U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Student Financial Assistance Policy

Goal 8: To help ensure access to high-quality postsecondary education by providing financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study in an efficient, financially sound, and customer-responsive manner.
Objective 1 of 7: ENSURE THAT LOW- AND MIDDLE-INCOME STUDENTS WILL HAVE THE SAME ACCESS TO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION THAT HIGH-INCOME STUDENTS DO.
Indicator 8.1.1 of 4: Percentage of unmet need: Considering all sources of financial aid, the percentage of unmet need, especially for low-income students, will continuously decrease.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
Total for Undergraduates
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1995
23
 
1996
23
 
1997
22
 
1998
21.20
 
1999
20.80
Continuous Improvement

Low Income Undergraduates
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
 
Dependent Independent With kids Independent Without kids
Dependent Independent With kids Independent Without kids
1996
46.30 54.70 52.50
     
1997
44.50 51.60 49
     
1998
42.90 51.10 49
     
1999
41.80 50.20 48.50
     
2000
43.10 60.60 64.20
 Continuous Improvement
Status: Positive movement toward target. No 2001 data; progress being made toward target.

Explanation: Unmet need as a percentage of total cost of attendance was estimated to decrease slightly in each year with somewhat larger decreases for low-income students. Since 1995-96, unmet need is estimated to have decreased 2 percentage points for undergraduates overall and 4 or more percentage points for low-income undergraduates.  
Source: Other
Other: Record/File.
Sponsor: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2000 - 2001.
Data Available: January 2003.
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: NPSAS data are collected only every four years so that estimates are required for the intervening years. These estimates, while done as carefully as possible, will not necessarily exactly represent the circumstances faced by students in the out-years. A change in the methodology used to estimate unmet need in the out-years was implemented last year in order to make the estimates more timely.

 
Indicator 8.1.2 of 4: College enrollment rates: Postsecondary education enrollment rates will increase each year for all students, while the enrollment gap between low- and high-income and minority and nonminority high school graduates will decrease each year.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The percentage of high school graduates ages 16-24 enrolling immediately in college-Total
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1994
61.90
 
1995
61.90
 
1996
65
 
1997
67
 
1998
65.60
 
1999
62.90
 
2000
63.30
 

Income
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
 
Low High Difference
Low High Difference
1992
44 78.90 34.90
     
1993
41.20 80.50 39.30
     
1994
41.50 80.10 38.60
     
1995
47.10 80.10 34.20
     
1996
50.60 79.20 28.60
     
1997
50.90 78.50 27.70
     
2000
48.50 76.80 28.30
     

Race
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
 
Black White Hispanic Difference between Black and White Difference between White and Hispanic
Black White Hispanic Difference between Black and White Difference between White and Hispanic
1994
51.30 63.90 55.70 12.60 8.30
         
1995
52.40 64 55 11.50 8.90
         
1996
52.90 65.40 51.60 12.50 13.80
         
1997
55.40 66.60 57.60 11.30 9
         
1998
58.80 68.10 55.30 9.30 12.80
         
2000
58.60 66.80 47.40 12.70 19.50
         
Status: Unable to judge. No 2001 data. Some progress is being made in reducing the enrollment gap between low- and high-income students but progress is not being made in increasing the overall enrollment rate or reducing the gap between minority and nonminority students.

Explanation: There was a statistically significant increase in the overall enrollment rate from the 1994-95 period to the 1997-98 period. However, since then enrollment rates have fallen significantly (back to the 1994-95 levels), indicating a lack of overall progress.  
Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2001.
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: Small subgroup sample sizes for low-income and minority students lead to large yearly fluctuations in enrollment rates. Three-year weighted averages are used to smooth out these fluctuations.

 
Indicator 8.1.3 of 4: Targeting of Pell Grants: Pell Grant funds will continue to be targeted to those students with the greatest financial need: at least 75 percent of Pell Grant funds will go to students below 150 percent of poverty level.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The percentage of Pell Grant funds going to students below 150 percent of the poverty line
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1997
82
 
1998
80
 
1999
78
75
2000
78
75
2001
 
75
2002
 
75
Status: No current data but progress toward target is likely. No 2001 data; progress toward target is likely.

Explanation: Increases in the maximum award without other changes in the formulas used to award Pell grants will tend to lower the percentage of funds going to the neediest students.  
Source: Other
Other: Record/File.
Sponsor: Pell Grant Applicant/ Recipient File.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2001 - 2002.
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.



