The Nelnet Partner Solutions team is responsible for fostering, maintaining, and strengthening relationships with schools. Regional Directors Lou Murray and Dawn Knight work to be Nelnet’s ear to the schools and the schools’ voice to Nelnet – and vice versa! Nelnet Partner Solutions listens closely to the “Pulse of the Nation” – what schools are struggling with and what borrowers are telling schools, what’s working and what’s not. We relay school concerns to Nelnet’s leadership and often share the same information with our partners within Federal Student Aid (FSA). We are an advocate for schools, as well as industry experts who channel information and solutions focused on student loan program servicing.
We are passionate about listening to our school partners and their borrowers. Our day-to-day school interactions – whether it is on campus, at a conference, on the phone, or via email – highlight our commitment to be proactive, professional and helpful. Our full-circle support includes loan servicing with a focus on borrower services, avenues for training, default prevention, financial literacy and communications.
We are a designated resource for schools to resolve any issues (e.g., high-escalation cases) that may arise with Nelnet-serviced direct loans. Nelnet Partner Solutions is committed to helping schools face any and all servicing-related challenges, with additional support provided through our School Servicing Center (SSC). The SSC team assists with incoming inquiries and issues, and is equipped to quickly handle the day-to-day questions of our school partners. Our teams regularly request feedback from schools on ways we can improve Nsight Plus, Nelnet.com, nelnetloanservicing.com, and SSC customer service.
Nelnet Partner Solutions routinely researches and creates online resources, newsletters, social media posts, and blog articles covering a wide array of relevant topics for borrowers. Our focus is to educate student borrowers on who we are as their servicer, and how we can help them throughout their student loan lifecycle. Topics coincide with the academic calendar year, and are created based on input received from the school community. PDFs, videos, and recorded webinars can be found online 24/7 in our library of resources.
We will continue to provide training opportunities for financial aid administrators to keep up with the ever-changing industry. See our Training page for more information on upcoming training opportunities.
Nelnet Partner Solutions understands the importance of effective default prevention for both schools and borrowers. We assist schools with developing and maintaining their default prevention strategies, as well as provide information on how to lower their cohort default rate (CDR). Our Default Prevention page provides schools with a step-by-step guide for creating a default prevention plan, tips and scripts for reaching out to delinquent borrowers, school success stories, and more.
Nelnet Partner Solutions is committed to providing the resources schools need to help students develop healthy financial habits during and after college. Our Financial Literacy series for students, Money Mondays, covers basic topics such as budgeting, credit, loans, and more. In addition, we offer printed resources – from repayment charts to budgeting worksheets – to make sure the information schools and students need is available when they need it.
To ensure our messaging is as effective as possible, Nelnet constantly updates student materials to make sure we are clearly communicating and delivering our messages.
We look forward to continuing our strong service commitment to student borrowers, schools and FSA.
Contact one of us or the School Service Center (866.463.5638 OR SSC@nelnet.net) any time with questions or for assistance.
Federal Perkins Loan Program
I have been getting a lot of questions from schools about the fate of Perkins and just wanted to share that Congress did not take action to extend the Perkins Loan Program beyond September 30, 2015. Therefore, as we provided in Gen-15-03, schools may not make Federal Perkins Loans to new borrowers after September 30, 2015. Schools must follow the guidance provided in GEN-15-03, particularly as it relates to disbursements made on or after October 1, 2015, and the provisions about “grandfathered borrowers.” Please see GEN-15-03 and the Perkins Loan Q & As in the upper-right hand side of IFAP for more information.
In addition, we published GEN-15-19 reminding institutions that participate in Perkins they must return to the Department (ED) the Federal portion of any Excess Liquid Capital in their Perkins Loan Revolving Fund (this is separate from and not because of the ending of the Perkins program). GEN-15-19 contains interactive worksheets to help institutions determine their Excess Liquid Capital (ELC) that must be returned to ED and to the school. Remember that ELC is the amount of the Fund’s “Cash On Hand” that is in excess of the institution’s estimated immediate needs. The Federal share of the institution’s ELC must be returned to ED via G5 no later than December 31, 2015.
Finally, ED posted an electronic announcement on September 21, 2015 regarding the new Perkins Loan Assignment System (PLAS). I am happy to announce that the new PLAS system is now available at https://efpls.com. Perkins electronic processing will include the following:
- Submit multiple loans as a “batch file” or submit individual loans
- Securely upload supporting documentation (prom notes, etc.)
