Clearinghouse Support for Institutions Impacted by Hurricanes Nate, Maria, Irma and Harvey
This year’s hurricane season has reached historic proportions with the advent of Hurricanes Nate, Maria, Irma and Harvey. The National Student Clearinghouse recognizes the challenging circumstances impacted institutions are facing now and will for some time to come and wanted to provide the following important information to you.
Institutions located in areas impacted by Hurricanes Nate, Irma and Harvey may experience delays processing transcript requests and responding to DegreeVerify requests that require research in collaboration with impacted institutions. We expect delays for institutions impacted by Hurricane Maria. The Clearinghouse is actively communicating with impacted institutions and will update you as the situation evolves.
The Clearinghouse is closely monitoring Department of Education (ED) communications regarding Hurricanes Nate, Maria, Irma and Harvey so we can share them with you.
Here are the most recent ED disaster-related communications:
- Updated Information Related to the 2017-2018 Supplemental Campus-Based Funds Due to 2017 Hurricanes
- U.S. Department of Education Announces Hurricane Flexibility Guidance
- Presentation slides for the September 13, 2017, “Disaster Relief – Guidance for Helping Title IV Participants affected by a Major Disaster” webinar.
- “Guidance for helping Title IV participants affected by a major disaster.” This letter from Kathleen A. Smith, Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, released after Hurricane Harvey, provides guidance related to major disasters.
- The “National Disaster Information” page from Federal Student Aid (FSA) offers guidance and contact information for institutions, students, and others in the higher education community impacted by a federally declared disaster. ED advises checking this page regularly for updates.
- ED recommends that you provide emergency alternate contact information in the event regular lines of communication are unavailable by using Box 69 of the “Application for Approval to participate in the Federal Student Aid Programs” (E-App). Step by step instructions are available here.
- Hurricane Harvey: The Department of Education has activated its emergency response contact center, you can read more here. FSA has also posted guidance related to Title IV participants affected by Hurricane Harvey, which you can read here.
- Hurricane Irma: Guidance related to Title IV participants affected by Hurricane Irma.
- Hurricane Maria: For those institutions located in Puerto Rico, it is important that you contact your regional office located in New York to request a waiver for Title IV Compliance. The number is 646-428-3750.
- Hurricane Nate: Specific ED guidance on Hurricane Nate will be shared when it becomes available. Please make sure you review the guidance above on dealing with disasters previously released by ED.
In addition, if your school is among the many impacted by Hurricanes Nate, Maria, Irma or Harvey, we want you to know that the Clearinghouse is committed to:
- Working closely with you to ensure your enrollment reporting compliance processing meets the NSLDS timelines
- Actively communicating with NSLDS and the Department of Education on this matter to determine how we can best support your institution
- Keeping the education community informed as we know more through email, our blog, Compliance Central, and social media
- Providing 24/7 service to schools and their students through our online services: DegreeVerify, EnrollmentVerify, Student Self-Service, and Transcript Services
- Transcript Services: The Clearinghouse has posted messages to let transcript requestors (including via Student Self-Service) know there may be delays or disruptions in processing transcript requests by institutions impacted by hurricanes. Requestors are directed to check the institution’s website for closure information. You can add a custom message on your Welcome Page via the Transcript Services tab on our school secure site. If you need assistance or would like us to post a transcript message for you, contact Clearinghouse Customer Service at 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #4) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- DegreeVerify: The Clearinghouse has posted messages to let requestors know that they may experience delays in turnaround time whenever a DegreeVerify request requires research from institutions impacted by hurricanes. If you would like to let requestors know when to expect a response to research requests from your institution, you can create a pending message alert via the Verifications Services tab on our school secure site. If you need assistance or would like us to post a DegreeVerify pending alert for you, contact Clearinghouse Customer Service at 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #4) or email@example.com.
- Enrollment Reporting/EnrollmentVerify: There are no issues at this time. We will update you should that change.
Our experience helping other schools hit by natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, has shown how critical it is to have a partner you can count on during trying times. We stand ready to support the education community impacted by Hurricanes Nate, Maria, Irma and Harvey as your National Student Clearinghouse.
If you are a school impacted by Hurricanes Nate, Maria, Irma or Harvey that needs assistance from the Clearinghouse, please contact Clearinghouse Customer Service at 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #4) or firstname.lastname@example.org.