In August, the timing and method of some student award payments were changed to ensure the University remains compliant with federal and state regulations. Following that successful launch, the team is working on Phase 2, which includes:
1. More Efficient Way to Request Increases to Cost of Attendance
In some cases when a student receives a new award, the student’s cost of Attendance (COA) can be increased and that means the new award doesn’t affect the student’s other financial aid. Currently, to request an increase, the awarding department emails the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid who manually adjusts the student’s COA if appropriate. Starting later this year, departments will be able to request a COA increase online and, if appropriate, the request will automatically increase the COA in the Financial Aid system.
2. Capturing Non-Monetary Awards and Pre-Paid Awards
Students may be given non-monetary awards, such as computers and supplies, or pre-paid awards like gift cards. These should be considered financial aid but currently aren’t. The system will soon allow departments to enter this information and report it to Financial Aid.
3. Down the Road: Enhanced Reporting
Because all departmental student awards are now moving through the same process, it’s a good opportunity to enhance reporting for schools, The Graduate School, Financial Aid, and Student Financials. Some enhanced reports will reside in GradStar (the system of record for departmental awards), and others will be in for Finance staff. The Data Warehouse will also allow reporting across systems, making it easier to reconcile data and see visual reports and dashboards.