Important Information for Institutions Impacted by California Wildfires
Wildfires across California have created dangerous situations for several counties resulting in evacuations and forcing a number of schools to close. For institutions located in one of the communities impacted by the wildfires, the National Student Clearinghouse wanted to provide this important information to you on recent Department of Education (Ed) guidance related to disasters. At this time, ED has not released specific guidance related to the wildfires. We are monitoring their communications and will share it with you, if and when they do.
- “Guidance for helping Title IV participants affected by a major disaster.” Although this letter from Kathleen A. Smith, Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education was released in response to Hurricane Harvey, it provides guidance related to all types of major disasters.
- Presentation slides for the September 13, 2017, “Disaster Relief – Guidance for Helping Title IV Participants affected by a Major Disaster” webinar.
- The “National Disaster Information” page from Federal Student Aid (FSA) offers guidance and contact information for institutions, students, and others in the higher education community impacted by a federally declared disaster. ED advises checking this page regularly for updates.
- ED recommends that you provide emergency alternate contact information in the event regular lines of communication are unavailable by using Box 69 of the “Application for Approval to participate in the Federal Student Aid Programs” (E-App). Step by step instructions are available here.
In addition, if your school is among the many impacted by the wildfires, we want you to know that the Clearinghouse is committed to:
- Working closely with you to ensure your enrollment reporting compliance processing meets the NSLDS timelines
- Actively communicating with NSLDS and the Department of Education on this matter to determine how we can best support your institution
- Keeping the education community informed as we know more through email, our blog, Compliance Central, and social media
- Providing 24/7 service to schools and their students through our online services: DegreeVerify, EnrollmentVerify, Student Self-Service, and Transcript Services
- Transcript Services: You can add a custom message on your Welcome Page via the Transcript Services tab on our school secure site. If you need assistance or would like us to post a transcript message for you, contact Clearinghouse Customer Service at 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #5) or email@example.com.
- DegreeVerify: If you would like to let requestors know when to expect a response to research requests from your institution, you can create a pending message alert via the Verifications Services tab on our school secure site. If you need assistance or would like us to post a DegreeVerify pending alert for you, contact Clearinghouse Customer Service at 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #5) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a school impacted that needs assistance from the Clearinghouse, please contact Clearinghouse Customer Service at 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #5) or email@example.com.