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United Way Campaign Gives Back to Local Communities

October 16, 2014

For 19 years, Nelnet has remained true to one of our Core Values of giving back to the community by partnering with United Way, a non-profit organization that Tim Sabo, Nelnet’s United Way Campaign Co-Chair, says “addresses a community’s macro-level needs.” During the month of August, associates from all of our company locations spearheaded fundraisers to benefit the non-profit and its community outreach projects. To further support the communities in which Nelnet operates, we chose to match any donations or pledges made by associates, effectively doubling overall donations and contributions. Together with associate pledges and corporate match, Nelnet accumulated more than $550,000, a 7% increase from 2013.

In addition to making pledges, associates engaged in a number of friendly competitions that included penny wars, pies in the face, and “associate in costume for a day.” A bake sale, an ice cream social, and a pancake feed were also organized to increase funds.

The Nelnet United Way campaign’s main purpose is to provide assistance to those in our surrounding communities. Collected funds aid local organizations such as food banks, women’s centers, and educational programs. This campaign is just one way Nelnet holds true to its belief of giving back to those around us. Learn more about our commitment to this Core Value by watching this campaign video:

 

To see other organizations with which Nelnet works to assist those in need, visit this webpage.

October Conference Photos

October 15, 2014

2014 TASFAA Annual Conference | El Paso, Texas

Lou Murray

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MASFAA Fall 2014 Annual Conference | Charleston, West Virginia

Dawn Knight and Nycci Jones

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2014 PASFAA Conference | Lancaster, PA

Anne Del Plato

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9 Reasons Why Financial Aid Administrators Rock

October 15, 2014

October 15th is Financial Aid Appreciation Day. Here are nine reasons why we at Nelnet think financial aid administrators are awesome.

 

1. You have the incredible ability to quickly react to regulatory changes.

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Bring it on.

2. You are masters of acronyms.

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(Photo credit: Max Braun, flickr)

 

You devour alphabet soup.

3. You make it through some pretty long days.

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We bet there isn’t any coffee involved.

4. You are expert multitaskers.

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How do you do it all?!

 5. You’re always ready for fun…even if it means looking a little silly.

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It’s okay, we’re right there with you (including Regional Directors Lou and Ron, pictured here).

6. You handle difficult situations with poise.

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Financial aid is not always easy, but you sure make it look that way.

7. You make it fun to host training webinars.

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Yes, this fun.

8. A lot of people don’t know it, but you play a major role in the success of your school.

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Your efforts are nothing short of super.

9. You work tirelessly to help make students’ educational dreams a reality…

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…and for that, Nelnet thanks you.

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Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

School Service Center Update

October 14, 2014

Nelnet’s School Service Center (SSC) is a communication hub for our school partners. SSC representatives help financial aid administrators resolve issues involving Nelnet-serviced loans, Nsight Plus, NSLDS, and more. In order to more efficiently assist school representatives who call with borrowers on the line, we recently made a small change to the way incoming calls are routed.

Now when you call the SSC and indicate you have a borrower on the line, you will be immediately transferred to our borrower-focused contact center. This change ensures that borrowers receive superior loan counseling from a team with expertise in repayment plans and options and other borrower services. In addition, the borrower contact center is available 24/7, giving you the ability to call whenever it’s convenient, regardless of time zone or office hours.

In the days immediately following this transition, we received feedback that there were some challenges with the service some of you received. Nelnet strives to be open and honest with our customers, so we want to let you know that we have heard your comments and are working aggressively to address these issues. We may need to make a few adjustments to the process, but we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that the exceptional customer service experience you and your students are used to receiving from Nelnet is not compromised.

The SSC’s availability and IVR options have not changed. You can reach the SSC at 866.4NELNET (866.463.5638). School-focused representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (Central). Click here to review the SSC IVR options.

 

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

School Service Center Spotlight: Jeremy Buss

October 13, 2014

jeremyName: Jeremy Buss

Title: Specialist – School Service Center

 

Nycci: How long have you been with Nelnet?

