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Gainful Employment - Frequently Asked Questions



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These Frequently Asked Questions provide information and operational guidance on the requirements of the new gainful employment regulations. Institutions must review the final regulations as published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010, to ensure that they are in compliance with all of the GE Program requirements.

The listing of Frequently Asked Questions will be updated periodically and include the date of the update. New and/or updated questions and answers will be marked NEW and appear in red font. If you have questions that have not been addressed, please submit them to the GE Questions mailbox at GE-Questions@ed.gov and include the name of the institution.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General

Disclosure

Reporting

New Programs

Debt Measures

Informational Rates



General

  • G-Q1: I have a lot of questions about the gainful employment requirements and am not sure what to do.

    G-A1: Institutions should review the preamble and the final regulations published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010 and June 13, 2011. These FAQs, which are updated regularly, provide additional guidance. In addition, the Department has been conducting a series of Webinars on the gainful employment requirements. All Webinars are posted under the "Training" section of the GE Information Page. Additional resources, including the GE Operations Manual and the NSDLS GE User Guide, are available under "Resources". Questions can be sent to ge-questions@ed.gov. [May 14, 2012] Top


  • G-Q2: Are non-Title IV eligible educational programs subject to the gainful employment disclosure and reporting requirements?

    G-A2: No, only Title IV eligible programs are subject to the statutory and regulatory gainful employment requirements. However, all students enrolled in a Title IV-eligible program that leads to gainful employment in a recognized occupation – a GE Program – must be included in the disclosure and reporting requirements even if the institution does not participate in a loan program. This is true whether the student is a Title IV aid recipient or not. [May 12, 2011] Top


  • G-Q3: My teacher certification program does not award a degree or certificate, but instead consists of a series of courses that prepares students to receive a State professional teaching credential or certification. Would my program be considered a GE Program?

    G-A3: No, the program as described is not a GE Program. On May 20, we posted Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #3 that provides specific information on this question. Electronic Announcement #3 supersedes the information related to teacher certification programs at all types of institutions provided in the April 20, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-10.

    Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #3 advises institutions that a teacher certification that consists of a collection of course work that is required for a student to receive a State professional teaching credential or certification but does NOT lead to the awarding of a degree or certificate by the institution is not a GE Program. However, a teacher certification program that does lead to the awarding of a certificate or other non-degree (for a for-profit institution, also a degree) credential is a GE Program, and the institution must comply with all of the GE Program regulatory requirements. [May 27, 2011] Top


  • G-Q4: The regulations talk about CIP and SOC codes. What are these and where can I find these codes?

    G-A4: The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity. Institutions report credentials awarded by CIP codes when completing the IPEDS Completion Survey. Institutions are also required to list individual programs by CIP on their Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs (E-App).

    A listing of CIP codes is available at: http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cip2010. There is also a list of CIP codes available when completing the E-App.

    Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes are published by the Department of Labor and are available at http://www.bls.gov/soc. There is a crosswalk between CIP and SOC codes that can be found at: http://www.onetonline.org/crosswalk.[May 27, 2011] Top


  • G-Q5: Since the gainful employment metrics will not be calculated until 2012, must my institution still report information by October 1, 2011?

    G-A5: Yes. The effective dates for the October 29, 2010 regulations remain as follows:

         - July 1, 2011 for notification of new programs and disclosures.

         - October 1, 2011 for reporting information about students enrolled in GE Programs.

    While the regulations provide that the deadline for institutions to report GE Program information for the 2006-2007 through 2009-2010 award years is October 1, 2011, the August 2 Federal Register notice provides that the Department will continue to accept information from these earlier award years through November 15, 2011, the same date as the reporting date for the 2010-2011 award year. The Department will continue to accept the information into NSLDS without penalties or sanctions to the institutions until November 15 in order to provide institutions with greater flexibility during this first reporting year. [August 19, 2011] Top


  • G-Q6: I would like to end Title IV participation for one of my GE Programs. How do I do that? Do I have to provide the disclosures if I end Title IV participation? What about the reporting in October?

    G-A6: As noted in FAQ G-A2, the GE Program regulations only apply to educational programs that are Title IV eligible.

    Disclosures – If an institution ends an educational program’s Title IV eligibility before July 1, 2011, it is not required to provide the gainful employment disclosures on the educational program’s website. If the educational program’s Title IV eligibility ends on or after July 1, 2011, it must provide the required disclosures from July 1 until at least the end date of the program’s Title IV eligibility.

    Reporting – If an institution ends an educational program’s Title IV eligibility before October 1, 2011, it is not required to report by October 1, 2011. If the educational program’s Title IV eligibility ends on or after October 1, 2011, it should report the required information for all award years covered by the regulation.

    To remove an educational program’s Title IV eligibility, the institution must notify the Department by accessing its E-App at www.eligcert.ed.gov and entering an end date for the program the institution wishes to have Title IV eligibility discontinued. If the program does not appear on the institution’s ECAR, the institution must add the program following the instructions in Electronic Announcement #16. After adding the program, or if the program was previously added and appears on the institution’s ECAR, the institution must identify in Question 69 the program, the end date, and whether the program is no longer being offered or will be offered without Title IV eligibility. After completing all updates, the institution must follow the instructions for submitting the updated application. [May 14, 2012] Top


  • G-Q7: Do I need to report information on students in a GE program if only a few students were enrolled in the program during the award year? Do I need to disclose information even if the number of students who completed the program is very small?

    G-A7: Reporting – All domestic schools must report to the Department on all students in a GE Program regardless of the number of students enrolled, unless the school does not have a Social Security Number for the student. Foreign schools must report on all Title IV recipients and all other U.S. citizens (or U.S. nationals) enrolled in a GE Program if there were 10 or more students enrolled in the GE Program for the award year.

    Disclosures – For all schools, if the number of students who completed a GE Program during the award year was less than ten (10), for privacy reasons, the school should not disclose to the public:

    - Median debt amounts (Title IV debt, private educational loan debt, and debt from institutional financing)
    - On-time completion rate


    Schools must disclose all of the following, regardless of the number of students who were enrolled in or completed the program:

    - The occupations (by names and SOC codes) that the program prepares completers to enter
    - Tuition/fees charged to complete the program in normal time; typical costs for books and supplies (unless those costs are
       included as part of tuition and fees); and costs of room and board, if applicable
    - Placement rates if aligned with the requirements of the accreditor or State

    [June 8, 2011] Top


  • G-Q8: How do I treat students without Social Security Numbers for GE Program reporting and the GE Program disclosure requirements

    G-A8: G-A8: Students for whom the institution does not have a Social Security Number, in any institutional record, should not be included in the required GE Program reporting. Nor should information about those students be included when calculating median debt and completion rates for GE Program disclosures. [June 15, 2011] Top


  • G-Q9: Are English as a Second Language (ESL) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs gainful employment programs? If so, what CIP code and SOC codes do I assign to these programs?

