollment during a non-standard summer term

As we receive additional information and clarification from FSA/NSLDS, we will post updates on our Compliance Central page.

Summer, Less Than Half-Time Reporting for Non-Required Terms to Date

On April 20, 2017, the Department of Education (ED) released new summer enrollment reporting guidance.  The announcement relates specifically to how to report students who are “L” (Less Than Half-Time) time during a non-required, summer term.  Because we understand the impact of this change and when it was announced as the summer term began, the Clearinghouse requested clarification on specific items noted within the announcement from ED on May 1, 2017. We also posted a communication to Clearinghouse participating schools the same day, advising of our inquiry to ED.

In response to the above guidance and the urgency of this, we implemented and released an enhancement on May 15, 2017, that changes how “L” (Less Than Half-Time) enrollment statuses are reported to NSLDS during non-required summer terms.

  • This change complies with ED’s requirements as it suppresses “L” (Less Than Half-Time) statuses during non-required, summer terms, and therefore, prevents them from being reported to NSLDS.

This is the first of multiple enhancements to fulfill this requirement.

PLEASE NOTE: The Clearinghouse will notify NSLDS of students reported to us by schools in a withdrawn status during the summer term.  Your institution should only report withdrawn statuses during the summer if you do not anticipate the student returning during the fall term.

What’s Coming

We will continue to seek clarity from the Department of Education on how to appropriately certify and send out spring enrollment data during the summer instead of summer data as is cited in the new summer enrollment reporting guidance.

In addition, to best adhere to the evolving guidance from ED and the data integrity needs of our participating institutions, by September 1st, we will be completing the following enhancements:

  • Suppressing “L” (Less Than Half-Time) enrolled students reported in a non-required term from being added to your school’s SSCR roster.
  • Sending previous non-standard greater than “L” (Less Than Half-Time) enrollment in lieu of Less Than Half-Time enrollment during a non-standard summer term

This newly implemented change to Clearinghouse reporting to NSLDS assists schools by allowing them to report the actual enrollment status of a student during the non-required, summer term while still meeting the requirement noted by ED.

We value our partnership with you and encourage you to please continue to visit our Compliance Central page for updates on the summer “L” (Less Than Half-Time) requirements, as well as for a “Coming Soon! G from DegreeVerify Enhancement” announcement and other resources. Also, please be on the lookout in August for our new Fall 2017 Clearinghouse Academy Live in Your Neighborhood Schedule.

For additional information, see our FAQs below. If you have any questions, please contact SchoolOp@studentclearinghouse.org.

Frequently Asked Questions


What did the Department of Education announce regarding reporting Summer LTH records and when?

On  April 20, 2017, the Department of Education published an e-announcement regarding the compliance requirements for reporting less-than half-time (L) students during non-required summer terms.  The letter indicates that students should not be reported to NSLDS as less than half time during non-required summer terms.  In lieu of reporting the less than half time status, ED indicates that the student’s last certified spring enrollment status should be sent throughout the summer with a new certification date.


Does this new requirement require a change to my compliance enrollment reporting that I send to the Clearinghouse?

No.


What has the Clearinghouse done in response to the announcement from ED?

The Clearinghouse requested clarification on specific items noted within the announcement from ED on May 1, 2017 and posted a communication to Clearinghouse participating schools on May 1, 2017, advising of our inquiry to ED.  On May 15, 2017, we implemented a change to how Less Than Half-Time (L) enrollment statuses are reported to NSLDS.  This change complies with ED’s requirements as it suppresses less than half-time statuses during non-required, summer terms, and therefore, prevents them from being reported to NSLDS.


Will the Clearinghouse continue to send out Withdrawal “W” statuses during non-required terms?

Yes. The Clearinghouse will continue to send out “W” statuses during non-required terms for compliance reporting purposes.  Withdrawal statuses that are reported to the Clearinghouse for students who have financial aid and are included on the SSCR roster from NSLDS will be sent to NSLDS on your school’s SSCR roster response.


How does the new Summer/Non-required ED guidance impact a student’s Subsidized Usage Limit (SULA)?