Jeremy: Almost five years.

Nycci: What is your favorite part about the job?

Jeremy: I like the wide variety of people I get to work with from all over the country. I like when I am able to dig into things, whether it be Nelnet systems or working with other companies to resolve schools’ problems. I enjoy helping them understand the how’s and why’s and ultimately making things work for the students who are being affected.

I also work with a great team that I think is one of the best and most knowledgeable in the country. It is great working with them every day and helping them maintain the high quality standards we have established at Nelnet in order to be the best.

Nycci: What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?

Jeremy: During the summer, I enjoy just being outdoors and being able to work around the house and in the yard and garden. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and daughters before the grind of school and activities kicks in.

Nycci: What are your favorite hobbies?

Jeremy: I love photography, so it is pretty common to see me with a camera in my hand or close at hand when I am not at work. I am currently completing licensing with the University of Nebraska so that I can publish calendars and posters using the photos I take while covering Husker sports. I also love to travel. I love the beach, sitting and listening to the waves come in, relaxing, and seeing new places around the world.

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Nycci: Name one of your favorite things about someone in your family.

Jeremy: I can’t say that I can pick any one person or favorite thing out. My parents and two brothers have always supported me and been by my side through the tough times, and they are always ready with a joke, smile, or some kind of shenanigan.

Nycci: What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges that today’s Direct Loan borrowers face?

Jeremy: I think one of the biggest hurdles for students today is the increasing cost of college. I think there are more and more students shying away from continuing their education as they look at the cost, and many who do attend have huge student loan balances when they graduate. It can be a burden that affects them for quite some time as they try to build their life after graduation. I also think that, with all the new changes and programs that are always happening, it can be tough for some borrowers to understand what student loan options are available to them. I think student loan debt is an added challenge as they graduate and go into one of the toughest job markets we have seen in quite some time in the country. It adds pressure to find that perfect job, which is hard to do right out of school.

Catch Nelnet at an October Conference

October 13, 2014

Nelnet has always strived to offer service above the standard for our school clients. We now have more ways of reaching you, through Regional Directors, the School Service Center, a training team, and our Concierge team. Our commitment to you is to be proactive, professional, and personable in every interaction.

logomark_2c-_screen - CopyOur Full Circle Support includes loan servicing solutions with a focus on:

Visit us at one of these upcoming conferences:

 

October conferences

 

Latest from FSA: Ask a FED

October 10, 2014

bartnickiFederal Training Officer David Bartnicki recently shared these updates:

NSLDS Enrollment Reporting

Please remember that all institutions are required to report students’ enrollment to NSLDS at the academic program level, as well as at the institutional (campus) level, using the new enrollment reporting format no later than with the institution’s first submission to NSLDS on or after October 1, 2014. Also, program-level enrollment data is required to be reported retroactively for all students enrolled as of July 1, 2014. That is, institutions must report a student’s current enrollment status for any program in which the student is or was enrolled between July 1, 2014 and when the institution begins reporting under the new format.

In addition, enrollment reporting rosters generated by ED beginning October 1, 2014 will be in the new format that includes program-level information.

Though the financial aid office may not be directly involved in the enrollment reporting process, please make sure the appropriate offices on campus are aware of all important changes. For more information, please see GEN-14-07, the July 2014 NSLDS Enrollment Guide and the September 26, 2014 electronic announcement.

ED also posted GEN-14-17 clarifying that schools should use the same active enrollment status at both the campus-level and at the program-level. The active enrollment status should be based on the total number of credit or clock hours in which the student is enrolled at the school, regardless of which programs the credit specifically applies toward (specifically addresses concerns when students are enrolled in multiple programs). Please see GEN-14-17 for more information (http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1417.html).