    G-A9: To be a Title IV eligible program, an ESL or ESOL program must lead to a certificate or other credential being awarded by the institution. As such, the ESL or ESOL program is a gainful employment program, subject to all of the gainful employment regulations and other requirements.

    While the selection of the proper CIP code for an educational program is the responsibility of each institution, it is recommended that institutions use 23.0101 [English and Literature, General] for ESL and ESOL programs. Institutions should not use CIP code 32.0901 for these programs because that code belongs to a group of CIP codes reserved for non-academic recreational programs.

    The SOC codes that an institution should use when complying with the gainful employment disclosure requirements for ESL and ESOL programs should be the SOC codes that align with the employment of the students who complete the program. [June 30, 2011] Top


  • G-Q10: Our institution would like to reassign the CIP code on some of our GE Programs. How do we do this? How do we handle the reporting for the GE Program when it was under a different CIP code than the new updated CIP code?

    G-A10: An institution may update their GE program CIP code by submitting an updated CIP on their E-App. Updating a CIP code for an existing GE Program does not create a new GE Program. Reporting for all award years should use the new updated CIP code and not the CIP code that was assigned to the program in the past.

    Note that, procedures for reporting new educational programs that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation may be found in our August 3, 2011 Electronic Announcement #16. [May 14, 2012] Top


  • G-Q11: Can the Department guide us on how to calculate tuition and fees for disclosure purposes when students are charged on a term by term basis? Is the calculation the same for tuition and fees reporting?

    G-A11: Disclosures - Institutions must disclose for each of their GE Programs the total tuition and fees for the program. The amount disclosed must be the amount that will likely be charged to students for completing the program within normal time. For example, if the normal time for a student to complete a GE Program is four semesters over two years and the tuition and fees are $1,000 for each semester, the amount to be disclosed is $4,000. When tuition and fees may change over time, institutions should disclose the tuition and fees using either the current rate or an estimated amount. In either instance, the institution must include a disclaimer noting that the amounts may change. Fees include any fees and expenses that must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.

    Reporting – Institutions have the option of reporting the actual total tuition and fees charged to each student for whom they are reporting. If the institution chooses to report tuition and fees, the amount is the total charged the student for the entire program, not just the amount charged for an award year. If a student took longer than normal time to complete a program and thus paid more, it would be the total for that student, including the additional tuition and fees that student paid.[July 22, 2011] Top


  • G-Q12: Some students enrolled in a GE Program are still in high school. Should these students be included in the NSLDS GE reporting? Should they be included in the calculations for GE Program disclosures?

    G-A12: All "regular students" enrolled in a GE Program must be reported and included in the GE Program’s disclosures. Therefore, if a high school student is enrolled as a "regular student" in the GE Program, the institution must include the student in the NSLDS GE reporting. Similarly, this student must also be included in the disclosure requirements (e.g., median loan debt, on-time completion rates.). However, high school students who are not enrolled as regular students should not be reported, nor should they be included in disclosure rates. The regulations at 34 CFR 600.2 define a regular student as a person who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential offered by that institution. [August 9, 2011] Top


  • G-Q13: For gainful employment reporting and disclosure purposes, when should an institution consider the student to have completed the GE Program?

    G-A13: Consistent with longstanding Title IV student aid policy, a student is considered to have completed an educational program when the student has satisfied all of the academic requirements of the program, regardless of whether the degree, certificate, or other institutional credential has been awarded to the student. [August 12, 2011] Top


  • G-Q14: Can the Department provide more guidance on institutional financing plan?

    G-A14: Institutions are required to report the total amount owed by a student from institutional financing plans for attendance in a GE program. Unlike Title IV loan debt or private loan debt where institutions report the total amount the student received for attendance in the GE Program, the amount reported for institutional financing plans is the amount owed by the student as of the day the student completed or withdrew from the GE program. This difference in treatment also applies to the calculation of loan debt for GE Program disclosure purposes.

    Any loan, extension of credit, payment plan, or other financing mechanism that was provided by the institution or a related party for attendance in the GE Program, and that otherwise is not reported as a private education loan, that results in a debt a student must repay to the institution or the related party, after withdrawing from or completing the GE Program is considered part of an institutional financing plan. Also, any charge that is attributable to the student’s attendance in the GE Program that a student owes to the institution after withdrawing from or completing the GE Program should also be included in the amounts reported and disclosed under an institutional financing plan. This may include unpaid library fees, parking tickets, or other outstanding obligation due to the institution after a student withdraws from or completes a GE program.

    Note that if the aggregate amount owed by the student to the institution upon completion or withdrawal is $200 or less, that amount need not be reported or used in the disclosure calculation.

    Finally, over awards and other Title IV student aid owed to the institution by the student, including as a result of a Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation, are not amounts owed under an institutional financing plan and should not be reported or disclosed. Nor should amounts owed by students to the institution under the Federal Perkins Loan Program be reported or disclosed. [August 12, 2011] Top


  • G-Q15: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #34 stated that preparatory courses of study are not GE Programs. It also reminded institutions that students enrolled in such programs are only eligible for Direct Loans. What are the applicable requirements for determining the enrollment status for students enrolled in those programs?

    G-A15: As noted in Electronic Announcement #34, all preparatory courses of study that do not lead to an institutionally awarded credential, including post-baccalaureate courses of study, are considered to be at the undergraduate level for purposes of eligibility for the Direct Loan Program. Therefore, the minimum half-time enrollment status necessary to receive a Direct Loan for a preparatory course of study is based on the minimum standards for undergraduate students in the definition of “full-time student” in §668.2 of the Student Assistance General Provisions regulations. [May 14, 2012] Top


  • G-Q16: I am confused about whether a program that is at least two years in length and is fully transferrable to a four year degree program is a GE Program. Does it matter whether the two year program leads to a certificate or other credential awarded by the institution?

    G-A16: The short answer is only programs that are at a non-profit or public institution and are at least two academic years in length and that are specifically designed to be a transfer program and that do not lead to a certificate or other credential awarded by the institution are Title IV-eligible non-GE Programs.

    Under the HEA, an eligible Title IV program must lead to a degree, certificate, or other credential awarded by the institution. There is, however, an exception for a program that is at least two-academic years in length and that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree. This exception is provided to allow students who are enrolled in non-credential transfer programs (generally offered by community colleges) to be eligible for Title IV aid as they prepare to transfer to a four-year degree program. These programs, while Title IV eligible under the exception, are not GE Programs since they are designed to lead to transfer and not to direct employment.

    Programs that are not designed solely for transfer purposes and that lead to a credential (usually a certificate or diploma) awarded by the institution are not included in the above exception. For example, a two-year program offered by a community college that is designed to provide students with the transfer credit hours that will be acceptable by a four-year college for transfer to a bachelor’s degree program is a non-GE Title IV eligible program. However, a two-year program that awards a certificate of its own does not fall under the transfer program exception. As such, that program is Title IV eligible only because it must lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation (a GE Program). The program is a GE Program even if the credits earned in the program are transferrable to a four-year bachelor’s program. [October 17, 2011] Top


  • G-Q17: May an institution located in the Freely Associated States or in American territories comply with the gainful employment requirements in the same way, and under the same guidance, that applies to foreign institutions?

    G-A17: For the purposes of gainful employment reporting and disclosures, institutions in the Freely Associated States (the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau) may follow the same gainful employment guidance that applies to foreign institutions. As stated in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-10, foreign institutions need not report on a GE Program if the number of reportable students who were enrolled in that program during the award year was ten or fewer.

    Institutions from other American areas including: Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands must follow the guidance in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-10 that provides that institutions must report on all of their students who enrolled in a GE Program, regardless of whether a student received Title IV aid. Institutions should not report students for whom the institution does not have a Social Security Number. [December 23, 2011] Top


  • G-Q18: Are there any Title IV-eligible programs offered by proprietary institutions that are not subject to the GE requirements?

    G-A18: Generally, all Title IV-eligible programs offered by a for-profit institution are GE Programs, and therefore subject to all of the GE regulatory requirements. However, there are two exceptions. First, as described in Electronic Announcement #34, a course of study that is designed to provide students with the necessary coursework for enrollment in a degree or certificate program, and does not lead to a credential awarded by the institution, is not a GE Program.

    The second exception applies to a liberal arts bachelor's degree program that has been continuously provided by the for-profit institution since January 1, 2009 and the for-profit institution has been continuously accredited as a for-profit institution by a recognized regional accrediting agency since October 1, 2007.

    If a for-profit institution acquires a liberal arts bachelor's degree program (either by purchase, merger, or any other transaction) after January 1, 2009, the exception does not apply since the program was not continuously provided by the for-profit institution since that date. Therefore, the liberal arts program must be one that leads to gainful employment in a recognized occupation. [April 27, 2012] Top


Disclosure

  • D-Q1: Our institution has two programs with the same 6-digit CIP code and Credential Level but with different specializations and different program names. They each have a home page on our website. Should we disclose the median debt separately by specialization or should we combine the students in the two programs and report as one program?

    D-A1: The Department is modifying its guidance on this FAQ regarding disclosures of educational programs that share the same CIP Code and Credential Level. Previously, two programs with the same CIP Code and Credential Level were to be treated as one program for reporting and disclosure purposes under 34 CFR 668.6. As noted in Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #25, posted on September 28, institutions may make separate disclosures for programs that have the same CIP Code and Credential Level if doing so more accurately reflects each program’s characteristics. In these cases, separate disclosures will provide more useful information for prospective students and their families. The Electronic Announcement provides more details on this issue. We remind institutions that they should carefully review each of their educational programs to ensure that the appropriate CIP code has been assigned. The full listing of CIP codes is available at http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cip2010.

    Note that the guidance provided in Electronic Announcement #25 applies only to the disclosure requirements and does not apply to the requirements for GE Program reporting and the metrics that will be calculated by the Department. [September 28, 2011] Top


  • D-Q2: The regulations say that institutions must use the disclosure template provided by the Department. Will the Department’s template be available in time for me to post the information by the July 1, 2011 deadline? If not, what should I do? Do I have to immediately switch to the Department’s template once it is released?

    D-A2: Please see Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #42 for more information about the 2011-2012 disclosures for Gainful Employment Programs. [December 13, 2012] Top


  • D-Q3: The gainful employment disclosure regulations require that all promotional materials for a program include the required information specified in the regulations at 34 CFR 668.6(b)(1). How does that requirement apply to postcards, invitations, flyers, billboard and transit advertising, radio, television, web and similar advertising and solicitations?

    D-A3: If the invitation, advertisement, or solicitation mentions or otherwise refers to a specific GE Program or programs, the disclosure information must be included whenever feasible. If providing the information is not feasible because of the size or format of the invitation, advertisement, or solicitation, the institution may display the URL or provide a live link to the webpage where the required information is located, with a clear explanation of the information that is available at that webpage. For promotional materials that advertise more than one GE Program, institutions have the option of (1) providing one link on the promotional material where prospective students can be redirected to a list of the web links for all of the GE Programs webpages, or (2) providing a direct link for each program on the promotional material. This single webpage is in addition to the disclosure information placed on each programs web page.

    An example of a compliant disclosure under this guidance could include the following text: “For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at, www.XYZcollege.edu/ABCprogram/disclosure.” [July 22, 2011] Top


  • D-Q4: An institution must disclose to prospective students information about each GE Program no later than July 1, 2011 for the most recently completed award year. What should be disclosed when June 30, 2011 is the last day of the most recently completed award year (2010-2011) which is just one day before the required disclosure date of July 1, 2011?

    D-A4: Institutions may use information from the 2009-2010 award year for the disclosures that are required by July 1, 2011. However, within a reasonable amount of time once 2010-2011 information is available, institutions must update their disclosure information. Similarly, institutions must update their disclosures within a reasonable amount of time after the end of subsequent award years. [May 12, 2011] Top


  • D-Q5: How do I calculate the median loan debt for purposes of gainful employment disclosures?

    D-A5: The median is the middle value in a distribution of values, above and below which lie an equal number of values. To calculate the median loan debt for a program, an institution would follow these steps.

    Step 1: Determine which students completed the GE Program in the most recently completed award year. As noted in the response to D-Q4, an institution may use information from the 2009-2010 award year for disclosures that must be included on the GE Program’s website homepage by July 1, 2011, but are expected to update that information with 2010-2011 award year information in a reasonable amount of time.

    Step 2: Arrange each student’s debt in ascending order, including students with zero debt.

    Step 3: Identify the middle value since the median is the middle value in the distribution of all values. If there is an even number of values in the distribution and thus there is no middle value, calculate the mean (average) of the two values at the halfway point.

    Example A: The following are the loan debt values for nine (9) students in the 2009-2010 award year listed in ascending order:
    1. $0
    2. $0
    3. $1000
    4. $1750
    5. $2343
    6. $4709
    7. $6881
    8. $6881
    9. $9995


    Since this distribution includes an odd number of values, the median loan debt is $2343 because the fifth value is the “middle” number when these debts are ranked in ascending order.

    Example B: The following are the loan debt values for twelve (12) students in the 2009-2010 award year listed in ascending order:

    1. $0
    2. $0
    3. $500
    4. $1674
    5. $2126
    6. $3000
    7. $4000
    8. $4000
    9. $6524
    10. $8326
    11. $8591
    12. $10000

    Since this distribution includes an even number of values, to determine the median loan debt for these twelve students the institution must calculate the mean of the sixth and seventh values ($3000 + $4000 = $7000; $7000 ÷ 2 = $3500). The median loan debt for this cohort of twelve students is $3500. [May 12, 2011] Top


  • D-Q6: What loans need to be included in the three calculations of the GE Program’s median loan debt?

