Policies & Disclosures : Unusual Enrollment History
The U.S. Department of Education has established new regulations to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loan programs by identifying students with unusual enrollment histories. Unusual enrollment history is defined as a student who enrolls at a school, receives federal student aid, fails to complete any classes and then goes to another school.
Some students who have an unusual enrollment history have legitimate reasons for their enrollment at multiple schools. However, such an enrollment history requires the Financial Aid Office to review your file in order to determine future Federal financial aid eligibility. If selected by the Department of Education, this must be resolved before you will receive financial aid.
Definition of Unusual Enrollment History
The specific pattern the Department of Education uses to select students includes those students who have received a Federal Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Loan funding at multiple schools during the past four academic years. Once the Department of Education indicates that a student has an unusual enrollment history, the Financial Aid office must then take action and review the academic history prior to determining federal financial aid eligibility for that student.
NTC is required to review the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to identify the names of all schools where the student received Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Loan funding over the past four award years: 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021. This information will be compared to the post-secondary academic transcripts submitted to NTC. If all academic transcripts have not been submitted, eligibility for financial aid cannot be determined.
Resolving Unusual Enrollment History Flags
Students with an unusual enrollment history will have one of the following UEH flags on their ISIRs (Institutional Student Information Records), which is the school version of the SAR (Student Aid Report) issued by the Department of Education upon completion of the processing of your FAFSA. The UEH Flag on the ISIR indicates whether the student has an unusual enrollment history with regard to the receipt of Federal Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loan funds. UEH Flag values of ‘2’ or ‘3’ generate a ‘C’ Code to indicate to schools that the student’s records must be reviewed.
A school must take the following steps to resolve a UEH Flag.
UEH Flag value is ‘2’ (comment code 359): The school must review the student’s enrollment and financial aid records to determine if, during the four award year review period (award years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021), the student received a Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Loan at the school that is performing the review.
If so, no additional action is required. However, if the school has reason to believe that the student is one who remains enrolled just long enough to collect student aid funds, the school must follow the guidance that is provided below for a UEH Flag of ‘3.’
UEH Flag value is ‘3’ (comment code 360): The school must review the student’s academic records to determine if the student received academic credit at the schools the student attended during the four award year period (award years 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019). Using information from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), the school must identify the schools where the student received Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Loan funding over the past four award years (2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021).
Based upon academic transcripts the school may already possess, or by asking the student to provide academic transcripts or grade reports, the school must determine, for each of the previously attended schools, whether academic credit was earned during the award year in which the student received Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Loan funds. Academic credit is considered to have been earned if the academic records show that the student completed any credit hours or clock hours.
Please Note: There may be instances where students are selected for Unusual Enrollment History verification, for whom the Department of Education did not assign a UEH Flag. Schools are allowed to select students for Unusual Enrollment History verification if they feel that a student's prior academic history should be reviewed.
For more information, please review: Federal Student Aid Dear Colleague Letter (DCL ID: GEN-15-05): Unusual Enrollment History Flag.
Academic Credit Earned: If the school determines that the student earned any academic credit at each of the previously attended schools during the relevant award years, no further action is required unless the school has other reasons to believe that the student is one who enrolls just to receive the credit balance. In such instances, the school must require the student to provide the additional information discussed below under “Academic Credit Not Earned.” If it is determined that academic credit was not earned at one or more of the previously attended schools, the school must follow the “Academic Credit Not Earned” guidance below.
Academic Credit Not Earned: If the student did not earn academic credit at a previously attended school and, if applicable, at the school performing the review, the school must obtain documentation from the student explaining why the student failed to earn academic credit. The school must determine whether the documentation supports (1) the reasons given by the student for the student’s failure to earn academic credit; and (2) that the student did not enroll only to receive credit balance funds.
What Will Be Required of You
If selected, the Financial Aid Office will notify you that the 2021-2022 Unusual Enrollment History Verification form must be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office with academic transcripts and letter of explanation including supporting documentation (if needed).
If the UEH review and/or documentation supports that you did not enroll in multiple schools/programs solely to obtain the credit balance payment, then you will be eligible for Title IV funds (Financial Aid), provided you meet all other requirements.
If after reviewing the UEH Verification form, transcripts, letter of explanation including supporting documentation (if needed), and you are denied financial aid; please follow the steps below to appeal for possible reinstatement of eligibility for a future semester. You will be automatically denied eligibility if you refuse to submit the required documentation.
Appealing the Ineligibility Determination
If a student has been determined by the Financial Aid Office to be ineligible for federal student aid on the basis of (or lack of) documentation, they may appeal the determination.
Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility
Students whose aid eligibility is denied as a result of their UEH can be re-considered for federal student aid after meeting with an academic advisor, completing one academic term consisting of a minimum of 6 credit hours (without financial aid assistance), not dropping or withdrawing from (officially or unofficially) any courses after the term begins, and by submitting the 2021-2022 Unusual Enrollment History appeal form.
All of the coursework must be completed successfully with a semester GPA of at least a 2.0. Students must also meet the College's standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Please note that students may not drop or withdraw from (officially or unofficially) any course after the term begins. Once the term has been completed the student should submit the 2021-2022 Unusual Enrollment History appeal form.
A student, who regains eligibility either by appeal or by completing a successful term, will receive financial aid beginning in the payment period that the approval is given. For example, a student who is denied in the Summer 2021 term, attends a minimum of 6 credit hours and successfully meets the stipulations at the end of the summer term will be eligible for federal aid in the Fall 2021 term.