- Search, view, and edit submitted loan assignment information
- View Perkins reports of accepted/rejected loans for assignment
The PLAS User Access Form and instructions, along with a PLAS User Guide, are available at https://efpls.com. An overview of the PLAS user access process is attached to the 9/21/15 electronic announcement.
Clery Act – Campus Security
On September 8, 2015, the Department published an electronic announcement indicting that we have become aware that certain third parties are offering “certifications” to Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) and other institutional officials. We want to make it clear that the Department does not issue certifications and does not recognize or place any value on any certification offered by a third party. An institution is not required or expected to have any such certification to comply with the Clery Act or the Department’s implementing regulations.
If you have questions about compliance with the Clery Act, please direct them to the Campus Safety Help Desk. The Help Desk can be reached by phone at 800.435.5985 or by email at email@example.com.
WOW. It really is happening. After talking about prior, prior year income information for almost a decade on the FAFSA, it finally is going to happen.
An electronic announcement was issued on September 14, 2015 outlining two major processing changes for the FAFSA form in 2017-2018. First, beginning with the 2017-2018 financial aid application cycle, the FAFSA will be available on October 1st of the year prior to the upcoming award year. Thus, 2017-2018 FAFSA filing will begin on October 1, 2016. We hope this will provide families more time to submit data, review information and assist schools in the packaging process.
And secondly, beginning with 2017-2018, FAFSA income information from one tax year earlier – the so-called “prior-prior year” – will be collected. This means that the 2017-2018 FAFSA will collect tax year 2015 income information. We hope this will reduce the use of estimated income and greatly increase the ability of families to use the IRS DRT process.
Now with anything new, many of you have been calling and sending emails with tons of questions. At this time we are currently reviewing the impact of these changes for 17-18 and developing guidance to assist schools and families as we transition to an earlier processing cycle with the use of prior, prior income information. We promise to share guidance as quickly and efficiently as possible as you prepare office policies, procedures and systems to work with these changes. Stay tuned to IFAP!
Cohort Default Rates
On September 28, 2015, the Department of Education distributed the FY 2012 3-Year official cohort default rate (CDR) notification packages to all eligible domestic and foreign schools.
The FY 2012 3-year national cohort default rate went down to 11.8%. If you review the CDR data provided in our briefing report attached to the September 30, 2015 electronic announcement, you will see that the default rates in all school sectors went down. A lot of that is a result of your hard work and efforts to work with your students to keep them out of default.
Please, please remember that the time period for appealing the FY 2012 3-Year Official Cohort Default Rates under 34 C.F.R Part 668, Subpart N begins on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 for all schools. For specific information regarding eCDR Appeals, visit the eCDR Appeals website, where you will find user guides for each of the challenge and adjustment processes, as well as a user guide for the registration process. Additionally, you will find links to recordings of eCDR Appeals demonstration sessions to assist first-time users.
If you have additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Operations Performance Division’s hotline at 202.377.4259.
150% Subsidized Direct Loan Limitations
On September 25, ED published an electronic announcement reminding schools to properly update a borrower’s Direct Loan (Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans) information in the COD System and enrollment information in NSLDS to ensure that Subsidized Usage and interest subsidy status can be calculated correctly.
If accurate information is not reported (or corrections are not made when information changes), a borrower may incorrectly lose the interest subsidy on his or her Direct Subsidized Loans. In addition, schools may be subject to sanctions, including possible administrative action pursuant to 34 CFR 668, Subpart G – Fine, Limitation, Suspension, and Termination Proceedings.
Note: A school must be aware of its Direct Loan reporting even if its loan processing or enrollment reporting is handled by a third party servicer. It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that reporting is being completed timely and correctly.
We are still seeing many instances of incorrect data being reported and/or not being fixed. Please make every effort to ensure that your COD and NSLDS data is accurate and updated timely. For steps on properly reporting DL data in COD and enrollment information in NSLDS, please see the September 25, 2015 electronic announcement.
If you have questions about the COD System, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800.848.0978. You may also e-mail CODSupport@ed.gov. If you have questions about NSLDS, contact the NSLDS Customer Support Center at 800.999.8219. You may also e-mail email@example.com. For questions about the 150% limit, visit the 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit Information page on the IFAP website or email questions to 150Percent-Questions@ed.gov.
I hope all schools have properly reported their 2014-2015 GE data as required by October 1, 2015 (not to mention all of the data required to be submitted by July 31, 2015). If you have not, please note that the Department has been sending out letters to schools reminding them of their reporting requirements and possible consequences if not done.
