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(OPE Announcements) Subject: 2018-2019 Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

Posted Date:October 25, 2017

Author: Office of Postsecondary Education

Subject: 2018-2019 Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

Summary: This letter provides updates, HTML specifications, and the Institutional Metric Data file for the 2018-2019 Financial Aid Shopping Sheet.

In July 2012, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet format and asked institutions to voluntarily commit to supplying the Shopping Sheet to students. As of September 2017, more than 3,000 postsecondary institutions have reported their commitment to adopt the Shopping Sheet. A list of those institutions can be found at:

Since the release of the Shopping Sheet, our process for updating it has included meeting with stakeholders and reviewing comments submitted to the mailbox. The feedback received over the years has indicated that financial aid administrators are becoming more familiar with the Shopping Sheet template and more comfortable providing a Shopping Sheet to students.

As we have done in the past, attached to this Electronic Announcement are all components needed by institutions to complete institutional Shopping Sheets (i.e., HTML specifications and the institutional metric data file, as well as the technical guide and a set of Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs).

HTML Specifications:

Institutions and their software providers may use the attached HTML specifications to produce and populate the Shopping Sheet, using the applicable fields from their existing data systems. The HTML specifications include a “download” button on the Shopping Sheet to allow students to download their student aid offer information into a machine readable format (XML). This XML layout is also attached. We encourage institutions providing students their Shopping Sheet in electronic format to include this feature. Institutions that are delivering the Shopping Sheet in print form may want to remove the “download” button.

For convenience, a PDF version of the Shopping Sheet is also attached.

Institutional Metric Data File:

The student information on the Shopping Sheet is populated using the applicable fields from institutions’ existing data systems. The data and information necessary to populate the institutional metrics section of the Shopping Sheet—the graduation rate, the loan repayment rate, and the median borrowing figures — are provided in the attached files. The institutional metrics data file is updated on an annual basis. Data used to populate the metrics on the Shopping Sheet comes from ED’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), through the College Scorecard. Therefore, accurate institutional reporting to IPEDS and to NSLDS is necessary to ensure that correct information is populated within the Shopping Sheet metric data file and, ultimately, made available to students.

We thank you for your consideration in adopting the Shopping Sheet. If you plan to adopt the Shopping Sheet for the 2018-2019 academic year or wish to provide feedback, please contact us at

Last Modified: 10/24/2017