 
Indicator 8.1.4 of 4: Federal debt burden: The median Federal debt burden (yearly scheduled payments as a percentage of annual income) of borrowers in their first full year of prepayment will be less than 10 percent.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The median Federal debt burden of students in their first full year of repayment.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1997
6.70
 
1998
7.10
 
Status: No current data but progress toward target is likely. Progress towards target is likely. No 2001 data will be available until summer 2002 due staffing changes of IRS.

Explanation: As a general rule, it is believed that an educational debt burden of 10 percent or greater will negatively affect a borrower's ability to repay his or her student loan and to obtain other credit such as a home mortgage. We expect the 2000 and 2001 median debt burden rate to remain well below 10 percent.  
Additional Source Information: National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2000 - 2001.
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: To overcome limitations with the data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that were previously used, we switched to IRS data on household income for 1998 and future years. The IRS data may slightly understate debt burden for married borrowers where both individuals have student loans.

 

Objective 2 of 7: ENSURE THAT MORE STUDENTS WILL PERSIST IN POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION AND ATTAIN DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES.
Indicator 8.2.1 of 1: Completion rate: Completion rates for all full-time, degree-seeking students in 4-year and less than 4-year programs will improve, while the gap in completion rates between minority and non-minority students will decrease.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The percentage of full-time degree seeking students completing a 4-year degree within 150% of the normal time required.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
 
Total Black White Hispanic Difference between Black and White Difference between White and Hispanic
Total Black White Hispanic Difference between Black and White Difference between White and Hispanic
1997
52.50 35.50 55.50 39.10 20 16.40
           
1998
52.60 34.50 55 39.10 21.30 16.70
           
1999
53.10 35.50 56.10 41 20.60 15.20
           
2000
52.60 34.50 55.40 41.50 20.90 13.90
           

The percentage of full-time degree seeking students completing a less than 4-year program within 150% of the normal time required.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
 
Total Black White Hispanic Difference between Black and White Difference between White and Hispanic
Total Black White Hispanic Difference between Black and White Difference between White and Hispanic
1997
30.90 22.80 32.60 26.20 9.80 6.40
           
1998
32.20 25.10 33.80 29.90 8.70 3.90
           
1999
34.40 29.50 35.30 32.50 5.80 2.80
           
2000
32.70 26.50 34 30.10 7.50 3.90
           
Status: Unable to judge. .

Explanation: There was a decrease in degree of completion rates in both 4-year and less than 4-year programs between 1999 and 2000. The decrease in completion of 4-year programs was the result of a reduction of almost one percentage point in the degree completion rate for white students because both black and Hispanic students showed slight increases in the completion of 4-year degrees.  
Additional Source Information: Graduation Rate Survey (GRS) conducted as part of the Integrated Postsecondary Student Aid Study (IPEDS).

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 1999 - 2000.
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: Postsecondary institutions are not required to report graduation rates until 2002. However, data were voluntarily submitted by institutions representing 87 percent of 4-year students and 77 percent of 2-year students. Investigating whether a proxy for graduation rates for student aid recipients can be obtained from administrative records.

 

Objective 3 of 7: ENSURE THAT TAXPAYERS WILL HAVE A POSITIVE RETURN ON INVESTMENT IN THE FEDERAL STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS.
Indicator 8.3.1 of 1: Return on investment: The benefits of the student aid programs, in terms of increased tax revenues, will continue to exceed their costs.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
Past data has been revised slightly from the 1999 Performance Report to correct for a programming error. On average, economic returns were overstated by approximately 10 percent in the 1999 report.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
 
Low Best High
Low Best High
1995
1.30 2.80 6.50
     
1996
1.30 2.90 6.70
     
1997
1.40 3.10 7.10
1998
1.50 3.30 7.70
1999
     
2000
     
2001
1.60 3.40 8
     
2002
     
Status: Unable to judge. Low: A pessimistic set of assumptions leading to a low-end estimate of the return on investment. Best: The set of assumptions that we believe best captures the return on investment. High: An optimistic set of assumptions leading to a high-end estimate of the return on investment.

Explanation: The estimated return on investment is calculated in the following manner: 1) The discounted present value of tax revenue and welfare benefits is calculated for different educational attainment levels. 2) Under the "best" scenario, 90 percent of the revenue differential calculated in step 1 is assumed to be caused by obtaining more education.  
Source: Other Survey/Research

Additional Source Information: March Current Population Survey (CPS) and Beginning Post Secondary (BPS) study with imputations from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) and High School and Beyond (HS&B). Behavioral assumptions were derived, where feasible, from meta-analyses conducted by Leslie and Brinkman in their 1988 book, The Economic Value of Higher Education.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2001 - 2002.
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: A number of assumptions and imputations are required to estimate the return on investment. By providing high and low estimates, one can assess the sensitivity of the results to the assumptions used.

