Summary: This letter announces the availability of the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to accept Title IV Federal student aid overpayment information from institutions. The enclosed "Question and Answer" pages describe the policies and procedures schools must follow when reporting overpayment information to the NSLDS.
Action letter #7
SUMMARY: This letter announces the availability of the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to accept Title IV Federal student aid overpayment information from institutions. The enclosed "Question and Answer" pages describe the policies and procedures schools must follow when reporting overpayment information to the NSLDS.
REFERENCES: NSLDS: The Paperless Link: Computer Assisted Training Guide
Dear Colleague Letter, GEN-96-13 dated July 1996
The Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook, Chapter 2
The 1998-99 SAR/ISIR Guide
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) now includes screens to be used by institutions to enter information on students who owe an overpayment on a Title IV grant or Perkins Loan. This letter and the enclosed set of "Questions and Answers" (Q&A) provide important information on the use of these NSLDS overpayment screens. This letter also establishes October 31, 1998, as the date by which institutions must have entered all existing overpayment information in their possession into the NSLDS.
Section 484(a)(3) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) and 34 CFR 668.32(g)(4) provide that an applicant for federal student assistance under a program authorized by Title IV of the HEA is not eligible to receive such assistance if he or she owes an overpayment on Title IV aid. The Department of Education (Department) uses the NSLDS to obtain overpayment information from institutions and to inform applicants and other institutions of those overpayments. An interface between the NSLDS and the Central Processing System (CPS) provides for the reporting of overpayment information (and other eligibility information) on Student Aid Reports (SARs) and in Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs). Overpayment information is also available from the NSLDS through on-line screens and the batch Financial Aid Transcript (FAT) process. These features of the NSLDS are described in both the NSLDS: The Paperless Link: Computer Assisted Training Guide and in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-96-13 dated July 1996.
Since July of 1996, Federal Pell Grant (Pell), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins) overpayments that institutions have reported to the Department's Debt Collection Service (DCS) have been provided by DCS to the NSLDS.
NSLDS Overpayment Reporting - Page 2
Overpayment update screens are now available to schools for on-line reporting of Title IV overpayments to the NSLDS. Overpayment data reported by schools will be added to the NSLDS database, reported on both FAT and Overpayment screens, and transferred to the CPS for inclusion on SARs and ISIRs for those students who have applied, or who will apply, for Title IV aid.
An institution that has records of Title IV overpayments owed by any of its former students must input that overpayment information into the NSLDS according to the procedures and time frames discussed in detail in the attached Q&A. The amount of information that needs to be entered for each overpayment is limited, and it is expected that schools will be able to enter all of their existing overpayments into the NSLDS within a reasonably short period of time. However, to provide as much flexibility as possible, while still maintaining the integrity of the NSLDS, the deadline for institutions to have entered all historical overpayment information into the NSLDS is October 31, 1998. After initially populating the NSLDS with historical overpayment information, institutions are required to input new overpayments and changes to previously submitted overpayment information no later than 30 days after the school becomes aware of the overpayment or of the needed change.
The reporting of Title IV overpayment information to the NSLDS is separate and distinct from the requirement that institutions report some overpayments to the Department so that our Debt Collection Service (DCS) can collect the overpayment. In the future, the Department plans to develop a process that will combine both requirements.
If, after reviewing the attached Q&As and the reference materials noted above, you have questions on accessing the NSLDS on-line or using the Overpayment screens, or if you need to obtain a copy of the NSLDS: The Paperless Link: Computer Assisted Training Guide, you can contact the NSLDS Customer Service Center at 1-800-999-8219, Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM (Central Time).
The SFA Customer Support Branch is available to answer questions related to requirements for the reporting of overpayment data to the NSLDS. Staff are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM (Eastern Time) at 1-800-433-7327.
Thank you for your continued efforts to improve the viability and accountability of our Federal student assistance programs.
Diane E. Rogers
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
Student Financial Assistance Programs