The new summer/non-required ED does not impact a student’s SULA, as during non-required terms, students are considered to be continuously enrolled, unless, they have indicated otherwise to the institution.  The NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide states:

“Students are considered to be in school and continuously enrolled during academic year holiday and vacation periods, as well as during the summer between academic years (even if not enrolled in a summer session) as long as there is reason to believe that they intend to enroll for the next regularly scheduled term. For example, students should not be reported as “Withdrawn” at the end of the spring term if they are expected to reenroll for the fall term. In this case, schools should continue to report the student’s last enrollment status through the summer months (or through another non-required period of attendance). However, if the student does not return as expected, the status must be changed to “Withdrawn” with the appropriate effective date.”


What can I do to ensure my summer enrollment reporting is correct/reported correctly?

Typically, many schools calculate credit or clock hours differently during non-required summer terms than during required fall and spring terms. For example, a student may be considered half time during the summer months for taking one course, because the summer term is shorter in length and credit/clock hour calculations differ.  Please ensure that withdrawal statuses are only sent to the Clearinghouse during non-required terms when the student has withdrawn completely from the institution, not when the student drops a course during a non-required term.

In addition, if your school has an articulation/consortium agreement with another institution, please ensure to only report the student population that falls under the agreement and is attending your home institution.   Reporting students that fall under a consortium agreement that are not attending your institution as their home institution can cause students to be added to two different institution’s SSCR rosters which is considered inaccurate reporting.

Accuracy in reporting the enrollment status for students enrolled in the summer is crucial compliance enrollment reporting. Please review your enrollment reporting calculations to ensure your summer calculations are accurate prior to submitting your summer file.  If you have any questions, please contact SchoolOp@studentclearinghouse.org.

Federal Student Aid’s (FSA’s) Guidance on Summer Term Enrollment Reporting

On April 20, FSA released its guidance related to Summer Term Reporting. After careful review, the Clearinghouse believes that additional clarity is needed related to the guidance in order to confirm institutional compliance. As a result, we have asked FSA to clarify how the following should be handled by schools:

  1. Correctly determining the certification dates on spring semester data and when that data should be reported, instead of reporting the “Less Than Half Time” statuses during optional summer terms
  2. Accurately capturing a student’s withdrawn status during a summer term with respect to the “Date of Determination” logic
  3. Accurately capturing the correct dates for a student who was “Less Than Half Time” during optional summer terms and who does not return in the fall

Our objective in asking for the above clarifications is to ensure the highest standards of data quality and integrity are reflected in the information being reported. The Clearinghouse is also working to determine if any changes are needed within our process to ensure our summer reporting aligns with the needs of both loan servicers and NSLDS.

We do not anticipate that your school will need to make any changes in your reporting to the Clearinghouse.

Please stay tuned as we await further clarification from FSA, which we will share with you.

If you have any audit or compliance related questions, please contact our Audit Resource Center at auditresource@studentclearinghouse.org.

If you have questions regarding how you should submit your enrollment information, please contact our Data Integrity and Operations Department at schoolops@studentclearinghouse.org.

Important Information about Your NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Score

Federal Student Aid Office to Send Letters of Non-Compliance

On Thursday, March 9, representatives from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), and the National Student Clearinghouse participated in a conference call with staff from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) and National Student Loan Data System for Students (NSLDS) offices.

The purpose of the call was to discuss the Enrollment Reporting Statistics score that is calculated and reported for each school, every month on the NSLDS site. During the call, FSA stated that they intend to send letters of non-compliance in the coming weeks to institutions that have a score below 90 percent.

Other key points discussed:  

  • The first series of letters will be sent to an institution’s financial aid administrator and enrollment reporting contacts as designated in NSLDS. Make sure these roles are updated by logging into NSLDS and verifying the correct individuals are assigned to your school.
  • Clearinghouse, AACRAO and NASFAA representatives shared reporting scenarios and examples of student behaviors that can negatively impact the scores. Based upon the information shared, FSA committed to releasing guidance to address several reporting scenarios.
  • FSA agreed to share information on the process schools can follow to request a customized score threshold that will be driven by the behaviors of their students.
  • If you think that the score calculated for your institution is negatively impacted by specific reporting scenarios and/or student enrollment behaviors, you can use the “Leave a Reply” comment feature below to provide private comments to the Clearinghouse or email us at schoolops@studentclearinghouse.org.

As always, the Clearinghouse is committed to working with you on regulatory compliance matters as quickly as possible. Please contact us at schoolops@studentclearinghouse.org, if you have any questions.