Posted Date: April 6, 2012

Author:  Pamela Eliadis, Service Director, System Operations & Aid Delivery Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Upcoming Enhancements to NSLDS to Accommodate Enrollment Reporting Process Changes

We recently informed the community of upcoming enhancements to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Enrollment Reporting process in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-12-06, posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site on March 30, 2012. As described in the Dear Colleague Letter, we are enhancing the Enrollment Reporting process to ensure the accuracy of enrollment reporting as well as to allow greater flexibility for reporting. The enhancements include new populations for inclusion in the process, additional data elements, enhanced notification files to loan holders, and options for additional loan holders to receive certified enrollment data.

For a complete description of these changes, including important reminders about school NSLDS Enrollment Reporting responsibilities, schools should carefully review Dear Colleague Letter GEN-12-06.

In this announcement, we would like to provide further information about the system changes we are implementing over the next several months to support the improved Enrollment Reporting process. In the following sections we provide important information regarding enhancements to NSLDS and the NSLDS Professional Access Web site, including the following:

  • New Enrollment Reporting File Layouts

  • Enrollment Administrator Option

  • Enrollment Notification Process and New File Layout

  • Enhancements to the NSLDS Student Access Web Site

  • Implementation Schedule

  • Additional Information

New Enrollment Reporting File Layouts

Beginning in July 2012, schools will be able to exchange batch enrollment data with NSLDS using an enhanced fixed width flat file, a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file, or an XML reporting schema. Schools will designate their file choice on the NSLDS Professional Access Web site, and NSLDS will initiate the Enrollment Reporting roster in that format. Schools will then respond using the same file choice and receive the enrollment response file in that same format.

To assist schools in preparing for the new file formats, we have posted the file layouts in the NSLDS Record Layouts section on the IFAP Web site.

The file layouts include new fields for the three new data items to be provided by schools: Credential Level, Student’s Address, and Term Dates. For more information about these additional data items, refer to Dear Colleague Letter GEN-12-06.

In addition, a new optional field has been added to the file layout to assist schools with reporting for a student who moves from one location to another within the same school. This new field, “Move To School Branch Code”, eliminates the need to create a separate withdrawal record from the old location when reporting the enrollment at the new location. For example, if a student was previously certified as enrolled in the 01 location and is now moving to the 02 location within the same 6-digit school code, the school will populate this field with 02. NSLDS will use this information to create a withdrawal record from the 01 location, and create a new certified enrollment at the 02 location.

While NSLDS will begin accepting all of the new reporting formats beginning in July 2012, schools will be given a transition period to begin using the revised file layouts over the next year. Schools will be required to report enrollment using one of the new layouts after March 31, 2013.

Note: As an additional reporting option, a submittal template will also be available for use by schools to upload enrollment certifications directly on the NSLDS Professional Access Web site. Further information about the template, designed to be used with the Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet application, will be provided in an upcoming NSLDS Newsletter posted to the IFAP Web site.

Enrollment Administrator Option

Schools that are currently using a servicer for the reporting of enrollment data may continue to do so. As is currently the process, schools must initially indicate this choice on the SAIG Enrollment Web site. It is important to remember that schools are responsible for the performance of their servicer.

To assist schools that report their own locations' enrollment information (e.g., do not use a servicer), we are establishing the option of an Enrollment Administrator. Schools with multiple locations can designate one or more Enrollment Administrator locations with the ability to report enrollment for students at other locations sharing the same six-digit school code. An Enrollment Administrator can be any location sharing a six-digit school code with the other location(s). It need not be the main location.

To designate one or more Enrollment Administrator locations, schools must establish an Enrollment Reporting profile on the NSLDS Professional Access Web site. Instructions for completing this process will be provided in an upcoming NSLDS Newsletter posted to the IFAP Web site.

In addition, it is important to note that NSLDS tracks student enrollment at the eight-digit school code (OPEID) level. Beginning with the 2012-2013 Award Year, the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System will capture the eight-digit school code of the actual physical location (identified by the last two digits of the OPEID) where the student attends. Reported on the disbursement record by the school, this “School Enrollment Code” will be used for loan records and by NSLDS as the current school for the Enrollment Roster. As a result of this change, schools that currently receive rosters at the main ("00") location that include students who actually are attending other physical locations will need to establish an Enrollment Administrator relationship over the other locations in order to continue reporting on those students from the main location.

Enrollment Notification Process and New File Layout

As described in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-12-06, additional loan holders will soon have the opportunity to sign up for the enrollment notification process. These entities will have a “portfolio” of borrowers for whom they hold loans and will receive certified enrollment data for those borrowers. This process will be made available in July 2012 to Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) data providers and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program lenders and lender servicers.

The enrollment data received from NSLDS is the data the Department considers to be the certified record from the school and the record upon which servicing action should be taken.  Entities receiving data directly from NSLDS will use the NSLDS records as “actionable” information.

The Enrollment Notification file is a fixed width batch file that will be delivered via the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG). The Enrollment Reporting Notification File Layout is now available in the NSLDS Record Layouts section on the IFAP Web site.

Perkins data providers wishing to sign up for the notification process may do so beginning in July 2012 on the NSLDS Professional Access Web site. Lenders and lender servicers may sign up for the service on the SAIG Enrollment Web site in May 2012. The new notification files will be transmitted beginning in July 2012.

Enhancements to the NSLDS Student Access Web Site

As described in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-12-06, students seeking to have their loans maintained in an in-school status or in an in-school deferment status are often negatively impacted because of the timing of their school’s NSLDS Enrollment Reporting. To address this issue, the NSLDS Student Access Web site will be enhanced to allow a student to report to NSLDS his or her transfer to a new school or reenrollment in the student’s last school attended. NSLDS will then add the student to the current school’s enrollment rosters for confirmation of that enrollment.

Students will also be able to provide NSLDS with their current home address on a new page of the NSLDS Student Access Web site. This student reported address will be available on the NSLDS Professional Access Web site for schools, lenders, and servicers who have loans associated with the student.

Further information about these changes will be provided in an upcoming NSLDS Newsletter posted to the IFAP Web site.

Implementation Schedule

The NSLDS Enrollment Reporting enhancements will be implemented in July 2012, at which time NSLDS will begin accepting the new reporting formats. As stated earlier in this announcement, schools will have until March 31, 2013 to transition to the new layout and file format of their choice. The current format will continue to be available until March 31, 2013. After this date, all Enrollment Reporting data must be exchanged using one of the enhanced methods.

Additional Information

Further technical information about the changes to the NSLDS Enrollment Reporting process for schools will be provided in an upcoming NSLDS Newsletter posted to the IFAP Web site.

To provide technical information about the NSLDS Enrollment Reporting and Notification enhancements for guaranty agencies (GAs), lenders and lender servicers, and Perkins data providers, we have posted an NSLDS Guaranty Agency (GA) Technical Update, an NSLDS Technical Update for Lenders, and a Federal Perkins Technical Update on the IFAP Web site.

Contact Information

If you have questions about NSLDS or navigating the NSLDS Professional Access Web site, contact the NSLDS Customer Support Center at 800/999-8219. You can also contact Customer Support by e-mail at nslds@ed.gov.

   

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