Posted Date: December 9, 2014

Author:  Matthew Sessa, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid

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. Federal Student Aid updates its application, loan, grant, and portfolio reports quarterly. The most recent reports reflect activity through or as of September 30, 2014.

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.

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 support 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 volume, grant and loan volume for 2013-2014 have also decreased. The recipients and disbursements for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant Program have increased

  • As the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) portfolio is declining and the Direct Loan (DL) portfolio is growing, the makeup of the total portfolio is shifting. As a result of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, no new FFEL Program loans were made after June 30, 2010.

  • The balance of loans in forbearance increased across both DL and FFEL. For DL, 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. In the future, FSA will continue to monitor forbearance usage.

  • While the balance of loans in deferment has also increased, the majority of deferments are education-related deferments. Specifically, more than 80 percent of DL volume and 62 percent of FFEL volume in deferment are in education-related deferments.

  • Enrollment in income-driven repayment (IDR) options such as Pay As You Earn, Income-Based Repayment, and Income-Contingent Repayment continues to increase. Between 9/30/13 and 9/30/14, DL borrowers in enrolled in IDR plans went from comprising seven percent of the DL borrowers to nearly 10 percent and from 13 percent of DL portfolio balance to nearly 20 percent. .

  • DL borrowers who are current (on time or less than 31 days delinquent) on their federal student loan payments represent 82 percent of DL volume in active repayment status. 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 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.

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 FAFSA completions by high school, 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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