 

Objective 4 of 7: ENCOURAGE POSTSECONDARY STUDENTS TO ENGAGE IN COMMUNITY SERVICE.
Indicator 8.4.1 of 1: Community Service: The percentage of Federal Work-Study (FWS) program funds spent on community service will increase over time.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
The percentage of Federal Work-Study program funds spent on community service
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1996
11
 
1997
10
 
1998
12
 
2000
14
 
Status: Unable to judge. Actual date will be reported April 2002.

Explanation: The percentage of FWS funds spent on community service increased from 10% to 12% between 1997-98 and 1998-99 after declining slightly between 1996-97 and 1997-98. This was likely caused by institutions having time to adjust to the increased funding available in 1997-98 and beginning to create additional community service positions, which are more difficult to establish than other positions.  
Source: Other
Other: Record/File.
Sponsor: Fiscal Operations Report.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 1999 - 2000.
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

 

Objective 5 of 7: INCREASE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION.
Indicator 8.5.1 of 1: Increase Customer Satisfaction to a comparable private sector industry average--American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) rating of 74 (out of a possible score of 100)--by FY 2002.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
- No Data -
Status: Target met. SFA's first enterprise-wide ACSI score is 72.9. Just slightly lower than the private-sector financial services score of 73.9--SFA's FY 2002 goal. The SFA ACSI score is significantly higher than the government wide average of 68.6 as well as, private-sector banks average score of 68. Additionally, the FY 2000 SFA Aid Application ACSI score rose sharply from the prior year--from 63 to 70. This is the only SFA ACSI measure that has been available for two consecutive years.

Explanation: The ACSI uses a widely accepted methodology to obtain standardized customer satisfaction information for all of its participants. Over 170 private--sector corporations use ACSI. Because it is widely used across all business sectors it allows us to benchmark and compare ourselves to the best in business.  
Source: Performance Report
Contractor Performance Report

Frequency: Annually.
Validated By: On-Site Monitoring By ED.

Limitations: While ACSI was able to determine a score for the lender component of the Financial Partners Channel, they were not able to calculate a score for the Guaranty Agency or Servicer component due to item non-response. Efforts are underway to improve response, including a redesign of the questionnaire to include more appropriate content as well as, the development an effective community-based outreach and follow-up campaign.

 

Objective 6 of 7: DECREASE UNIT COSTS.
Indicator 8.6.1 of 1: By FY 2004, reduce actual unit costs from projected unit costs by 19 percent.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1999
18.70
 
2000
19.10
 

Projected Unit Costs (Approximated)
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1999
 
18.70
2000
 
19.10
2004
 
22.30

Unit Cost Reduction from Projected (Approximated)
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
2004
 
-19
Status: Target exceeded. Through the successful initiation of FY 2000 process improvements, SFA redirected more than $23 million-- $5 million more than initially planned--from system operations to support modernization efforts aimed at streamlining processes and reducing unit costs. Additionally, our operating unit costs, total cost less modernization investment, have declined from $18.15 in FY 1999 to $17.20.

Explanation: Unit Costs are defined as total costs recorded in a fiscal year divided by the number of unduplicated recipients of loans and grants. (Unit cost reduction is a major goal SFA has set for itself. The FY 2004 projected unit cost was based on forecasts if SFA did not modernize and re-engineer its processes. If nothing were done, these costs were forecasted to increase rapidly during the next 5 years largely because of the rapid growth in demand for student aid.
Frequency: Annually.
Validated By: No Formal Verification.

 

Objective 7 of 7: INCREASING EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION.
Indicator 8.7.1 of 1: Improve SFA's ranking of employee satisfaction in the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) and National Performance Review's (NPR) employee opinion survey from 33rd to top 5 by 2002. : Revising to: Raise Gallup Workplace Management Grand Mean Score to at least 3.6 --the Private Sector Average -- by 2004.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
SFA Employee satisfaction ranking
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
- No Data -
Status: Target exceeded. The recently released OPM and NPR data show that SFA made substantial progress and was able to accomplish its multi-year goal in the first year. As the reader can see from the table on the left, SFA ranking rose from 38th to 5th. Part of the success stems from effectively addressing issues raised by SFA employees. 

Explanation: NPR satisfaction is measured by responses to the survey question, "Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?" Source data for this indicator will change in 2001 to the Gallup Organization's Workplace Measurement Tool. The Gallup tool not only provides long-term consistency; it provides more diagnostic information to gauge employee satisfaction. Additionally it requires that individual work groups develop action plans to address employee satisfaction issues. 
Source: Other Survey/Research

Frequency: Annually.
Validated By: No Formal Verification.

 

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