Any specific concerns of noncompliance should be addressed to the contacts outlined in your school letters. The sooner NSLDS has all of your GE data (or updated information), the sooner a resolution can be reached. This data is extremely important to our overall administration of the GE programs and we need your support and information in order to properly and effectively manage these programs.
I hope to see many of you during my fall travels throughout the region to various workshops and conferences. And remember I am just the messenger.
Latest From FSA: Importance of Accurate Direct Loan and Enrollment Reporting to Prevent Loss of Subsidy
In July, FSA announced that the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) had begun notifying the federal loan servicers of borrowers who have lost eligibility for the interest subsidy on their existing Direct Subsidized Loans.
FSA is now emphasizing the importance of accurately reporting a borrower’s Direct Loan (Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans) information to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System and enrollment information to NSLDS.
Without accurate reporting, a borrower may lose the interest subsidy on his or her Direct Subsidized Loans. In addition, schools may be subject to sanctions.
FSA is reminding schools of key information that must be verified and reported.
As announced by President Obama in September, significant changes to the FAFSA process will take place in 2016.
These changes will allow students to:
- Submit a FAFSA Earlier: Students will be able to file a 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year. (There is NO CHANGE to the 2016–17 schedule, when the FAFSA will become available January 1 as in previous years.)
- Use Earlier Income Information: Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.
The table below summarizes the key dates relating to these changes.
See the full announcement from FSA at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/fafsa-changes.
Nelnet recently updated Nsight Plus, and in the process also updated to a new URL. Please change your bookmarks to the new URL before October 15. After that date, the previous URL will no longer work.
New Nsight Plus URL: https://nsighthub.nelnet.net/Home/Login?ClientID=NN002
As always, if you have any questions or problems logging in, contact the Nelnet School Service Center at 866.463.5638, or contact your Regional Director.
Online account management is now easier than ever for Nelnet-serviced borrowers, thanks to a pair of new features: Document Upload and HTML Form Wizard. As of September 17, both features are available to borrowers with online accounts through Nelnet.
Document Upload allows borrowers to upload documents via the online account. Borrowers can easily upload any documents relating to their applications with the click of a button.
HTML Form Wizard
Borrowers can now complete some of the Department of Education’s forms through their account using HTML Form Wizard. This option will make it easier than ever for borrowers to complete a variety of forms relating to loan repayment.
While we are excited about making these new online forms easily accessible to borrowers, we still encourage all borrowers to use the Postpone Your Payments menu via their online account when they are considering deferment or forbearance options. This menu will help guide borrowers to the option(s) that best fits the borrower’s needs.
The student loan industry has been garnering a lot of press recently, and it isn’t always positive. Between collective student loan debt reaching an all-time high, and some of the bigger players in the student loan game facing legal troubles, it’s understandable that schools and students might feel some worry about the state of their loan servicers.
In spite of the negativity, we’re still excited about the services that we offer schools and students when it comes to student loan management and preparing students for successful repayment. We want to make sure that you’re taking advantage of all the tools and resources we have available to help you and your students succeed.
Did you know that we offer a comprehensive timeline of all the communications that we send to borrowers? We even offer samples so that you’ll know exactly what your students will receive at different stages of their loan’s life cycle.
Instantly and easily access information about any loans serviced by Nelnet. With Nsight, you can help your students understand their student loans and avoid default.
Learning good financial habits early is important, and we can help. Our Money Monday webinars offer insights in managing personal finance as well as creating and sticking to a budget.
Default is serious, and many students don’t realize the long-term consequences it can have on their lives. One of the best ways to avoid default is through early education about repayment. We have tools to help you guide your students to successful repayment.
Online Tools and Resources:
We don’t just service student loans; we help students learn to manage their finances in school and beyond. Our library offers a variety of PDFs, webinars, videos, and more to help educate your students and give you tools that will make it easier to help your students on their educational journey. We even help students start to understand and learn about building good credit.
Dedicated School Representatives:
Our dedicated team of Regional Directors and our School Service Center team associates work together to provide you with proactive, professional, and personalized attention. Our full-circle support team includes all levels of borrower resources and loan servicing solutions.
We hope this helps you better understand all we have to offer, or maybe helped you learn a little something about us that you didn’t know before. Our team looks forward to continuing our great partnerships with you and your students. If you want to learn a little more about what we’re up to at Nelnet, watch this video about who we are and where we’re going.