Posts

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, 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.