    D-A6: For the purposes of the disclosure of median Title IV loan debt, all loans provided under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program are to be included in the calculation of Title IV median loan debt, except for Parent PLUS loans and TEACH grants that may have been converted to Unsubsidized Direct Loans. Federal Perkins Loans are not to be included.

    For the median loan debt of private loans, the Truth-in-Lending regulations at 12 CFR 226.46(b)(5) provide the definition of a private education loan. Examples of private education loans include, but are not limited to, loans made expressly for educational expenses by financial institutions, credit unions, institutions of higher education or their affiliates,and States and localities.

    For the median of institutional financing plan debt, include any loan, extension of credit, payment plan, or other financing mechanism that would otherwise not be considered a private education loan but that results in a debt obligation that a student must pay to an institution after completing the program. [May 12, 2011] Top


  • D-Q7: When calculating on-time completion rates for disclosure purposes, how do we determine “normal time”?

    D-A7: The regulations at 34 CFR 668.6(c) refer to 34 CFR 668.41(a) for a definition of “normal time”. Normal time is defined as the amount of time necessary for a student to complete all requirements for the degree or certificate as provided in the institution’s catalog or other promotional materials. This is typically four years for a bachelor’s degree program in a standard term-based institution, two years for an associate degree program in a standard term- based institution, and the scheduled time for certificate programs as provided in the institution’s publications.

    For clock hour programs, it is the time, measured in days or weeks, provided in the institution’s catalog or other promotional materials stating how long it takes a student to complete the program. For example, an institution’s materials may state that the normal time to complete a 1500 clock hour program is 50 weeks.

    Note that in all instances, “normal time” is not 150% of the published time nor is it the timeframe used in the calculation of completion rates for Student Right to Know disclosures.[May 20, 2011] Top


  • D-Q8: What placement rate do we disclose if our institution is not required by our accrediting agency or State to calculate a placement rate?

    D-A8: If there is no requirement by the State or an accreditor to calculate a placement rate for either the institution as a whole or for the specific GE Program, the institution does not need to disclose a placement rate. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) was charged with developing a methodology that will be used to calculate placement rates for GE Programs. We will inform institutions of their responsibility to use that methodology once NCES develops the placement rate methodology. Institutions will have sufficient time to implement the methodology. See Electronic Announcement #31 for more information. [May 30, 2012] Top


  • D-Q9: Our institution is required to calculate placement rates for both our State and for our accrediting agency, must we include both rates in our disclosures?

    D-A9: Yes, the institution must report both rates. The regulations at 34 CFR 668.6(b)(1)(iv) provide that if the institution is required by its accrediting agency or State to calculate a placement rate, it must disclose the rate on a program basis and identify the accrediting agency or State agency under whose requirements the rate was calculated. [June 8, 2011] Top


  • D-Q10: In some instances existing CIP codes do not crosswalk to one or more SOC Codes. Can we expect updates to this area? May we select a SOC Code that may not crosswalk to the selected CIP code?

    D-A10: The last update to the CIP/SOC crosswalk was completed in 2010 and can be found at http://www.onetonline.org/crosswalk/.

    Institutions are required to disclose the SOC codes that correspond to the selected CIP codes on the O*NET Crosswalk website that best match the jobs program graduates get after completion of the program.

    For CIP codes that do not crosswalk to one or more SOC codes, institutions can add SOC codes that align significantly and substantively with the program learning outcomes provided that the institution has evidence that graduates of the program found employment in these fields. [May 30, 2012] Top


  • D-Q11: How do I calculate an on-time completion rate for the gainful employment program (GE Program) disclosures required by the October 29, 2010 regulations?

    D-A11: The regulations at 34 CFR 668.6(c) explain how an institution calculates an on-time completion rate for GE Programs. The formula is as follows:

    Divide the number of students who completed the GE Program during the most recently completed award year within normal time by the total number of students who completed the GE Program in the most recently completed award year and multiply the result by 100. Example: During the 2009-2010 award year 100 students completed the GE Program but only 75 of them completed in normal time. Divide 75 by 100 to get .75. Then multiply .75 times 100 to get 75. Thus for this program, 75% is the completion rate. [June 15, 2011] Top


  • D-Q12: If a student took an approved leave of absence, may I only use the student’s actual enrollment time to determine if this student completed within the normal time for the GE Program?

    D-A12: No. Leaves of absence are to be included when determining whether a student completed a GE Program within normal time. For example, if the normal time to compete a GE Program is 2 years and a student took 2.5 years to complete because of a 6 month leave of absence, the student would NOT be one that can be included as having completed the GE Program within normal time when calculating the GE Program’s completion rate. Thus, students who do not complete the GE Program in normal time because of a leave of absence (or any other reason) are to be included in the denominator of the completion rate fraction but not in the numerator. [June 15, 2011] Top


  • D-Q13: Should median debt that must be disclosed as required by the October 29, 2010 regulations include loan amounts that exceeded a student’s institutional charges?

    D-A13: Yes, when calculating the median Title IV debt and private educational loan debt for a GE Program’s disclosure information, the total amount that each student received for attendance in the GE Program, without regard to how much went to institutional charges, is to be included. For debt from institutional financing plans, the amount to be used in the calculation is the amount the student has outstanding upon leaving the program.

    For example, a student may have received a loan totaling $10,000 for attendance in a GE Program where $6,000 went to pay institutional charges and $4,000 was provided to the student to meet other educational expenses (e.g., books and supplies, living expenses). When calculating the median loan debt for the disclosures, this student would be considered to have $10,000 in loan debt. [June 15, 2011] Top


  • D-Q14: For disclosure purposes, when calculating the median loan debt for a GE Program how do I take into account the fact that some completers also completed a higher credentialed program?

    D-A14: So that the gainful employment program disclosure information can be most useful for prospective students, institutions should disclose the median loan debt amounts incurred by GE Program completers for their attendance in that GE Program. Alternatively, an institution may exclude from the calculation of median loan debt students who subsequently completed a higher credentialed program at the same institution. However, when calculating the median loan debt for the higher credentialed program, the institution must include the loan debt incurred by completers for their attendance in the lower credential program. [June 30, 2011] Top


  • D-Q15: When I determine whether a student who completed a GE Program did so in normal time, do I account for the time the student may have been enrolled at my institution but in another educational program? Does it matter if that other educational program was a GE Program?

    D-A15: When determining whether a student completed the GE Program in normal time, the institution must use the date of the student’s first enrollment in any program at the institution (even if the prior program was not a GE Program), unless the student had completed the earlier program.

    For example, consider a student who had been enrolled in a one-year certificate program but did not complete that program before transferring into a two-year certificate program at the same institution. When determining if the student completed the two-year program in normal time, the institution must begin with the date the student began the one-year program. [July 13, 2011] Top


  • D-Q16: When I determine whether a student who completed a GE Program at my institution did so in normal time, do I account for the time the student was enrolled at another institution? Does it matter whether my institution accepted all or any of the credits earned by the student at the other institution?

