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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Reporting Date for Gainful Employment Data Extended

August 10, 2011

The Department of Education will accept submission of required data on gainful employment programs through November 15. The statutory deadline for reporting information on students who had attended gainful employment programs from the 2007-08 through 2009-10 award years was October 1, with ED authorized to set the deadline for reporting for 2010-11 and subsequent years. (Data for 2006-07 award year must also be submitted with the historic data if available.)

In a Federal Register notice establishing November 15 as the date for 2010-11 submissions, ED also announced that it would provide some flexibility on the date for submitting data for prior years. ED was careful in not describing the de facto extension as a change in the statutory deadline. A subsequent response in the FAQs on ED’s gainful employment resource page stated that the “Department will continue to accept the information into NSLDS [National Student Loan Data System ] without penalties or sanctions to the institutions until November 15 in order to provide institutions with greater flexibility during this first reporting year.”

For each gainful employment program, institutions must submit student-specific data on enrollment and student indebtedness. On July 28, ED released a template that institutions may use to submit this data through the NSLDS. An Excel spreadsheet can be formatted using the template and then up to 50 records at a time can be uploaded to the system. NSLDS will not, however, be ready to accept these submissions until September 26—making an October 1 deadline unworkable.

New Programs

On August 3, ED also released new procedures for institutions to use to notify the department about any new gainful employment programs using Federal Student Aid’s (FSA's) Application for Approval to Participate in the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs (E-App).


ED’s gainful employment resource page provides links to its regulations and all subsequent guidance on gainful employment programs, including FAQs.


Anne Gross
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst