If you’re preparing GE Data for your school, avoid these common mistakes.

Private Loans, Tuition and Fees, and Allowance for Books, Supplies and Equipment: Institutions are reporting inaccurate figures that don’t correctly reflect the amounts of loans, fees, and allowances that the student incurred while attending a GE Program. For example, ED says institutions are expected to report the total amount of tuition and fees assessed to the student for the entire program, not just for the award year, before any scholarships or discounts. When a student has withdrawn and later re-enrolled, these totals must include the amounts from the student’s prior enrollment before the withdrawal.

Institutional Debt:  Another area ED cites is inaccuracies in reporting “Institutional Debt”. The Institutional Debt that must be reported is the amount that is owed to the institution by the student as of the date of the student’s withdrawal from or completion of the GE Program. One school tried to say that because they didn’t pursue students for unpaid balances once they’ve left school, there was no “Institutional Debt”. What do you think ED said? Yeah…Nice Try.

Period of Attendance: Multiple enrollments (re-enters and re-enrolls, additional certificates etc.) require multiple records to be reported. One for each enrollment record. If your school doesn’t create a separate enrollment record in your Student Management System you should consider modifying your record keeping processes. When a student has withdrawn and later re-enrolled, two separate GE records must be reported.

Changing CIP Codes: If you’ve updated, corrected or changed the Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code for a GE Program, the program must be reported under the new CIP code for all award years, even for those award years when the program was operating under a different CIP code. This is necessary for the program to be classified as one GE Program across multiple years for the purposes of D/E rates calculations and other metrics.

Adding New Programs: Got a new GE Program (defined for these purposes as a unique CIP code/credential level combination) that has not previously been reported? You’ve got to report it by the annual GE Reporting Deadline (October 1) each year. KIM – Entire programs cannot be added or deleted during the Draft GE Completers List correction process.

Reviewing and Correcting Errors: If you use the GE batch file submission process through your school’s SAIG Mailbox, be on the lookout for an Error/Acknowledgment file after you submit your file. Once it has been processed, you’ll receive an Error/Acknowledgement file and have just 10 days to correct any errors.

Confirming Reporting: Institutions can save themselves a lot of surprises by simply confirming the reports they submitted were accepted on NSLDS. Take it one step further and check out the program info data too to make sure it’s accurate. Want to know how? Check out the Gainful Employment List and Gainful Employment Detail pages on the NSLDS Professional Access Web site to confirm to see the GE records and details.

Institutions with questions pertaining to this blog post or other matters of compliance with Accreditation, Federal Student Aid standards are welcome to contact our offices for additional assistance.

Peter Terebesi is the President and founder of Higher Ed Executives. You can find Peter on Twitter (@HigherEdPete), and reach him through the Higher Ed Executives website. You may also email

As stated in our disclaimers, blog posts by Higher Ed Executives, shared on Twitter, LinkedIn, or elsewhere, should not be considered legal advice. Please consult a qualified advisor.