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Meeting Minutes

April 28, 2000


Board Members Present: Mike Clumpner, Mary Beth Kornely, Kurt Hinrichsen, Mary Jo Green, Julie Schaefer, Steve Van Ess, Marques Franklin.

HEAB Staff Present: Jane Hojan-Clark, Jim Buske, Mary Lou Kuzdas, Sandy Thomas, John Whitt.

Others Present: Tim Jacobson, MATC/WASFAA; Sharon Pechiva, MATC; Margaret Zitzer, Marquette University; David Dies, WAICU; Merry Larsen, Legislative Fiscal Bureau; Kristen Hendrickson, UW System Administration; Andy Richards, UW System Administration; Dan Goyette, Marquette University; Shelly Gardner, WTCS System Administration; Erin Kalinosky, State Budget Office (DOA).

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. by Mike Clumpner, Chair. Due to several vacancies and new appointments on the Board, Chairman Clumpner suggested holding elections at the July 21, 2000 scheduled meeting.


Motion was made by Steve Van Ess to approve the minutes and seconded by Sr. Mary Beth Kornely. Approved.

Jane Hojan-Clark reviewed personnel changes. Marilyn Gillies has filled the Office Manager position, and Nancy Wilkison filled the Clerical Assistant position. Issues to be considered at the 13.10 session of Joint Finance Committee next Wednesday are converting 0.86 SEG positions to GPR and the approval of the Gateway Technical College District interstate agreement. There were two new bills recently passed. One creates a new Loan Forgiveness Program for teachers of the visually impaired. Eligible students enrolled at least half-time can receive up to $10,000 per year. There is a $40,000 maximum. The program has $100,000 allocated for 2000-2001. The other bill expands the EdVest Program. Through EdVest, the state allows families to purchase future tuition at this year's rates. The expansion effective August 1, allows the funds be spent on books, supplies, and room and board as well as tuition. Students currently can invest in a maximum of five (5) years of undergraduate tuition. In the future, investments can be made for up to $100,000. Tax deductions will be effective January 1, 2001 for contributions up to $3,000 per year. Investment options have also been expanded. The residency requirement has been removed. The minimum investment period before withdrawal has been reduced from 4 years to 2 or 3 years.

One change that impacts this Board is that funds in this program cannot be included in the calculation of State Financial Aid eligibility. In the 2001 projection, there are 18 students expected to be drawing funds from this program. In the year 2002, there are 92 students expected to be drawing funds. There needs to be a system put in place to implement this change. Jane has contacted WASFAA President, Tim Jacobson, regarding establishing a work group to look at the issue.

The WISSIS SURVEY is an annually completed document, which involves getting detailed information from the schools on grants, loans and other types of financial resources. There was a meeting held with representatives from each system with those who compile research data and statistics to discuss the survey instrument design with respect to the individual needs and realities of each system.

The Policy and Procedure Manual has been made available to financial aid administrators and other interested parties on the HEAB web site. This policy manual will be reviewed over the next year so schools and other parties can provide feedback, discussion, and suggested changes. There has been one issue that has come up concerning the proposed return of funds policy. Staff intent was to duplicate the federal return of funds policy. There already are FAO volunteers to work on the revision of this issue. The Staff is looking for feed back. The purpose of the manual is to provide structure to FA Administrators as a working manual. After all have had a chance to review the final copy, it will go to this Board for approval. If approved, it will go back out to the schools for implementation and a formal participation agreement. The agreement is acknowledgment by the school that they are aware of the policy and procedure manual, have read and understand it, and are aware of the expectations by HEAB to follow policies and procedures on behalf of all students.

The memorandum passed with no changes from the last year. Jane still plans to meet with Minnesota again this fall regarding the varying tuition rates and distance learning.

Jane provided an overview of what the status is for current applicants and recipients for the current year 1999-2000.

Wisconsin Higher Education Grant -WTC
There were a 123 fewer awards and 11.54 less committed than at this time last year with an anticipated $800,000 to $900,000 carry over for the next year.

Wisconsin Higher Education Grant -UW
There were 299 fewer award and a 5.18% more committed than at this time last year. The expected family contribution for certain cells have been going up compared to previous years. With an anticipated 1 million to 2 million carry over for the next year.

Wisconsin Tuition Grant
There were 504 more awards and 4.45% less committed than last year at this time. Although there wasn't the anticipation of a carry forward for next year, it now looks like there will be a carryover of 1 million or more for next year.

Status of Applicants
Applicant pool has increased over the last year. Last year there were a total of 163,305, and this year it is at 175,340. For the most part, the percentage of spending is up except for the programs that received additional funding during the year. The notification lists have been sent out this week along with a packet of information for next year.

Jim Buske presented an overview of the electronic HEAB policy and procedure manual. If schools want a paper copy of the policy and procedure manual, they should request it from staff or print the electronic copy.

The manual begins with the history of HEAB going back to 1965 highlighting all the changes since then. Chapter 2 is an overview of the Financial Aid System . There is a link to FASFA on the web site. Chapter 3 deals with school eligibility. Chapter 4 deals with general provisions with the state statutes included. All the statutes are on the web site. Chapter 5 lists all the programs with an overview of each program and what a student has to do to be eligible for that program. It also provides the application process and talks about what the student will receive. Chapter 10 talks about return of funds. Chapter 11 talks about reconciliation. Chapter 12 talks about HEAB audits and what to expect if the school is audited. Chapter 15 has an annual calendar, which lists all the board meetings, when processing will start, and the deadlines for the current year, as well as past years. Chapters 16 and 17 are the actual links to the state administrative code that HEAB works under and the state statutes that HEAB works under.