    D-A16: Generally, when determining whether a student who was previously enrolled in an educational program at a different institution completed the GE Program in normal time, you do not include the time the student was enrolled at the other institution, regardless of whether credits were transferred.

    For example, consider a student who had been enrolled in a one-year certificate program at another institution before transferring into a two-year certificate program at your institution. When determining if the student completed the two-year program at your institution in normal time, you do not include the time the student was enrolled at the other institution and begin with the date the student began the two-year program at your institution. [July 13, 2011] Top


  • D-Q17: When disclosing information about our GE Programs, can my institution include all the information on one central webpage?

    D-A17: No. Disclosure information about a GE Program must be on the home page of the specific GE Program as well as in any promotional materials made available to prospective students. Institutions must provide a prominent and direct link on any other webpage containing general, academic, or admissions information about the program, to the GE Program’s webpage that contains all the required information. Please see D-Q3 for more about disclosures on promotional materials. [July 22, 2011] Top


  • D-Q18: How does an institution comply with the GE disclosure requirements when it promotes the GE Program using social networks and other new media such as microblogs?

    D-A18: For institutions that use new media channels, such as social networks and microblogs (e.g., Twitter), to promote a GE program, that messaging must include a direct link to the program’s gainful employment disclosure information using the suggested text included in D-A3. If, because of limitations of the specific technology (e.g., character limitations), it is not feasible to provide the suggested text and/or the full hyperlink the institution may use a URL shortener, as long as that shortener will lead directly to the GE Program’s home page where the required disclosure information is located. Furthermore, institutions (or their officials) that repost an update that promotes a GE program from an outside party must include a direct link to the program disclosures on the reposted update regardless of whether the original update contained a link to the disclosure information.

    We remind institutions that individuals affiliated with the institution who provide information about a GE program, whether or not they are acting in an official capacity of the institution, must inform prospective students about where the disclosure information can be found and provide a direct link to the program disclosures. For example, a faculty member who promotes an institution’s GE Program on his or her personal blog is required to provide a direct link to the program disclosures on the blog posting. This requirement, however, does not apply to students or former students unless those persons are acting under the auspices of the institution. [December 23, 2011] Top


  • D-Q19: When must institutions update their disclosures for 2012?

    D-A19: Disclosing certain information about GE Programs is an annual requirement. Consistent with the regulations, all institutions of higher education are required to use the Department’s disclosure template, once available, to prepare their GE disclosures and post this information on their websites. ED will make the template available for schools to use in July, 2012. Institutions are not required to update their disclosures in 2012 until the template is available. Once the disclosure template is available, institutions should use it to provide their disclosures for the 2011-2012 award year as soon as possible, but no later than 60 days after the release of the template. [June 15, 2012] Top


Reporting

  • R-Q1: When will the file layout for the reporting requirements be available?

    R-A1: The NSLDS File Layout is now available and can be accessed under "Resources” on the Gainful Employment Information Page. If your institution chooses to use the submittal template, it is available https://www.fsadownload.ed.gov/NSLDSGainEmp.htm. In order to provide institutions with greater flexibility during this first reporting year we will continue to accept the information into NSLDS without penalties or sanctions to the institutions until November 15, 2011. [September 27, 2011] Top


  • R-Q2: If institutions are only required to report on Title IV eligible programs, why does the Department’s draft file layout included with Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-10 ask if the educational program is a GE Program?

    R-A2: Although schools are only required to report on students who were enrolled in GE Programs, reporting on non-GE Programs is optional. For some schools, it may be easier for them to report on all students. [May 12, 2011] Top


  • R-Q3: My program only began its Title IV eligibility in 2009. Does my institution have to report for years when the program was not Title IV eligible?

    R-A3: No, the institution need only report for award years when the educational program was Title IV eligible. If a program became eligible in the middle of an award year, the institution must report on all students enrolled in the program at any time in the award year. Please see G-Q2 and G-Q6 for related information. [July 6, 2011] Top


  • R-Q4: Our GE Program is a postgraduate certificate program for students who have earned a graduate degree. What Credential Level applies to such a program?

    R-A4: GE Postgraduate certificate programs should be reported as “04- Post-Baccalaureate Certificate”. Note that the Credential Levels for gainful employment are different than what is used in IPEDS or PEPS. [July 22, 2011] Top


  • R-Q5: When will NSLDS be ready to accept Gainful Employment information?

    R-A5: NSLDS will be ready to accept GE information on September 26, 2011. This will include the receipt of batch files, the use of the online screens, and spreadsheet uploads. [July 26, 2011] Top


  • R-Q6: Must all Gainful Employment information submitted by an institution for an award year be sent in one file or can an institution submit one award year’s data split among multiple files?

    R-A6: Institutions may submit GE information to NSLDS however the institution chooses. This includes submitting information for an award year in one file or in multiple files. Institutions may also submit information from multiple award years in one file. [July 26, 2011] Top


  • R-Q7: Field Code 14 asks whether the student received a FFEL or Direct Loan at any time during the student’s enrollment in the program. Does "received" mean that a loan was awarded or that funds were disbursed to the student?

    R-A7: Setting this field to ‘Y’ indicates that funds were disbursed either directly to the student or were applied to the student’s account at the institution. [July 26, 2011] Top


  • R-Q8: Credential Level 07 is First-Professional Degree. What degrees count as a first-professional degree?

    R-A8: A First-Professional Degree is one that signifies both completion of the academic requirements for beginning practice in a given profession and a level of professional skill beyond that normally required for a bachelor's degree. Professional licensure is also generally required. First-Professional degrees are Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.), Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), Chiropractic (D.C. or D.C.M.), Law (L.L.B. or J.D.), Medicine (M.D.), Optometry (O.D.), Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Podiatry (D.P.M., D.P., or Pod.D.), and Theology (M.Div., or M.H.L.). [August 3, 2011] Top


  • R-Q9: How does an institution report if a student withdrew from a GE Program and then reenrolled in the same GE Program within the same award year?

    R-A9: Two records would be reported for a student who began enrollment in a GE Program, withdrew from that program and then reenrolled in that same GE Program all within the same award year (some institutions refer to this as a student who "stopped out"). The first record would report the student’s first enrollment, including a "W" for Withdraw in Field 17 and the withdrawal date in Field 18. The second record would include the date the student began the second enrollment in Field 16. [August 5, 2011] Top


  • R-Q10: If my institution currently has a TG Mailbox to send and receive information using EDconnect, can we use the same TG Mailbox for GE Program reporting?

    R-A10: Yes, institutions may choose which TG Mailbox they want to use for GE Program reporting. However, the institution must go into NSLDS using the GE Reporting List option and select the TG Mailbox it will use for GE reporting. [August 5, 2011] Top


  • R-Q11: If a third party servicer is used to report our school’s enrollment data, can I use the same TG Mailbox to report GE information?

