Deadline for Submission of Notice of Intent to Appeal GE Failing/Zone Rates Monday 1/23!


As outlined in Electronic Announcement #101, institutions with Final Debt Measure Year 2015 GE Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) Rates that have one or more programs that are either failing or in the zone have until the end of the day today to notify the Department of your intent to appeal using one of the two alternate earnings appeals processes detailed in Electronic Announcement #95.

Data for an alternate earnings appeal may come from an alternate earnings survey conducted in accordance with Department-issued Standards or from a state-sponsored data system.

In multiple Electronic Announcements the Department has made it clear that institutions should only consider the alternate earnings appeal process if the use of alternate earnings would improve a zone program to passing or a failing program to either passing or zone.

However, what is unclear is how any institution will be able to determine whether or not the alternate earning surveys (and new mean or median alternate earnings – which ever is higher) will produce results capable of improving the program’s or programs’ eligibility classification.

Given this uncertainty, CSPEN encourages all members institutions with failing or zone program rates that are reasonably close to the passing or zone thresholds to strongly consider submitting the Notice of Intent, and pursing the alternate earnings appeal process.

Submission of Notice of Intent

To properly submit a Notice of Intent, your institution must specifically identify, the institution’s name, 6-digit OPEID, the program(s) name, CIP Code, and Credential Level, for each failing or zone GE programs for which it is planning to submit an appeal.

Notice of Intent email messages must have the subject line “Notice of Intent to File Alternate Earnings Appeal” with the body of the email containing the information above.

Once completed the email must be sent to

Benefits of Pursing an Alternate Earnings Appeal

If an institution has submitted an intent to file an alternate earnings appeal, none of the regulatory consequences will apply while the appeal is under review by the Department and the Department’s Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) rates spreadsheet will be annotated to indicate that the program’s D/E rates are under appeal.

Most notably in this the first year of implementation of the new regulation, is the Department’s repeated clarification that institutions with failing programs will not be required to provide student warnings for a failing program while the Secretary considers the appeal.