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(Gainful Employment) Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #97 - Release of SSA Earnings Data to FSA Data Center

Posted Date:November 17, 2016

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

Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #97 - Release of SSA Earnings Data to FSA Data Center

This Electronic Announcement provides information about the release of earnings information obtained from the Social Security Administration (SSA). As part of the Gainful Employment (GE) Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) rate calculation process, institutions received SSA earnings data for their GE programs the week of October 10, 2016. This data is now being made available to the public through the Federal Student Aid Data Center.

Under 34 CFR 668.404(c) of the GE regulations, SSA calculates and returns to the Department the mean and median annual earnings of a cohort of students who completed the GE program during a specified cohort period. For the current cycle, the SSA earnings data is from the 2014 calendar year. At least 10 completers from a program must be matched for SSA to return mean and median earnings information. 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.

The earnings data is now available on the FSA Data Center for informational purposes only. Information on the earnings data spreadsheet includes OPEID and institution name, program identifiers (Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code, credential level, and CIP code program name), the number of completers matched with earnings data by SSA, along with both the median and mean SSA earnings for the GE program.

Contact Information

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 submit the question to

Last Modified: 11/16/2016