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(Gainful Employment) Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #80 - Additional Information for Institutions Reviewing Draft GE Completers List Files

Posted Date:June 8, 2016

Author: Jeff Baker, Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #80 - Additional Information for Institutions Reviewing Draft GE Completers List Files

Based on questions we have received from institutions, we would like to provide additional information about the Draft Gainful Employment (GE) Completers Lists that were distributed to institutions on June 1, 2016.

GE Completers List Files Without Data

The Draft GE Completers List file, sent in Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) message class GECOMBOP, was sent to all institutions that had reported GE Program data to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and which had designated an SAIG mailbox to receive the GE Completers List. If the file received by the institution contained a header and trailer record but no other data, the institution had no program completers during the applicable cohort period and no institutional action is required.

Ensuring Access to the Correct GE Draft Completers List File

We are aware that some institutions that received GE Completers Lists in 2011 during the earlier GE Informational Rate process have not purged those files. Because the GE Completers List files just released use the same SAIG message class as was used in 2011, we urge institutions to be certain that the GE Completers List file they import into either the GE Completers List Import Tool (spreadsheet) or into the GE Completers List Viewer Tool is the file that was released on June 1, 2016.

In addition, some institutions have reported that they incorrectly received 2011 GE Informational Rate data after requesting the GE Completers List Report (GEPDC1) through the NSLDS Professional Access Web site on or after June 1, 2016. This issue is now resolved. Institutions that received the incorrect data should resubmit the GEPDC1 report request to receive the current data.

2-Year Cohort Period (2YP) and 4-Year Cohort Period (4YP)

For the June 1, 2016 distribution of the Draft GE Completers Lists, if a program had fewer than 90 students in its 2-year cohort period we included data for the 4-year cohort period in the institution’s list – each student is designated as being in either the 2YP or 4YP cohort. This is because subsequent corrections or challenges to the data may result in students being removed and the total number of students in the 2-year cohort period falling below 30. If, after corrections or challenges, a program has fewer than 30 students in the 2-year cohort period, we will look at the 4-year cohort period to calculate the Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) rates for that GE Program. It is up to each institution to determine if it wants to review students who are designated as being from the 4YP cohort if the GE Program had 30 or more students designated as 2YP.

“AYR” Indicating Excluded Students

The GE Completers List file indicates in the “Rate Evaluation Period” field whether the Department will use the 2-year cohort period or the 4-year cohort period in the calculation of D/E rates for that GE Program, based on the number of students in the cohort period. This field displays as “Eval Term” when using the GE Completers List Viewer Tool.

A value of “AYR” in either of these fields indicates that while there are one or more completers in the file, all of them met the criteria for an exclusion. Therefore that GE Program has no eligible completers.

Completion of a Higher-Credentialed Program

In the attachment to Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #78, we provided information on the conditions under which a student of a GE Program would be excluded from the GE Program’s Final Completers List. Those conditions included when the student completed a Higher-Credentialed Program. The attachment to this Electronic Announcement provides more information on when this exclusion applies.

Updated Viewer Tool Instructions

As announced in Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #79, the GE Completers List Viewer Tool, available as an executable software file, can be used to display an institution’s Completers List in a viewable, user-friendly format. Based on initial feedback from users, we have updated the instructions for the tool, found in both the instruction guide as well as in the help text in the tool itself. Both the updated tool and instruction guide can be found in the "Resources" section of the Gainful Employment Information Page.

Note: No functional changes have been made to the GE Completers List Viewer Tool. The only changes are to the help text in the tool. Therefore, institutions are not required to access the new version. However, if an institution chooses to use the new version, it should make certain that it imports its Draft GE Completers List files into that version of the tool.

Training Opportunities

As a reminder, we will offer the webinar “Submitting GE Completers List Corrections” on June 14 and again on June 16. Refer to Dear Colleague Letter ANN-16-09 for complete information, including how to register for the webinar.

Monitor the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site for an announcement of the availability of the webinar recording and training materials for the “Reading Your Draft GE Completers List Files” webinar, which we offered on June 2 and June 7.

Contact Information

We encourage institutions to add an institutional contact for GE to the ORG tab of the NSLDS Professional Access Web site. The contact information in this new field will assist us if we need to contact the institution for GE-related questions.

If you have questions about the information in this Electronic Announcement, contact the NSLDS Customer Support Center at 800/999-8219. You can also contact Customer Support by e-mail at

The Gainful Employment Information Page on the IFAP Web site contains publications and resources on GE as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you have a question about the GE regulations that has not already been addressed in the FAQ section of the Gainful Employment Information Page, please submit the question to

Last Modified: 06/07/2016