    R-A11: The TG Mailbox associated with the servicer could be used for GE Program reporting if you have contracted with the same servicer to provide GE reporting on your behalf. Please contact your servicer to determine which TG Mailbox they would like you to use for GE Program reporting. As a reminder, when using a servicer to report to NSLDS, there must be at least one user at your institution with NSLDS online access to designate which TG Mailbox your institution will use for GE Program reporting and to make corrections to information initially reported by the servicer. [August 5, 2011] Top


  • R-Q12: In Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #15, the Department says that it will continue to accept GE information into NSLDS until November 15, 2011. Does that mean that I do not have to report until November 15, 2011?

    R-A12: While the regulations provide that the deadline for institutions to report GE Program information for the 2006-2007 through 2009-2010 award years is October 1, 2011, the August 2 Federal Register notice provides that the Department will continue to accept information from these earlier award years through November 15, 2011, the same date as the reporting date for the 2010-2011 award year. The Department will continue to accept the information into NSLDS without penalties or sanctions to the institutions until November 15 in order to provide institutions with greater flexibility during this first reporting year. [August 9, 2011] Top


  • R-Q13: How should an institution report students who are enrolled in a summer term that crosses award years?

    R-A13: Since the student was enrolled in both award years, the institution should report the student separately in both award years’ submissions. The ‘Program Attendance Status’ field for such a student would be ‘E’ (Enrolled) in the first award year’s submission and either ‘E’ (Enrolled), ‘W’ (Withdrew), or ‘C’ (Completed) for the subsequent award year’s submission, whichever is the appropriate status for the student in that award year. Note that reporting students in GE Programs in both award years for a summer crossover term does not change how institutions award Title IV aid for a crossover payment period. [August 19, 2011] Top


  • R-Q14: How should an institution report a student who is not technically enrolled on June 30 in an award year, but has not withdrawn from the program because the student is expecting to return in the fall?

    R-A14: As with regular SSCR enrollment reporting to NSLDS, students are to be considered as in school and continuously enrolled during holiday and vacation periods, as well as during the summer between academic years (even if not enrolled in a summer session), as long as the institution has no reason to believe that the student will not return following the holiday, vacation, or summer period. For example, the ‘Program Attendance Status’ field for such a student would be ‘E’ (Enrolled) and not ‘W’ (Withdrew) at the end of the spring term if the student is expected to re-enroll for the fall term. If the student does not return as expected, the ‘Program Attendance Status’ field must be changed to ‘W’ (Withdrew) and the ‘Program Attendance End Date’ should be completed with the last date of attendance. [August 19, 2011] Top


  • R-Q15: What happens if a school submits a duplicate record for a student for the same award year?

    R-A15: If the record is an exact duplicate, NSLDS will accept the second record with no error reported back to the institution. However, if any of the data from the earlier record is changed, NSLDS will accept the subsequent record. [August 19, 2011] Top


  • R-Q16: If an institution submits a record for a student and then found that the wrong award year, CIP code, or Credential Level was provided, how does the institution correct the record?

    R-A16: NSLDS will treat a record with a different award year, CIP Code, or Credential Level as a new enrollment for the student. Therefore, if the institution wants to simply correct one or more of these three fields, it must deactivate the original record using the NSLDS online deactivation process and submit a new record with the correct information. These are the only three fields where a new record must be created. Other field changes will update the existing record for the student. [August 19, 2011] Top


  • R-Q17: Could the Department provide more guidance on when information must be reported about a student’s enrollment in another program (GE Reporting Fields 22 to 28)?

    R-A17: The NSLDS Users Guide instructs institutions to complete fields 22 to 28 only when the student withdrew from or completed the GE Program that is described in the reporting record. The institution provides the information if, at the time it is completing the GE Program reporting, the student has enrolled in another program at the same institution. Similarly, the institution provides as much information as it has if it is aware that the student enrolled in another institution after that student withdrew from or completed the GE Program at the reporting institution. A value of ‘N’ may be provided if the information is not readily available. Institutions should follow the instructions in the NSLDS Gainful Employment User Guide. [November 02, 2011] Top


  • R-Q18: My institution needs to correct the CIP code of a program listed on my ECAR. Do I need to do that before I do my gainful employment reporting this fall? For the upcoming GE reporting, should my institution report using the old CIP code listed on the ECAR or the new one?

    R-A18: The Department is aware that a number of institutions need to update one or more of the CIP Codes that were reported to the Department and are included on the institution’s ECAR. This is particularly important because of the decennial update to the Classification of Instructional Programs which occurred in 2010. Although institutions are encouraged to update CIP codes of the programs included on the institution’s ECAR, it is not necessary that those updates occur prior to reporting GE Program information into NSLDS this fall. When reporting GE Program information to NSLDS, institutions should use the updated CIP Codes for all students, including those who were enrolled in the program in years when the program had an older CIP code. [September 1, 2011] Top


  • R-Q19: May an institution use a third-party to prepare, submit, or otherwise meet the GE reporting requirements?

    R-A19: Yes, as with most Title IV requirements, an institution may use a third-party to meet its GE reporting requirements. However, the ‘third-party servicer’ requirements of 34 CFR 668.25 would apply where both the third-party servicer and the institution are responsible for ensuring that information is reported timely and accurately. Failure to do so could result in liabilities applying to both the servicer and the institution. Additionally, under the regulations, the third-party servicer must follow the audit submission requirements of the regulations. [September 6, 2011] Top


  • R-Q20: We know that some students who were enrolled during the award years that we are required to report on (2006-2007 through 2010-2011) began their GE Program before the start of the 2006-2007 award year. In some instances we may know the exact date when the student began the program but not in all instances. What do we enter in Field #15, the Program Attendance Begin Date, when the student’s begin date was prior to July 1, 2006?

    R-A20: Institutions are encouraged to enter the actual date that students began attendance in a GE Program. If an institution is not able to provide that date, it may enter the begin date of the 2006-2007 award year: 20060701. [September 20, 2011] Top


  • R-Q21: Are there certain data fields that I do not fill out if the student is still enrolled in the program at the end of the award year I am reporting on? For example, if a student borrowed $10,000 in private loans in 2007-2008 and $5,000 in 2008-2009, do I report $15,000 in the 2008-2009 record which is the award year when the student completed the program?

    R-A21: The total loans received by the student for all years of the student’s enrollment in the GE Program are reported in the record for the award year when the student completed or withdrew from the program. In the example above, no loan information should be reported for the 2007-2008 award year and all of the $15,000 should be reported for the 2008-2009 award year. The loan fields should be left blank (not zero) for the 2007-2008 award year because the student is still enrolled at the end of that award year. [September 20, 2011] Top


  • R-Q22: What Credential Level is used for diploma programs?

