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(Gainful Employment) Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #91 - Upcoming Release of SSA Earnings Data

Posted Date:October 7, 2016

Author: Pamela Eliadis, Service Director, System Operations & Aid Delivery Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #91 - Upcoming Release of SSA Earnings Data

This Electronic Announcement provides information about the upcoming distribution of earnings information obtained from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Release of the SSA earnings data is the next step in the process as we calculate Gainful Employment (GE) Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) rates.

Under 34 CFR 668.404(c) of the GE regulations, SSA calculates and returns to the Department the mean and median annual earnings of the students in GE programs for whom it was able to match earnings data for the GE “earnings year,” which is two calendar years preceding the year in which the D/E rates are calculated. For the D/E rates for the current cycle, the SSA earnings data is from the 2014 calendar year. In calculating a GE program’s D/E rates, the Department uses the higher of the SSA-reported mean or median earnings. SSA does not provide the Department individual earnings data or the identity of any students.

Gainful Employment SSA Earnings Data Report (GESSA1)

In the next several days, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) will provide SSA earnings data to each institution by sending the Gainful Employment SSA Earnings Data Report to the institutionally designated Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailbox. The report, which will be sent in the GESSFWOP message class, will provide each institution with a list of its GE programs, sorted by CIP code and Credential Level, with the associated mean and median SSA earnings amount for the 2014 calendar year.

The file layout for the Gainful Employment SSA Earnings Data Report is included in Appendix B of the NSLDS Gainful Employment User Guide, available on the NSLDS User Documentation page on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website.

The report will also be available upon request in the next several days on the Reports tab of the NSLDS Professional Access website. The requested report will be sent in the same GESSFWOP message class to the SAIG mailbox of the user that makes the request.

The information in the Gainful Employment SSA Earnings Data Report is provided for informational purposes only. We encourage institutions to review the SSA-verified data in preparation for the release of the draft GE D/E rates later this month, but no institutional action is permitted at this point.

SSA Earnings Data on the FSA Data Center

In the near future we will post SSA earnings data on the FSA Data Center, to include mean and median 2014 calendar year earnings data for all GE programs with ten or more students with SSA-verified information.

Contact Information

If you have questions about NSLDS, contact the NSLDS Customer Support Center at 800/999-8219. You can also contact Customer Support by email at

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

Last Modified: 10/06/2016