Summary: Letter From Deputy Assistant Secretary Betsy Hicks
Author: ODAS - Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary - SFA
This is the second in a series of periodic updates to keep you informed on a variety of
delivery system issues for both 1996-97 and 1997-98.
*1996-97 FAFSA PROCESSING DATA. As of (9/6/96) we have processed a total of:
4,281,525 1996-97 FAFSAs
3,482,799 Renewal applications
Current turnaround time for a FAFSA: 14 days
Current turnaround time for a SAR Correction: 12 days.
* START-UP OF 1997-98 APPLICATION PROCESSING SYSTEM
We remain on schedule for our expected processing system startup on January 10, 1997.
FAFSA Express will be available at system startup.
* FAFSA PRINTING: The contract for printing the 1997-98 FAFSA has been awarded,
and the estimates for the delivery dates we gave in our 9/3/96 BBS message were
We will mail supplies to high schools first, and then begin mailing to postsecondary
schools. We expect the postsecondary mailout of 1997-98 FAFSAs to begin in late
* NEW PAPERLESS FAFSA ORDERING SYSTEM: On 9/11/96, we posted on the BBS
the text of a Dear Colleague letter (ANN-96-4) we recently mailed to
postsecondary schools, giving full details on how to use our paperless order system.
This new system will speed up the ordering process and allow you to check on your
order to make sure it has been received.
* SSCR ISSUES: We are aware of your concerns, raised on FINAID-L and in other
forums, about your difficulties in getting started with the new NSLDS Student Status
Confirmarion Reports (SSCRs).We are working with our contractor to resolve identified
problems and provide schools with assistance. We will soon give you a status report on
issues and what is being done. Immediately following this message is the text of a Dear
Colleague Letter we will mail to you as soon as printed copies are available. This letter
responds to many of the concerns we have heard from you.
We hope this information is helpful to you, and we appreciate your continued support.
Summary: This letter describes the implementation of the Student Status Confirmation
Report function of the National Student Loan Data System.
I wish to provide you with important information concerning the implementation of the
Student Status Confirmation Report (SSCR) function of the National Student Loan Data
System (NSLDS). As many of you are aware, we announced earlier this year that the
SSCR function of the NSLDS would be fully operational this Fall. In anticipation of that
event, we developed an implementation strategy that provided schools extra time to
work with a "practice" SSCR file during the Spring and Summer, while continuing to
respond to SSCRs presented to them by their guaranty agency(ies). Special timeframes
were established for Direct Loan schools because "practice" SSCR was the only way
they could inform the Direct Loan servicer of changes in enrollment status for Direct
Because of issues related to Title IV Wide Area Network (TIV-WAN) connectivity and
the NSLDS software, only a few schools were able to access their "practice" file, and
fewer still were able to complete and return their file successfully. Therefore, in early
July we announced revised plans, which are still in effect. The revised plans expected
Direct Loan schools to return their files by August 15, 1996 or as soon thereafter as
possible, and expect all other schools to process and return their "practice" files by
October 15, 1996. Furthermore, the revised date for the NSLDS SSCR to be in a fully
operational mode is February, 1997. At that time, we will inform guaranty agencies that
they no longer need to create and send SSCRs to their schools. Until that time, all
schools, both Direct Loan and FFELP, must continue to return guaranty agencies' SSCRs
according to current regulatory requirements. Beyond this first NSLDS-generated SSCR
the next SSCR will be sent to Direct Loan schools this Fall and to all other schools after
February 1, 1997. The Fall cycle for Direct Loan schools is necessary to capture Direct
Loan-specific enrollment data.
The attachments to this letter provide an overview of the NSLDS SSCR process by
addressing the following issues:
Why is it Important to Report and Update Enrollment Information?
Why Use the NSLDS for SSCR Reporting?
What Are the NSLDS SSCR Objectives?
Dear Colleague - SSCR
What Schools Must Participate in the SSCR Function?
How will NSLDS SSCR Data be Transmitted?
What is the Schedule for Schools' Receiving SSCR Rosters?
How Will Schools Access NSLDS SSCR Rosters?
Which Borrowers Will Appear on SSCR Rosters?
What are the School's Responsibilities Upon Receiving an SSCR?
What are the Special Definitions Used in the NSLDS SSCR Process?
What Will the NSLDS Do With the Submitted SSCR Roster?
What Happens to the SSCR Data Submitted by Schools to the NSLDS?
What is the Implementation Schedule?
Will SSCR Training be Provided?
Whom Can I Call for NSLDS SSCR Help?
We have also provided as an attachment to this letter a series of Questions and
Answers (Q&As) addressing a number of issues that have been raised by schools over
the past several months.
The Department of Education is excited about the implementation of the SSCR function
as a part of the NSLDS and is committed to assisting schools during this transition from
the guaranty agencies' SSCRs to those created by the NSLDS.
Elizabeth M. Hicks
Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Student Financial Assistance Programs
A - What is the NSLDS SSCR Function?
B - SSCR Questions & Answers