Posted Date: February 6, 2015

Author:  Matthew Sessa, Deputy Chief Operating Officer

Subject: Federal Student Aid Posts Updated Reports to FSA Data Center

Today, Federal Student Aid posted a series of updates to its FSA Data Center, the centralized online source for Federal Student Aid data. In addition to updating its application, loan, grant, and portfolio reports, this update includes new reports that detail the specific deferment and forbearance types used by borrowers. All reports reflect activity through or as of December 31, 2014. 

The new deferment and forbearance reports were created in response to feedback from the community and are designed to provide greater transparency about the reasons loans are in deferment or forbearance.  This information is available beginning with the quarter ending December 31, 2014, and breakdowns will be provided quarterly in the future.

Below is a summary of the quarterly reports available on the FSA Data Center.

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Reports include application submissions by the applicant’s legal state of residence and by the schools listed on the applicant’s form.

  • The loan volume reports include Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, PLUS Loan (for parents), and PLUS Loan (for graduate and professional students) originations, disbursements, and recipients by school.

  • The grant volume reports include Federal Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant disbursements and recipients by school.

  • The Federal Student Aid portfolio reports include outstanding balances and recipients by loan program, loan type, loan status, repayment plan, and delinquency status.

In addition to the quarterly reports noted above, the 2013-2014 Campus-Based Program Data by School report, which is posted annually, is now available on the FSA Data Center. Federal Student Aid also recently announced its release of 2015-16 FAFSA Completion Data by High School on the FSA Data Center.  To get more information about this release, please see the recent IFAP announcement.

Key Findings in the Quarterly Reports

Federal Student Aid proactively posts these reports in support of open government initiatives to help ensure consistency, increase transparency, and establish self-service opportunities for customers. While not an exhaustive list, the bullets below provide a snapshot of key findings in our most recent reporting.

  • 2014-2015 FAFSA submissions are down about three percent from the same time period last year.  There was also a three percent decrease in total applications submitted for award year 2013-2014 from the prior year.

  • In alignment with the recent decreases in application submissions, grant and loan volume for 2013-2014 has generally decreased with the exception of the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant disbursements, which have increased by nearly 32 percent since last year.  Direct Loan volume has decreased three percent since the 2012-13 award year while Pell Grant volume is down two percent and TEACH Grant volume is down 12 percent.

  • Since the implementation of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which eliminated new Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans after June 30, 2010, the make-up of the outstanding loan portfolio has shifted. Today, the outstanding FFEL portfolio represents only 34.0 percent of the outstanding loan portfolio while the Direct Loan (DL) portfolio has grown to represent 65.3 percent of the outstanding loan portfolio.  Perkins Loans make up the remaining 0.7 percent of the Federal Student Aid portfolio.

  • While the balance of outstanding loans in deferment decreased since last quarter, the majority of deferments continue to be education-related deferments. Specifically, more than 80 percent of DL volume and 65 percent of FFEL volume in deferment are in education-related deferments.  Additional information about the types of deferments is available through the Portfolio by Loan Status Report.

  • The balance of Direct Loans in forbearance increased slightly. In monitoring forbearance usage, FSA has observed an increase in administrative forbearance, a status that servicers sometimes use while borrower actions are pending. For example, a servicer may place a borrower in an administrative forbearance while the servicer waits to receive a borrower’s income verification for an income-driven plan.  For more information about Direct Loan forbearance types and usage, please access the Portfolio by Loan Status Report.

  • Enrollment in income-driven repayment (IDR) options such as Pay As You Earn, Income-Based Repayment, and Income-Contingent Repayment continues to increase. Between 12/31/13 and 12/31/14, outstanding balances of DL recipients enrolled in IDR plans went from comprising 22 percent of DL balances in Repayment, Deferment, and Forbearance to more than 29 percent.

  • DL borrowers who are current (on time or less than 31 days delinquent) on their federal student loan payments represent 83.4 percent of non-defaulted DL volume in active repayment status. DL borrowers 31 to 90 days delinquent represent another 7.5 percent of non-defaulted DL volume, meaning that 9.1 percent of non-defaulted DL volume is greater than 90 days delinquent. One year ago, 9.9 percent of non-defaulted DL volume was greater than 90 days delinquent. Please note that DL borrowers with loans in grace, in-school, in deferment, in forbearance, or in bankruptcy or disability status are not expected to make payments.

Key Items to Note While Reviewing These Reports

To accurately interpret the data, please note the following items:

  • In the loan and grant reports, the first tab of the spreadsheet shows the number of recipients and disbursements for the specified quarter while the second tab shows the cumulative, award year-to-date activity. Since the information is reported by specific loan type or grant program, a total unique grant or loan recipient count is not available by school.

  • Please note that since loan and grant reports are run a few days after the quarter’s end, initial runs often underreport activity as a result of reporting delays and activity that occurs for the award year after the date (for example, summer disbursements). The data changes that occur after the fourth quarter of an award year are usually most noticeable.

  • In the portfolio reports, recipient counts are based at the loan level.  For that reason, recipients may be counted multiple times across varying loan statuses.  For example, a recipient with one loan in deferment and one loan in forbearance would be counted once in each category.  A recipient with two loans in the same status would only be counted once in that category. 

  • In the portfolio reports by servicer, the not-for-profit servicers (NFPs) should not be directly compared to the Title IV Additional Servicers (TIVAS) due to differences in their portfolio composition.

The FSA Data Center was launched in 2009 in an effort to increase government transparency by proactively posting information useful to businesses, institutions, the media, and individuals. In addition to the reports listed above, Federal Student Aid regularly posts strategic plans, copies of executed contracts, and school compliance reports, such as Clery Act reports and financial composite scores, on the FSA Data Center. 

   

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