About the Audit Resource Center
Our experienced and knowledgeable Audit Resource Center team works with you to provide support during one of the most crucial times of the year: your annual audit. Our goal is to help schools nationwide reinforce internal controls and procedures to simplify and enable complete enrollment reporting compliance. The Audit Resource Center is free and available year round. The Audit Resource Center team prides itself on helping to reduce or entirely eliminate preliminary audit findings for schools presented with negative audit findings. We are committed to providing assistance that helps ensure that schools remain fully compliant both during their audits and in their everyday work.
With the Audit Resource Center on your side, you’ll be able to:
Better anticipate questions from your auditors
Save time and effort investigating audit findings
Understand the federal regulations that impact you
Minimize reporting errors and issues
The Audit Resource Center assists participating Clearinghouse institutions with their annual A-133 audits, program review audits, and day-to-day compliance questions. Contact the Audit Resource Center:
- As soon as you learn of your upcoming audit
- During your audit with any enrollment compliance reporting questions
- After your audit is complete (we want to know how it went!)
Once you contact us, we conduct thorough research on your audit inquiry and work with you directly, providing guidance along with information from the latest regulations and resources that you can give to your auditor.
Follow Our Audit Checklist
- Don’t panic.
- Watch our 30-minute recorded webinar, “Preparing for Your Annual Audit,” on how to prepare for your annual federal compliance audit.
- Print the Clearinghouse’s annual audit report and provide this report to your auditors. This report indicates that our processes have been reviewed by independent auditors and are in compliance.
- If auditors will be visiting you soon, contact the Clearinghouse to let us know.
- Provide our Audit Guide to your auditors to help them understand how your institution uses the Clearinghouse to complete its timely enrollment status compliance reporting.
- Obtain student sample from your auditors.
- Review student sample on secure website.
- After reviewing the student information, contact the Clearinghouse with questions on specific student examples or general compliance questions posed by your auditors.
- Follow up with the Clearinghouse to let us know how your audit went! We love to hear from our customers and appreciate feedback to help improve and enhance the information we provide to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an audit of the Clearinghouse completed annually?
Yes, an audit of the Clearinghouse is completed annually, typically between June and October. Our annual audit complies with requirements contained in federal regulation 668.23.
When is the annual Clearinghouse audit available on the public Clearinghouse website?
The Clearinghouse’s annual audit is typically posted to our public website in mid-to-late October. Our annual audit is available on Resources on the “Getting Audited” tab.
What documentation should I keep from my enrollment reporting processing at the Clearinghouse?
Audits sometimes prompt a need for documentation regarding enrollment reporting. In order to be prepared for a request for this information at any time, we recommend you maintain the following information for audit purposes:
- Electronic copies of your enrollment files submitted to the Clearinghouse.
- Copies of your error reports. While these are currently not printable, you can capture screenshots and print the errors as you correct them using our “Error Resolution on the Web” tool.
Our auditor asked me to provide enrollment reporting for specific students. How do I do this?
The Clearinghouse secure site provides information regarding enrollment reporting for each of the student records your institution transmits. You can review the record for each student the auditor is questioning by following these steps:
- Log in to our secure site at www.studentclearinghouse.org by clicking “User Login.”
- Click the “Student Look Up” tab.
- Enter the student’s Social Security number.
- Select “Enrollment History” to view the enrollment information you reported to us.
- Select “Enrollment Data Reported to Lenders, Servicers, and Guarantors.”
- Select “NSLDS SSCR Notification History.”
These screens provide your auditor with a timeline of the available enrollment reporting. You can print any of the screens or save them as screen shots or PDF files and provide to your auditors.
My auditors are asking for a SCHER1 report. What is this report and where is it located?
The SCHER1 is a report generated by the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the data system that collects enrollment information for the Department of Education. The SCHER1 report is a compilation of your institution’s transmitted SSCRs with a summary of the transmission dates, valid records, and error records. The Clearinghouse cannot provide this report to you. Although we have a similar report that summarizes your institution’s SSCR transmission history, including the date an SSCR was created by NSLDS, the date the SSCR was received by the Clearinghouse, and the date the SSCR was returned to NSLDS. This report is located under the “Student Reporting” tab on the Clearinghouse secure site (select “History of NSLDS SSCRs Processed by the Clearinghouse”).
