On April 30, 2020, Federal Student Aid (FSA) in partnership with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) announced their new requirements for the 2020 Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Code reporting.

  • You can read our previous post on 2020 CIP Codes here.
  • You can read the full April 30th FSA and NSLDS announcement here.

The key takeaways of the FSA and NSLDS announcement are:

  • FSA has not established a deadline for institutions to update their NSLDS Enrollment Reporting to use the 2020 CIP codes. We expect a deadline to be established at some point and that FSA will provide adequate notice of any deadline.
  • New functionality has been developed to allow program level information to be changed in certain scenarios. This will prevent student interest subsidy eligibility calculations from being negatively impacted by changes in the reporting of program data elements. It will also simplify reporting requirements, if program level data elements must be corrected or the institution determines the student should have been reported with different program data elements.
  • New NSLDS errors have been created to identify certain reporting situations
  • New NSLDS reports are available for institutions, which are designed to provide insights into the CIP codes reported to NSLDS
  • The Enrollment Statistics calculated monthly by NSLDS are being updated to include statistics for reporting students with the 2020 CIP year

During the last several months, the Clearinghouse has been speaking with FSA, NSLDS, and software vendors of various student information systems about these changes and the new requirements. However, the final requirements and specifications were just made available via FSA’s announcement on April 30, 2020.  The Clearinghouse is committed to making the necessary changes as easy as possible for institutions, which will be implemented and announced using the phased approach below. In the meantime, please do not make changes to your Enrollment Reporting data until the Clearinghouse is prepared to receive them. If you do, you may encounter unexpected errors that could cause problems with your NSLDS reporting, including negatively impacting the interest subsidy calculations for your students.

Our Phased Approach

Phase 1 (estimated summer 2020 release):

  • If your institution reports a CIP Year that is not 2010 or 2020, we will auto-remediate the CIP Year to 2010.
  • We will validate the CIP Code you reported is acceptable with the associated CIP Year to ensure that you are reporting a CIP Code and CIP Year combination NSLDS will accept.
  • If you report an invalid CIP Code for the CIP Year, we will flag the record with an error (“invalid CIP Code/CIP Year combination”) so your institution can correct it.
    • If necessary, Clearinghouse representatives can work with your institution to, upon your instruction, either update the CIP Year or CIP Code for your students who have these errors.

Phase 2 (estimated fall 2020 release):

  • Our online enhancement will provide you with transparency into student records with invalid CIP Code/CIP Year combinations.
  • New functionality will enable you to instruct the Clearinghouse if a program needs to be updated whenever you change the CIP code or other program elements for a student (not a program change requested by the student). This will eliminate your having to withdrawal or mark a student as “X” (never attended) and manually rebuild his or her enrollment history

In the coming months, we will provide a number of resources on our secure site to help ensure you properly report 2020 CIP Year/Code combinations, including FAQs, video, and tutorials on new validations.

If you have questions or require additional assistance, please contact our Compliance and Data Operations team at schoolops@studentclearinghouse.org or 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #2).