    R-A22: Institutions should use “01-Undergraduate Certificate” as the Credential Level when reporting a student’s enrollment in a diploma programs. [September 20, 2011] Top


  • R-Q23: My institution submitted a batch GE file but never received an error file in response. What is the status of my batch file? Was it successfully loaded into NSLDS?

    R-A23: No, if the institution never received a “GE Response File” (returned to the institution even if the submission had no errors), the institution’s batch file never processed and therefore, the GE data was not loaded into NSLDS. If the institution’s batch file was received and processed, the institution would have received a GE Response Error/Acknowledgement file into their SAIG mailbox within 36 hours of submitting the batch file. The reason why the batch file was not processed may have been because of problems with the header or trailer records, an incorrect message class was used by the institution, or some other issue. If you have not received anything from the department or NSLDS within 36 hours, please contact the NSLDS Customer Support Center at 1-800-999-8219. [September 27, 2011] Top


  • R-Q24: Can you explain the difference between the “Program Attendance Begin Date” and the “Program Attendance Begin Date for this Award Year”?

    R-A24: The “Program Attendance Begin Date” and the “Program Attendance Begin Date for this Award Year” may differ because the student may have started the GE Program in an earlier award year.

    For example, consider a student who began a GE Program on May 15, 2008 (enrolled in the 2007-2008 award year) and continued to be enrolled in that GE Program until he completed the GE Program on June 23, 2009 (enrolled in the 2008-2009 award year). The institution will report the following:

    For the 2007-2008 award year reporting –
    “Program Attendance Begin Date” is May 15, 2008
    “Program Attendance Begin Date for this Award Year” is May 15, 2008

    For the 2008-2009 award year reporting–
    “Program Attendance Begin Date” is May 15, 2008
    “Program Attendance Begin Date for this Award Year” is July 1, 2008

    [September 27, 2011] Top


  • R-Q25: After reporting GE Program data, NSLDS rejected a student’s record because of a conflict with a Social Security Number. What do I do?

    R-A25: An institution may have received an error message if the SSN submitted for the student is already in NSLDS but for a different person (different name and/or date of birth). Upon receiving this error message, the institution should verify that the GE Program information that was submitted to NSLDS is correct based upon institutional records. Institutions may need to check with the NSLDS data providers, (FFEL Program guaranty agencies and the Department’s loan servicers), on the SSN information initially reported to NSLDS to verify if the SSN previously reported is correct.

    An SSN Conflict Page is also available for institutions to use in order to remedy any conflict. For more information on how to utilize this function, please visit The NSLDS GE User Guide, September 22, 2011, Version 4.0. Institutions that need more time to resolve any SSN conflicts should continue to work to resolve the conflicts. Doing so beyond November 15 will not result in penalties or sanctions imposed for missing the November 15 reporting date. [November 7, 2011] Top


  • R-Q26: How should we report the amount of private loans and institutional financing for a student who was enrolled in more than one educational program at the institution?

    R-A26: As provided in the NSLDS Gainful Employment User Guide, institutions must report amounts of private student loans and institutional financing for students who, during the award year, had either withdrawn or completed the GE Program.

    If the student was enrolled in more than one educational program, the institution has two options for attributing the private loan or institutional financing amounts – attribute the amounts evenly among the GE Programs or use the actual amounts applied to each GE program.

    Under the first option, if all of the programs the student was enrolled in were GE Programs, the institution may simply divide the total amount received (or owed for institutional financing) by the number of GE Programs and use the result for reporting. Note that under this option amounts are not attributed to a non-GE Program. For example, if a student took out $10,000 in private loans for enrollment in two GE Programs, $5,000 is attributed to each of the two GE Programs. However, if one of the educational programs was not a GE Program, the full $10,000 is attributed to the one GE Program.

    Under the second option, if the institution can document the actual amount of private loans or institutional financing that that was used to cover educational costs for each program, it may attribute that amount to each program. For example, if a student took out $20,000 in private loans while enrolled at the institution and the institution has documentation that $12,000 of that amount was used to cover educational costs for a non-GE Program, only the remaining $8,000 is attributed to the GE Program. Institutions choosing this option must maintain the documentation so that it is available upon request.

    As provided in the NSLDS Gainful Employment User Guide, institutions do NOT report the amount of Title IV Loan Debt. Those amounts are determined by the Department from NSLDS data. [October4, 2011] Top


  • R-Q27: The GE reporting instructions say that we must report on any student who was enrolled in a GE Program during the award year. Should we report on students who enrolled but never actually attended any classes in the GE Program? What about students who enrolled and began attendance, but then withdrew within a time period where our institution cancels all enrollment and does not charge the student?

    R-A27: For purposes of GE Program reporting, a student is considered to have been enrolled during the award year only if the student was a regular student and actually began attendance in that GE Program. Also, a student who began attendance must be reported even if, because the student withdrew within a certain timeframe, the institution cancels all enrollment and does not charge the student. [October 17, 2011] Top


  • R-Q28: The GE reporting materials say that reporting Tuition and Fees (Field # 21) is optional. Why should we report tuition and fees charged for students who completed one of our GE programs?

    R-A28: The Department generally calculates the median loan debt for the program based on the total loan debt of the students who completed the GE Program. However, if a school reports the amount of tuition and fees charged the student, the Department uses the lesser of the loan debt incurred for the program or the tuition and fees assessed the student for the program. For example, consider a student who incurred $10,000 in loan debt for completing a GE Program for which the student was assessed $8,000 in tuition and fee charges. If the $8,000 tuition and fees amount is reported, only $8,000 is used to calculate the median loan debt for the GE Program. If the tuition and fees amount was not reported, $10,000 is used.

    The median loan debt is used to determine the annual loan payment for the Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) ratio. In simple terms, the D/E ratio = Annual Loan Payment / Annual Earnings of program graduates. So, if some of the reported charges are lower than total loan debt, the median loan debt is likely to be lower. A lower median loan debt results in a lower annual loan payment and therefore a lower debt-to-earnings ratio.

    The effects of lowering the annual payment are illustrated in the following example.

          (A) If a school chooses NOT to report tuition and fees, the annual loan payment for students completing a GE program is $3,300.

          (B) If the same school reports tuition and fees, the annual loan payment for that program is $2,900.

    In both cases, program graduates have annual earnings of $25,000. The D/E ratios would be:

          For (A), $3,300 / $25,000 = 13.2%.

          For (B), $2,900 / $25,000 = 11.6%

    Under the regulations in §668.7, a GE programs fails the D/E ratio if the annual loan payment is more than 12% of annual earnings. [October 26, 2011] Top


  • R-Q29: My institution will not be able to submit all GE Reporting Data by the November 15, 2011 deadline. May we get an extension?

