Posted Date: May 31, 2016

Author:  Jeff Baker, Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #78 - Draft GE Completers List Files

The purpose of this Electronic Announcement is to provide important information on the process for the calculation and release of Gainful Employment (GE) Program Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) rates. Specifically, it provides comprehensive information on the distribution of institutions’ GE Completers Lists.

Distribution of GE Completers List Files

As we announced in Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #74, we plan to issue GE D/E rates in January 2017. Also as announced in Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #74, by Wednesday, June 1, 2016 we will send institutions their Draft GE Completers Lists. We send an institution’s Draft GE Completers Lists to the institutionally designated Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailbox if the institution had one or more GE Programs with program completers during the applicable cohort period. The Draft GE Completers Lists will be sent using the SAIG message class GECOMBOP.

Note: If an institution has not designated a GE SAIG mailbox by the time we send the Completers Lists, the only way the institution can receive its GE Completers List is by requesting the files using the “Gainful Employment Completers List (GEPDC1)” report option on the Reports Tab of the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Professional Access Web site.  The report will be sent in the GECOMPOP message class.

45-Day Corrections Period

Consistent with the GE regulations at 34 CFR 668.405, institutions will have 45 days to submit corrections to the information included in the Draft GE Completers Lists. Note that, although we will be providing institutions with their GE Completers Lists on June 1, the 45-day period will not begin until we have made available to institutions our new “GE Completers List Corrections Submission” process which will be accessed through the Gainful Employment tab on the NSLDS Professional Access Web site. We expect that this process will be available to institutions later in June at which time we will provide the dates for the beginning and, more importantly, the ending of the 45-day GE Completers Lists corrections submission period.

We encourage institutions to use the time prior to the start of the official 45-day corrections period to begin their review of the information on their Draft Completers Lists. We also recommend that institutional staff attend one or both of the upcoming GE webinars. See the “Training Opportunities” section below for more information about the webinars.

Viewing and Working with the GE Completers List File

The GE Completers List file is a fixed-width, multi-record flat file containing, for all of the institution’s GE Programs, institutional information, GE Program information, and student-level data for each student in the GE cohort (see the NSLDS Gainful Employment User Guide for the GE Completers List file layout and specifications). Because working with such a complex file structure may be challenging for some institutions, we have developed two tools which will assist institutions in their review and analysis of the information in their GE Completers Lists. We expect to provide more information about these tools in a subsequent Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement to be posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site later this week.

Guidance on Determining Whether to Submit a Correction

In addition to submitting correction requests for data initially reported by an institution, the GE Completers List corrections process also allows the institution to challenge the exclusion or inclusion of a student. Under the GE regulations at 34 CFR 668.404(e) some of a GE Program’s completers are excluded from the final Completers List if they meet certain conditions. The “ Submitting GE Completers List Corrections” attachment to this announcement is a table that describes the types of correction requests that institutions can submit during the Draft Completers List corrections process. The table also includes a description of the information that must be provided by the institution in the comment section of the GE Completers List Corrections Submission screens (to be released later in June) that will be used by institutions to submit their requested corrections. The table also includes examples of the acceptable documentation to support an institution’s corrections request and examples of unacceptable documentation that is not sufficient to support an institution’s request.

Training Opportunities

As previously announced, we will offer two sets of webinars in June about the GE Completers List. The first webinar “Reading Your Draft GE Completers List Files” will be offered on June 2 and again on June 7. The second webinar, “Submitting GE Completers List Corrections” will be offered on June 14 and again on June 16. Refer to Dear Colleague Letter ANN-16-09 for complete information about these webinars, including how to register for them.

Contact Information

We encourage institutions to add an institutional contact for GE to the ORG tab of the NSLDS Professional Access Web site. The contact information in this new field will assist us if we need to contact the institution for GE-related questions.

If you have questions about the information in this Electronic Announcement, contact the NSLDS Customer Support Center at 800/999-8219. You can also contact Customer Support by e-mail at

The Gainful Employment Information Page on the IFAP Web site contains publications and resources on GE as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you have a question about the GE regulations that has not already been addressed in the FAQ section of the Gainful Employment Information Page, please submit the question to


Submitting GE Completers List Corrections in PDF Format, 200KB, 5 Pages


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