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Unusual Enrollment History Selection Process to Change for 2016–17

Students are not only smart, they can be industriously unethical too. Some have learned how to attend a school just long enough to get financial aid and then leave the school to attend another school to repeat the offense.

The U.S. Department of Education has made changes to the Unusual Enrollment History Selection Process.

The U.S. Department of Education has made changes to the Unusual Enrollment History Selection Process.

These students fraudulently receive grant funds while not receiving credits for attendance.

Beginning last July such students were flagged on their Student Aid Report (SAR) or the Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) with an “Unusual Enrollment History” (UEH).

For example, right now, a student who earns an associate’s degree at a community college, then enrolls at a four-year school to earn a baccalaureate degree, and immediately attends a different graduate school (a not uncommon scenario) would receive the UEH flag due to enrolling in three different schools within the last four years.

As a result, institutions wishing to provide aid to this “unusual” student has to provide documented evidence that the student did earn credit at their prior institution, such as a transcript. This process often puts undue burdens on student aid staff.

However, at the December 2015 Federal Student Aid Conference in Las Vegas, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will again be changing the Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) selection process.

Beginning with the 2016–17 award year, undergraduate enrollment will be separated from graduate enrollment for purposes of identifying and flagging students who need to be reviewed for unusual enrollment.

The change to the selection process will hopefully reduce the number of UEH flags by eliminating students who are merely transferring from undergraduate to graduate study, which will no longer count toward unusual enrollment.

For additional information on UEH selection and resolution, refer to Dear Colleague Letters GEN-15-05 and GEN-13-09.

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