Posted Date: August 10, 2015

Author:  Lynn Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy, Planning and Innovation, Office of Postsecondary Education

Subject: Gainful Employment Announcement #58 - NSLDS Reporting for Gainful Employment Programs Discontinued Prior to the Effective Date of the Regulations

This Electronic Announcement responds to questions we have received from institutions asking whether institutions must report the data required under 34 CFR 668.411 of the Gainful Employment (GE) regulations for educational programs that were discontinued, or otherwise ceased to be Title IV eligible, prior to the effective date of the GE regulations on July 1, 2015.  The answer depends on when the program was discontinued or ceased to be Title IV eligible.

For the purposes of the GE regulations, the Department considers a program to have been discontinued as of the date that--

  • The institution no longer offered the program to any students, including to continuing students; or

  • The institution reported to the Department in its e-App that it no longer wanted the program to be Title IV eligible.

Note that an institution is required to report to the Department in its e-App that it no longer is offering a Title IV eligible program.

We remind institutions that after the discontinuation date, the institution may not disburse any Title IV aid to students for enrollment in that program, including to any students in the program who received Title IV aid in the past but remain enrolled in the program.  As long as the institution wants a program to remain Title IV eligible, it must provide Title IV aid to any eligible student.  For example, an institution may not “phase out” its Title IV eligibility by continuing to enroll new students in a program but only awarding and disbursing Title IV aid to continuing students.

Institutions with GE programs that were discontinued more than three years prior to the effective date of the GE regulations, that is, programs discontinued prior to July 1, 2012, are not required to report data for those programs, even if Title IV students were enrolled in the programs before they were discontinued.  This break in time is consistent with the three-year period under 34 CFR 668.410(b), after which a program can be offered and be Title IV eligible without regard to its prior history under the GE measures.   

Institutions with GE programs that were discontinued within three years of the effective date of the GE regulations (on or after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2015) must report data for those programs for any of the award years 2008-2009 through 2013-2014, in which students received Title IV aid for enrollment in the programs.   

While the deadline for reporting has now passed, we understand that some institutions may not have understood that reporting for discontinued programs is required.  Moreover, these and other institutions would not have had the guidance provided above when they reported for their programs. If your institution has not yet reported all required data, your institution should do so as soon as possible. We expect to send letters by the end of the month to institutions that have not reported or who may have reported incomplete data.

   

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