Some students appear not to have been submitted to NSLDS in a timely fashion. How can I evaluate the correct reporting timeframe for these students?
Typically, when an auditor is questioning reporting timeliness, it means that he or she has found that information appears not to have been submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) in a timely fashion. In many cases, this type of finding just needs a closer look to establish the NSLDS reporting timeframe. (Reference federal regulation(s) 682.610/685.309.) For example, Sally Smith dropped to less than half-time during the fall semester on October 14, but her instructor did not notify the institution until November 12. While the date Sally began attending as less than half-time is October 14, the institution did not become aware of the change until November 12. When evaluating compliance reporting, it is important to remember that the “compliance clock” starts to tick the date your institution is made aware of a status change.
Clearinghouse Academy Lessons
- Audit Resource Center: Preparing for Your Annual Audit
- Discover the Clearinghouse: The Evolving Enrollment Compliance Reporting Landscape
- Top Audit Findings
Our latest enhancement allows school users to export the list of errors and warnings associated with their current enrollment file submission from our secure site’s Error Resolution on the Web page.
FSA has released the November 2018 NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide.
Take our short survey to tell us the types of Enrollment Reporting analytics reports you’d like to see.
Update on the October 2017 enrollment rosters, which were not sent by NSLDS.
The Clearinghouse has identified approximately 700 institutions for whom the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) did not send an October enrollment roster.
The Clearinghouse’s Graduated from DegreeVerify (or G from DV) service helps schools meet National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) graduated status reporting requirements.
Do you participate in the Clearinghouse’s G from Degree process? If so, you won’t want to miss our new 60-minute webinar, “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement.”
Today’s students often attend multiple institutions or locations. Here’s how your institution should report a student’s primary location code.
The Clearinghouse recently identified a discrepancy that caused the “Move To” field NOT to be transmitted to National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
It used to be traditional for students to enroll in coursework at only one location. However, traditional is no longer the norm.
ED to Stop Using Transfer Monitoring and Financial Aid Queries to Add Students Back to Enrollment Rosters
Department of Education to stop using Transfer Monitoring and Financial Aid queries to add students back to enrollment roster.
Resources to help answer your compliance and audit-related questions.
An update to our June 29, 2017, post on our plans to help ensure your school’s compliance with the Department of Education’s April 20, 2017, announcement regarding modifications to summer enrollment reporting.
On April 20, 2017, the Department of Education (ED) released new summer enrollment reporting guidance. The announcement relates specifically to how to report students who are “L” (Less Than Half-Time) time during a non-required, summer term.
FSA guidance related to Summer Term Reporting and what you need to know.
Federal Student Aid Office to send letters of non-compliance.
Make sure you read our NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Statistics Page FAQs for key summary-level information about the data fields and calculations.
As a part of your compliance reporting service, the National Student Clearinghouse responds to NSLDS on your behalf, providing up-to-date information on your students, who have been identified as possible Title IV Aid or Direct Loan recipients.
The Clearinghouse has updated the way you view and correct errors on your SSCR Error Reports.
NSLDS released an updated enrollment reporting guide in November.
Learn how you can log on to the Clearinghouse secure site to see when your enrollment information was sent to NSLDS.
Learn about the SSCR process and how your school’s submission schedule plays a role.
Follow the Latest NSLDS Guidelines to Correctly Report Published Program Length Measurements and Begin Dates
In NSLDS Newsletter #55, FSA announced a series of new error codes to improve the accuracy of program-level reporting. Learn more.
Did you know that under the 150% requirement NSLDS can use Graduated enrollment status to help determine a borrower’s maximum interest subsidy and remaining eligibility? It’s true!
We reached maximum capacity with our recent webinar, “Preparing for Your Annual Audit.” If you missed it, you can watch the recording on demand.
If an audit began today, would your registrar and financial aid offices be ready to collaborate seamlessly? A strong collaborative relationship between the registrar and financial aid office is integral in compliance reporting, especially during an audit.
Whenever your institution contacts the Audit Resource Center, we work diligently to address your compliance questions in the most comprehensive fashion free of charge.
A look at the three things related to timely NSLDS reporting that institutions should remember when an auditor visits.
Enrollment compliance reporting is based on the date a school discovers that a student dropped below half-time, not necessarily the actual date that the student’s status dropped.
Start planning now with these quick tips to help you review your compliance reporting and prepare for audit season.