April 22nd is Earth Day, a day to celebrate Earth’s natural beauty and remember that it’s our job to help protect that beauty.
At Nelnet, we contribute to this cause through our Plant a Tree Project. For every borrower who switches from paper communication to eStatements, Nelnet will plant a tree in forests in California. These trees can help to control flooding, clean up local water supplies, and create habitats for birds and other wildlife. Trees improve air quality, recycle water, create shade, and provide food and homes for living things across the planet. The simple act of planting trees helps sustain the environment in countless ways.
In honor of the holiday, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite naturally beautiful places. Enjoy these and your own favorite scenery this Earth Day!
On March 7, 2014, FSA implemented changes to the length of time an FSA User ID can go unused and to the FSA User ID password reset function.
Going forward, an FSA User ID that has not been used for 90 days will be suspended. If it is unused for 365 days, the User ID will be deactivated.
Additionally, users must now establish five challenge questions and answer three challenge questions when resetting their password.
For more information, please reference the original Electronic Announcement: http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/031014AIMSMarchReleaseReminder.html.
My fourteen-year-old son has chores around the house, and one of those chores is taking out the trash. When he was first given this responsibility, I told him, “Please take out the trash before I get home.” He said, “Okay Mom, I got it.” When I arrived home, I looked around, and the trash was still in the house. I called for him and said, “Son, didn’t I ask you to take out the trash before I got home?” He said, “Yes, and I did. I took out the kitchen trash.” Since there are trash cans around the house (bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry room, etc.), my expectation was not met because I failed to be clear and specific.
Being clear and specific in how you state a request will determine whether your expectations are met. In our minds, we are clear about the outcome we are looking for, but when we are vague or unspecific, that leaves others to interpret our requests or directions. When that happens, you are at the mercy of the other person’s interpretation. Clarity is the hallmark of results.
As the end of the 2013-14 school year approaches, financial aid administrators are gearing up to provide exit counseling to students who will be graduating or not returning to their school next year. Nelnet has a variety of resources available to assist you with this very important task.
The best resource you can provide students during exit counseling is our recently updated Live Life Smart Guide. The Live Life Smart Guide helps students become financially savvy and includes:
- Budgeting worksheets
- A brand new infographic that breaks down the federal student loan process
- Loan repayment information, tips, and how-to guides
- Default prevention resources
- Tips for getting a job
- A glossary of student loan terms
- Servicer contact information
- A checklist of important topics to cover during exit counseling
Our website’s library contains numerous PDFs that provide valuable loan repayment information. This material focuses on default prevention, financial literacy, and loan repayment. Borrowers can learn about deferments, forbearances, delinquency, and the consequences of default. In addition, recorded Money Monday webinars provide students with money management strategies and discuss student loan repayment, budgeting, investing, and more.
We always encourage student borrowers to sign up for an online account and contact their servicer should they need additional services. Another great resource is FSA’s website; when borrowers sign into the site using their user name and federal PIN, the site automatically displays the student’s federal loan data. They can use this information to determine the payment plan that best meets their needs. Students are encouraged to complete the exit counseling interview while signed on, as this meets the federal requirements for completing exit counseling.
As another school year draws closer to an end, Nelnet continues to strive to provide resources that are valuable to our school and borrower customers. If you have questions about exit counseling, feel free to reach out to your Regional Director.
Nelnet is dedicated to helping you with the challenges you face every day. We constantly strive to make sure you and your students succeed.
In order to establish relationships with our borrowers, we communicate with them regularly during every stage of their student loan life cycle (in school, in grace, in repayment, and, if necessary, in delinquency) to make sure they’re getting the most out of their student loan experience. Over the past few months, Nelnet has started sending several new communications to borrowers, including:
- A quarterly email while borrowers are in school explaining the services offered them
- An email every January while borrowers are in school reminding them to complete the FAFSA
- An email after graduation or withdrawal reminding borrowers to update their .edu email address
- New mailings while borrowers are in repayment that cover how to reach Nelnet, KwikPay, repayment plan options, and text alerts
- And more!
To reflect these additions and other changes, we have updated our timeline of borrower communications. We hope this tool will help your school to coordinate with Nelnet’s communication efforts, and, in turn, help students successfully finance their education and repay their loans.
On the Borrower Services section of our website, we will soon have an updated version of our Borrower Communication Summary, which will go into more detail about the communications included on this timeline. We encourage you to keep both documents handy so that your school has all the information it needs to assist borrowers in their interactions with Nelnet.
As always, if you think of things we can do to make your day-to-day easier, please let us know. We can help!
The new NSLDS Enrollment Reporting File Layouts are now available in the NSLDS Record Layouts section of the IFAP website. Below are the layout changes.
For the ’001′ Campus-Level record type:
- Added Program Indicator field
- Updated attribute names for the Student Address fields
- Removed Filler from positions 21-22, 174-175, and 321-321 in the fixed width format, and corresponding filler from the CSV format
For the ’002′ Program-Level record type:
- Updated value descriptions for the Special Program Indicator field
For all record types:
- Added Mandatory/Optional column to all fields to identify submission requirements
- Added File Type Offset field to each record type in the CSV layout to make updating the file easier for those who use the Spreadsheet Submittal process
For more information, please read the original Electronic Announcement: http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/022714AvailofUpdatedNewNSLDSEnrollReportingLayouts150PercentNo9.html.
Since many financial aid administrators are counseling borrowers who recently completed their programs of study, we want to remind you of an important Exit Counseling change, effective January 2014. Borrowers who use Exit Counseling on StudentLoans.gov can now select their preferred loan repayment plan.
During borrowers’ Exit Counseling sessions, the Department provides preliminary repayment plan eligibility and estimated repayment amounts based on each borrower’s NSLDS loan information. Once the borrower chooses a plan, the Department shares the borrower’s preference with the federal loan servicing team, FFELP lenders, servicers, and guaranty agencies. For Department of Education-held loans, this includes processing the selected plan within normal servicing guidelines.
Borrowers who choose income-driven plans will receive servicer follow-up, since application and additional documentation is required. For those who choose standard, graduated, or extended repayment, the servicer creates a repayment schedule tailored to the borrower’s balance. If borrowers want to change their plan after the initial selection, they can contact their servicers to discuss options.
For more information, please see this link to the most recent Electronic Announcement on this topic: http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/102813LSIRepayPlanInfoLoanSevicersBeginJan2014.html.