Posted Date: May 21, 2019

Author:  Federal Student Aid

Subject: Correcting Historical Program-Level Enrollment Data for College Scorecard Metrics

As described in the March 2019 Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) will calculate and disseminate data metrics by field of study through the College Scorecard. In order to accurately calculate the data metrics referenced in the Executive Order, we have enabled functionality for institutions to update their historical program-level enrollment data reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®), from which College Scorecard data metrics will be derived.

Correcting Historical Program-Level Enrollment Data in NSLDS

In mid-July 2019, we will calculate the data metrics for earnings and debt by field of study using data reported/updated by institutions as of July 10, 2019. We strongly encourage institutions to ensure the accuracy of previously reported program-level enrollment data that was reported to NSLDS on or after July 1, 2014.

To assist institutions with evaluating and updating previously reported data, we encourage institutions to use the following resources:

  • We have enabled new functionality in NSLDS to update previously reported data. Information about using the new functionality will be provided in the “How to Correct Historical Enrollment Reporting in NSLDS” webinar, offered on June 11, 2019. To register for the webinar, refer to Dear Colleague Letter ANN-19-02.

  • Additional guidance on the new functionality will be provided in the forthcoming NSLDS Newsletter 64, which will be posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website in the next several days. Monitor the NSLDS Reference Materials section of the IFAP website for the availability of this information.

  • An update to the November 2018 version of the NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide will provide information on program-level enrollment reporting and guidance on how to use NSLDS for updating previously reported data. Monitor the IFAP website for an announcement of the availability of the updated guide.

  • The College Scorecard Data web page includes a data file with information on cumulative loan debt for borrowers by field of study based on what was previously reported to NSLDS. We encourage institutions to compare the preliminary NSLDS program-level borrower counts using the NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Graduated Programs Report (SCHEP4) described in NSLDS Newsletter 62 and loan debt values on the College Scorecard data web page with their internal records to evaluate the accuracy of previously reported data. In addition, this preliminary College Scorecard data file provides corresponding data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) completion survey. To the extent that credentials conferred should generally be reported consistently in IPEDS and NSLDS, we encourage institutions to use the IPEDS data as a comparison in evaluating the accuracy of previously reported NSLDS program-level enrollment data.

Preliminary analysis of enrollment data suggests that, in the aggregate, program-level enrollment records for non-borrowers (e.g., Pell-only students) and students in certificate programs are less complete. In updating previously reported data, we encourage institutions to pay particular attention to records of students who fall into these categories. While the preliminary loan debt data file provided on the College Scorecard data web page excludes non-borrowers, we encourage institutions to ensure that all records are complete for all Title IV students because those students will be included in post-enrollment earnings calculations.

Contact Information

If you have questions about updating historical enrollment data in NSLDS, contact the NSLDS Customer Support Center at 1-800-999-8219. You can also contact Customer Support by email at


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