When a Request Isn’t Immediately Confirmed

When a match isn’t made immediately, your request is put into a “pending” state and the school is notified to begin manually researching the student’s enrollment to determine if he or she received a degree. This results in additional processing time.

Here’s how to improve the likelihood of getting an immediate match, anticipate which requests are more likely to enter the pending process, and understand some of the factors that can impact the timing of resolution for a pending request.

Know the Factors that Trigger Pending Statuses

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  • If student consent is obtained, include the student’s Social Security number. Without it, your request is 36 percent more likely to enter a pending status.
  • Always include the student’s date of birth, if you have it. If you don’t, your request is 16 percent more likely to enter a pending status.

Understand Pending Triggers

  • Newer degrees are more likely to result in a pending status:
    • Nearly four times more likely if the degree was issued within the last six months
    • Twice as likely if the degree was issued within the last two years
  • Requests made to two-year schools are 53 percent more likely to result in a pending status.

Know the Factors that Impact Pending Resolution

The Clearinghouse constantly works with schools to improve pending turnaround times. However, schools have limited resources and staffing varies by school, which can impact resolution time frames. The time it takes a school to research pending transactions has many contributing factors and can vary throughout the year.

  • Associates degrees, certificates, and other miscellaneous degree types take an average of 33 percent more time to resolve.
  • Degrees issued within the last two years can take 15 percent longer to resolve.
  • Historically, our data shows that the average turnaround time for pending requests has been longer at for-profit schools, particularly two-year for-profit institutions.
  • Holidays can slow pending turnaround times. This is especially true for requests submitted around Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day, which can take nearly three times as long to resolve.

While several of the factors listed above may be out of your control, we think it’s helpful for you to understand some of the top reasons that can cause your request to fall into a pending status and can have an impact on resolution time. This information can help set your customer’s expectations as well as your own.

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