It has been 25 years since the last update of the program and policy manual. This web site was designed for everyone's use but primarily for Financial Aid Administrators. It is not intended for high school parents and students. There are other places on the web site that are more applicable to them.

Steve Van Ess commended HEAB Staff for undertaking this project. Steve also inquired if it mentions somewhere on the site that this in draft status. Jane and Jim responded that there wasn't at this time however, they recognize the need to have a very clear label on the front and top that work is in progress. Steve also suggested staff may want to put in a link to EdVest if not already there. Jim responded that there is a whole page of links and EdVest is on it. It was also suggested that there should be a record or a list of changes to be reviewed to draw attention to new information. The Board thanked Jane and Staff for developing such a useful resource.

This is a preliminary discussion prior to the development of the budget in July. Jane provided an overview of governing policies: the need to focus on financial need, provide educational diversity, freedom of choice, award merit or excellence, look at addressing the needs of the disadvantaged and how to maximize resources trying to make the resources meaningful without watering them down.

Jane has been visiting schools since the beginning of April to discuss the issues and understand the needs at each school. She has visited 12 of the 50 and plans to visit the rest in the coming months before the next board meeting.

There was a very substantial increase for both WHEG and Tuition Grant programs in the last biennial budget particularly when compared to funding increases/decreases that occurred in the last ten years. Currently, Wisconsin is ranked 12th in the country for providing need-based grant assistance. Programs other than WHEG and WTG have experienced sporadic funding increases/decreases in the last ten years. Historically, funding was tied to the cost of education (1/3 of the cost of education). Most recently, funding requests have been tied to tuition increases. Tuition increases from year to year range from 5 to 9%. Legislators are reluctant to tie funding to formulas.

One focus is to increase WHEG and TIP to the maximum in the statutes, which is $1800. For the TIP program this year, the average award was $1094 even though the maximum was $1800. For a continuing student, the greatest amount of TIP they could receive was $1180 even though the maximum in the statutes is $1800. In 2000-2001, the maximum a continuing student can receive is $1216, again the maximum in statute is at $1800. For the TIP program, if you took the difference of the averages and the maximum and multiplied it by the number of recipients this would double the requirement to 3 million dollars. WHEG - UW program maximums for the 1999-2000 for dependent students maximum was $1510 and for independent students the maximum was $1270. Next year the maximum for both dependent and independent students will be $1500 because of only having one formula. In the statutes, the maximum is $1800 at a difference of $300.

WHEG - WTCS student maximum for this current year for dependent students was $1300 the maximum for independent students was $1050. Next year for 2000-2001 the maximum for all students dependent and independent will be $1050. With the statute maximum being $1800. The number of recipients would double each of the WHEG programs for the two systems if you took the differences between the averages and the maximum and multiplied it. The UW system would require a 15 million-dollar increase and the WTCS system a 16 million-dollar increase. Should the priority be to bring the TIP and the WHEG programs up to the maximum of $1800 or to at least attempt to try to reach the maximum?

An important concept to look at is the deterioration of the programs. The question is: "Do today's programs meet the same financial need as in the past?" One way of calculating that is to take the data that was in February's board report and look ten years back. What is the role of state-funded, higher education financial assistance programs in meeting the need of its residents?

Another key issue for the State is Brain Drain and Labor Force Deficit. There is concern that Wisconsin colleges and universities educate its residents only to see them leave the state upon graduation. How can Wisconsin bring non-residents to the state and keep Wisconsin residents in the state? We need to gain a better sense of who we keep already. According to the WISSIS data 1998/99, 83%-total students enrolled are WI residents: 96%-WTCS, 60%-Independent and 82%-UW. How many students are staying in Wisconsin after graduation? According to 1997/98 data, WTCS 90%, 1996 data for Independents indicated 62% of all graduates stayed in Wisconsin. 20-25% non-residents stayed in Wisconsin. The UW system data was not available. Do we develop a scholarship program designed for residents of states other than Wisconsin if they meet a certain admission criteria and agree to stay in Wisconsin after graduation?

It may be helpful to review the maximum awards for the Academic Excellence Program, which is currently $2250. Based on a survey of students, the scholarship does make a difference in the student's decision-making process. Do we increase the $2250? Since the majority of AES participants stay in Wisconsin after graduating, should consideration be given to expanding the number of scholarships awarded?

There was some discussion and questions asked about the various issues. Since the focus today was to present issues, more discussion is expected to take place at the July meeting.

Sandy Thomas presented the issue of special project funding to the Board for consideration. There is value to having special projects that are targeted at non-traditional students. Special projects need money set aside in advance in order to have enough time to spend on developing projects. Discussion centered on the fact that the focus of the program was to support ISAG recipients rather than special projects. If funds are left over, then they can be targeted at special projects.

There was a motion by Steve Van Ess and seconded by Mary Jo Green to deny requests for funds to be set aside in advance. Roll call vote passed unanimously.

A summarization of the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP)1998-99 Survey Results and an update on the status of the Federal Financial Aid Programs was provided.

The audit report on WHEAL Program is now available. There were no exceptions cited.

NEXT MEETING: The next meeting will be July 21, 2000. Jane indicated that instructions for budget planning would not be available for a month; therefore, the next meeting will be important to bring focus to the issues. Staff will be putting together brochures, flyers, etc. to take to the Legislature. It is imperative to make Legislative visits this fall to begin discussions. Jane would like to coordinate some time this fall for board members to visit Legislators.

Motion by Julie Schaefer and a second by Kurt Hinrichsen to adjourn at 11:25 a.m.


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