Cohort Default Rates

On September 22, 2014, ED distributed the FY 2011 3-year official cohort default rates (CDRs) to all schools. Since ED now has 3 years’ worth of official 3-year rates all default rate sanctions and benefits will now be based on a school’s 3-year official rates (this includes the exemption for the 30 day delay and multiple disbursements in a single term if the most recent 3 years of official rates are below 15%).

Please note that the time period for appealing the FY 2011 3-year CDRs begins on Tuesday, September 30, 2014. In reference to appeals, it is very important to remember that on September 23, 2014, ED provided an electronic announcement advising schools that our data managers reviewing erroneous data appeals based on incorrect enrollment information should, if otherwise correct, approve these appeals without regard to when the enrollment changed occurred.

Finally, due to concerns with split-servicing, ED adjusted all three official 3-year CDRs for any school subject to potential loss of eligibility due to the FY 2011 rates. For specifics about the adjustments, please see the electronic announcement dated September 23, 2014 (http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/092314AdjustmentofCalculationofOfc3YrCDRforInstitutSubtoPotentialLossofElig.html).

FISAP

For those schools participating in the Campus-Based programs, please do not forget that the deadline for the electronic submission of the FISAP is 11:59 P.M. (ET) on October 1, 2014. Transmission must be completed by 12:00 midnight on October 1, 2014.

Online training to complete the FISAP is available on our FSA training website – fsatraining.info – under the “training by topics” section.

Also, don’t forget that the designated CEO/president on the school’s PPA can now sign the required FISAP documents electronically through the eSignature on the eCB login page and through the Help tab within the eCB website (cbfisap.ed.gov).

Annual Security Reports

ED recently posted a Dear Colleague Letter (GEN-14-13) reminding institutions that the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) amended the Clery Act to require institutions to compile statistics for incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to include certain policies, procedures, and programs pertaining to these incidents in their annual security reports (ASRs).

Please note: the statute requires institutions to include this new information in their annual security reports beginning with the ASR that must be provided to students, employees, and prospective students and employees by October 1, 2014. Though regulations have not been finalized yet, institutions must make a good-faith effort to comply with the statutory provisions as written and should use the statute as the basis for revising or developing policies, procedures, and programs in advance of the ASR that must be issued by October 1, 2014. Please make sure the appropriate authorities on campus are aware of these changes.

For additional information about specific policy changes and statistic gathering requirements, please see GEN-14-13 and the June 20, 2014 federal register (NPRM).

Two Factor Authentication (TFA) Support Center

I am happy to report that if you have any questions about TFA tokens you can now speak directly with a representative who can assist you at our CPS/SAIG TFA Support Center at 800-330-5947, option 2 (or email at TFASupport@ed.gov). Questions include inquiries about token registration, token synchronization, token repurposing and receiving or returning tokens.

Verification – 2014-2015 V4/V5 Tracking

I continue to receive questions from schools about when they have to report in FAA Access to CPS Online their students selected for V4 or V5 under verification. Please note that our July 11, 2014 federal register notice indicated that schools have 60 days following the school’s first request to a student to submit verification documentation to enter tracking information for V4 and V5 students in the FAA Access to CPS Online system. If any changes or updates are required to previously submitted identity verification results, those changes must be updated within 30 days of the change.

FSA Handbook

Coming soon to IFAP will be an indexed 14/15 FSA Handbook link that will contain new or updated appendices and active page links. The new appendices will include several items from the Blue Book and a new appendix that will contain a compilation of all of ED’s guidance on how a school should proceed when a current student dies. In addition, at the top of each page, active links will be present allowing schools to instantly move to key appendices for help or allow the user to go directly to dear colleague letters or the regulations. Comments on any FSA Handbook changes should be directed to FSAschoolspubs@ed.gov.

FSA Training Conference

If you have not done so and are planning on attending the 2014 FSA Training Conference, I strongly encourage you to register at http://fsaconferences.ed.gov. This year’s conference will be held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, December 2 – December 5, 2014. Conference hotels fill up fast, so, if you have not made your reservations, please consider doing so as soon as possible.