    R-A29: The Department will NOT be granting extensions to the required reporting date of November 15, 2011. The requirement for GE reporting was finalized in the October 29, 2010 regulations – more than one year ago. Additionally, information and instructions, including two different webinars on reporting have been available for several months. An institution that does not submit all required information by November 15, 2011 should do so as promptly as possible. Our Program Compliance teams will determine, on an individual institutional basis, what, if any, sanctions may be imposed on an institution for its non-compliance with the November 15, 2011 reporting date. Of course, one of the factors the team will consider is how promptly the information was reported. [November 4, 2011] Top


  • R-Q30: Can a school report the amount of tuition of fees remaining on a student's account after scholarships and other non-title IV aid awards are applied? In other words, can a school report the net amount of tuition and fees?

    R-A30: No. If a school chooses to report tuition fees, it must report the total amount of tuition and fees charged the student for the program before any aid or other credits are applied to the student’s account. [June 29, 2012] Top


New Programs

  • NP-Q1: What is the process for notifying the Department that my institution will be starting a new GE Program?

    NP-A1: Electronic Announcement #41 explains the process and when institutions should get the Department’s approval prior to awarding Title IV aid for a new program. [December 13, 2012] Top


  • NP-Q2: My institution cannot submit the notification for a new GE Program 90 days before the planned first day of class. We will not have the program approved by our governing board by then. What do we do?

    NP-A2: On June 30, 2012, the Department received a court ruling in a legal challenge which affects the implementation of the Gainful Employment regulations. Please see Electronic Announcement #41 for information about when institutions should get the Department’s approval prior to awarding Title IV aid for a new program. [December 13, 2012] Top


  • NP-Q3: I previously submitted an E-App which is still under review and locked. We now want to add new GE Programs. I cannot submit the required information on my E-App, because of the pending application. What should I do?

    NP-A3: If the institution needs to add a new GE Program while a prior application is under review by the Department, the institution should contact the School Participation Team and request that their update access be turned on so that the new GE Program can be added to the current application. Unless the application is in the final review stages, adding the new GE Program to the current application should be possible. [July 6, 2011] Top


  • NP-Q4: If my institution needs to update the CIP Code of a gainful employment program, does such a change trigger the gainful employment program regulations related to new programs outlined in Electronic Announcement #16?

    NP-A4: Updating or correcting the CIP Code of an existing gainful employment program would not trigger the new program requirements outlined in Electronic Announcement #16. [September 1, 2011] Top


  • NP-Q5: Whom should I contact about my ECAR and Program Participation Agreement with the Department?

    NP-A5: Regional contact information for your institution’s School Participation Team is available at http://www.eligcert.ed.gov/. [October 17, 2011] Top


Debt Measures

  • DM-Q1: Who is responsible for calculating the debt measures – repayment rate and debt-to-income ratios?

    DM-A1: The Department of Education will calculate institutions’ gainful employment repayment rates and debt-to-earnings ratios. To calculate these debt measures, the Department will use data that institutions have reported to the Department under 34 CFR 668.6, information included in NSLDS about Title IV loans, and median incomes obtained from the Social Security Administration. [August 12, 2011] Top


Informational Rates

  • IR-Q1: When were 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Rates released to institutions?

    IR-A1: Late Thursday evening, June 21, 2012, the Department began releasing to institutions their 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Debt Measures and their 2011 Gainful Employment Loan Medians for Disclosures. (SeeGE Electronic Announcement #37) [June 26, 2012] Top


  • IR-Q2: How do I access the Informational Rates for my institution?

    IR-A2: An institution’s 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Rates, including backup detail, were electronically placed in the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailbox designated by each institution for gainful employment notification. Institutions that did not designate an SAIG mailbox for gainful employment notification did not automatically receive their gainful employment information. All institutions may view their own 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Debt Measures and their 2011 Gainful Employment Loan Medians for Disclosures and request back-up data, by accessing the NSLDS Professional Access website. [June 26, 2012] Top


  • IR-Q3: Are there sanctions or fines associated with the informational rates?

    IR-A3: No. The release of 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Debt Measures are for the purpose of providing institutions with preliminary information they can use to assess their gainful employment programs in preparation for the official gainful employment debt measures that will first be calculated in 2013. The FY 2011 GE Informational Debt Measures do not invoke any regulatory requirements, sanctions, or other adverse action. [June 26, 2012] Top


  • IR-Q4: Why do some of the letters providing the GE rates have ‘N/A’ for one or more of the three GE metrics?

    IR-A4: 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Debt Measures were not calculated for a GE Program if the program had 30 or fewer former students in the relevant two-year period. When this occurs the “Dear President Letter” will display ‘N/A’ for the debt measure that does not have a calculation. However, the 2011 GE Notification Package will include back-up data for that measure. Beginning next year, official gainful employment debt measures will include small programs using a four-year period if that four-year period results in more than 30 former students for the GE Program. [June 26, 2012] Top


  • IR-Q5: Where did the Department get earnings information for the two Debt-to-Earnings ratios?

    IR-A5: For the Debt-to-Earnings ratios, median and average earnings of the students who were included in the calculation of each GE Program were provided by the Social Security Administration. No individual earnings were provided and therefore the earnings data provided to institutions for their GE Programs does not identify individual student earnings. [June 26, 2012] Top


  • IR-Q6: Why is there no information in my SAIG mailbox, either “Dear President” letters or backup detail files, for one of my GE programs? I also did not see that program listed on the Downloadable Spreadsheet.

    IR-A6: Institutions would not receive backup detail files or letters for a GE Program if no students completed the program (for the Debt-to-Earnings ratios) or went into repayment (for the Repayment Rate) during the 2-year period used for the GE Informational Rate calculations. The two year period was fiscal years 2007 and 2008 (October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2008). In addition, Informational Rates may not have been calculated if your institution submitted the required GE data to NSLDS significantly after the November 2011 deadline.

    The Downloadable Spreadsheet posted on FSA’s Data Center does not include information for a GE Program if there were no rates calculated because there were fewer than 31 students that could be included in the calculation of the debt measures AND the number of program completers in the relevant award year for the Medians for Disclosure calculations (award year 2010-2011) was fewer than 10. [June 27, 2012] Top


  • IR-Q7: Why do many programs have a debt-to-earnings discretionary income metric that is 100%?

    IR-A7: Programs will have a debt-to-earnings discretionary income ratio of 100% when the average annual earnings from the Social Security Administration for that program is less than or equal to $16,755, which is 150% of the poverty line for a single person in the contiguous United States. When this happens the denominator of the debt-to-earnings discretionary income ratio is set to zero, resulting in a ratio of 100%. For more information on how the Department calculates the debt-to-earnings discretionary income metric, please see pages 44-45 of the Gainful Employment Operations Manual. [June 29, 2012] Top


  • IR-Q8: How do we open and read the data we received in our SAIG mailbox?

    IR-A8: The GE backup detail reports (GEDR) can be opened in notepad, word pad, text pad or Excel. Information on how to read these files is available in an appendix to the GE Operations Manual as well as posted here. GE Webinar #7 – "How to read your backup detail report"" also provides information on reading the GEDR. [June 29, 2012] Top




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