Posted Date: December 23, 2014

Author:  Jeff Baker, Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid
Pamela Eliadis, Service Director, System Operations & Aid Delivery Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Compliance with Program-Level Enrollment Reporting to NSLDS

This Electronic Announcement informs institutions that the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) will, as of February 1, 2015, no longer accept enrollment reporting files in file layout formats that are older than those posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site on February 27, 2014 (“the new formats”). An enrollment reporting file sent in an older format on or after February 1, 2015 will be rejected. Schools have been required to report enrollment, including program-level student enrollment information, to NSLDS in one of the new formats since responding to the first enrollment reporting roster generated on or after October 1, 2014. More information about these requirements is available in Dear Colleague Letters GEN-14-07, GEN-14-17, the NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Webinars held on July 15 and 16 and 30 and 31, and in the Electronic Announcement titled “Reminder of Program-Level Reporting Requirement” posted to the IFAP Web site on September 26, 2014.

IMPORTANT: We continue to monitor schools’ compliance with NSLDS enrollment reporting requirements. Within the next few weeks we will begin sending notices to the Chief Executive Officer (e.g., president, chancellor, owner) of any school that remains out of compliance with these enrollment reporting requirements. We will also begin the process of referring schools that fail to comply with NSLDS enrollment reporting requirements to our Program Compliance office for action.

Accurate Program-Level Enrollment Reporting

It is critically important for schools to completely and accurately report students’ program-level enrollment information to NSLDS. This information is used to determine the subsidy status of loans under the 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit.

Schools must pay particular attention to correctly reporting Published Program Length. After reviewing early submissions of program-level enrollment reporting information, we have discovered Published Program Lengths that appear to be reported incorrectly and are unreasonably short. This could harm the student and cause loss of subsidy in circumstances when the student should not lose interest subsidy. The Published Program Length field is a six-digit number with an implied decimal after the third digit.

For example, to report 2 years, the school would enter “002000”. To report 1.5 years the school would enter “001500”.

If a school is reporting program length in weeks or months, it is also essential that the school correctly report the number of weeks of instructional time that the school has defined for its Title IV Academic Year under 34 CFR 668.3. This number is used by NSLDS to convert the weeks or months value to a value in years to establish the student’s Maximum Eligibility Period for Direct Subsidized Loans.

If you determine that you have incorrectly reported any of a student’s key program-level enrollment information which is used by NSLDS to identify a unique program (CIP Code, Credential Level, and Published Program Length), you must report the student as never having attended (status X) the program that was associated with the inaccurate reporting, and then re-establish the student’s program-level enrollment information by reporting the accurate program-level information.

Student Permanent Address

Schools are now required to report Student Permanent Address along with the campus-level enrollment reporting information. We understand that schools may not have a valid postal address for every student. We will be implementing changes regarding the collection of address information early in 2015 and will issue communications to schools on how to handle address information going forward, including how to report if there is no valid address available for a student.

NSLDS is not currently rejecting enrollment reporting records if an address is not contained in the school’s submission. For now, schools that do not have a valid address for a student should leave all the address fields on that record blank. If a partial or invalid address is given, it could cause the record to reject.

NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Resources

For more information about NSLDS enrollment reporting requirements, refer to the July 2014 version of the NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide, available on the IFAP Web site. Additional information is available in the NSLDS Reference Materials section of the IFAP Web site.

Contact Information

If you have questions about NSLDS or the new enrollment reporting format, 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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