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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

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

 

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.

 

Watch Our Online SSCR Error Correction Tutorial

Our new online SSCR Error Correction system is now live!

For a look at our innovative functionality and to learn how you can view and correct your institution’s SSCR errors on the Clearinghouse secure site, watch our brief online tutorial now.

Correct SSCR/Enrollment Roster Errors Online!

The Clearinghouse is updating the way you view and correct errors on your SSCR Error Reports. We communicated earlier in the year that this new functionality was going to be delivered by year’s end. We are pleased to announce that these functions are now available for you to use.

Our new SSCR error correction functionality moves the entire process online so you can:

  • See which students have SSCR errors and the associated error description
  • Understand how to fix the errors
  • Have greater control of how to correct the errors online

And you can do it all on the Clearinghouse secure Web site.

As NSLDS outlines in its Enrollment Reporting Guide and its latest Newsletter #56, correcting SSCR errors is a compliance reporting requirement. In order to help keep you in compliance, the Clearinghouse returns your SSCR Error Report for you within NSLDS’s timeframe, which we will continue to do even now that our new functionality is in place.

Watch for more information and training on this exciting enhancement through our Clearinghouse Academy. In the meantime, contact us at SchoolOps@studentclearinghouse.org, if you have any questions.

NSLDS Releases New Enrollment Reporting Guide

NSLDS released an updated enrollment reporting guide in November. Download the NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide now. To find out what changed, read our FAQs.

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.

Save

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.