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The Monthly Memo Archive

The Monthly Memo

November 1, 2001

Dear Colleagues,

Please visit our web page. The site address is heab.state.wi.us.

Points of Interest:

  1. The Board recently met and approved the following Return of Funds Policy. This policy will be implemented for the 2002-03 academic year. Thank you to all those who contributed to the development of this policy. If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to contact me.

    Return of Funds Policy: Each institution shall have a fair and equitable refund policy that addresses the return of state funds when a student withdraws from the institution prior to the end of the institutionally determined refund period. State aid programs will have priority for any credit balance remaining from an institutional refund after the federal Return of Title IV Funds requirements are satisfied. The amount of state grant refunded shall not exceed the 'unearned' percentage of the grant, consistent with the 'unearned' percentage of federal funds.

  2. The various October Board Reports as well as HEAB's Biennial Report will be available on HEAB's website early next week.

  3. Just a reminder that the 2000-01 WISSIS Data Form is due November 15th. Please note that the University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical College System will be coordinating the information for this report for the schools within those systems.

  4. The Reconciliation Form was Due November 1st. We have received this form from most schools but not from all. If you have not already submitted this form, please return it as soon as possible.

  5. If you currently have just one person in your office designated to receive HEAB's electronic files, we ask that you consider designating a second person as well. There have been some cases where the designated person was on vacation, etc. and no one else was able to access the files when needed.

Points Related to Processing:

2001-02

  1. 2001-02 notification lists and associated reports are scheduled to run every Tuesday night.

  2. 2001-02 award commit and spent for WHEG and WTG are as follows:

      UW WHEG Award Commit = 122.89% (last year at this time it was 112.09%)
      UW WHEG Spent = 46.12% (last year at this time it was 39.85%)
      WTC WHEG Award Commit = 153.56% (last year at this time it was 132.27%)
      WTC WHEG Spent = 46.49% (last year at this time it was 40.45%)
      WTG Award Commit = 113.67% (last year at this time it was 120.26%)
      WTG Award Spent = 41.34% (last year at this time it was 40.47%)

  3. The 2001-02 voucher (V) process began August 3, 2001. We will continue to run the 2001-02 vouchering process on Tuesday and Friday nights of each week. Just a reminder that we cannot guarantee that your request can be loaded on the same day it has been received if the information arrives after 12NOON. Please keep in mind that it takes two to three business days after the vouchering process runs before checks are physically printed. So please plan accordingly. Please only voucher funds for students who are registered for coursework. Contact me if you have any questions.

  4. Please remember to submit TIP nomination forms to Sandy Dercole.

Other Points:

PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE ARE VARIOUS POINTS THAT WERE INCLUDED IN PREVIOUS MONTHLY MEMOS. THESE CONTINUE TO BE INCLUDED ONLY BECAUSE THEY ARE GOOD REMINDERS.

  1. Here are a few tips for bringing in your electronic Notification Files:

    1. set all margins to 0.25"
    2. set paper orientation to landscape
    3. set font to Courier (or Lucida Console if you have it)
    4. set point size to 9

  2. If you encounter problems opening the file directly from email, try saving it to your server or hard drive using either Notepad or WordPad to open it. If this doesn't work, please give Barb Moermond a call at (608) 266-3091 and she will work with you to try to find a solution.

  3. If your school transfers data to HEAB via an FTP site, please notify Barb Moermond at barbara.moermond@heab.state.wi.us as soon as possible whenever any changes in your FTP set-up, software, IP, etc. occur. Once notified, Barb will make all the necessary changes that need to be made at our end in order for HEAB to continue to be able to transfer data to and from your school.

  4. To all schools using the HEAB templates for file maintenance and voucher requests: Please refer to the Information for Financial Aid Administrators section on the HEAB web page (http://HEAB.state.wi.us) where you will find the formatting guides for both templates. Please use the guides and verify that both templates are formatted exactly the way the guides indicate. There have been an increasing number of problems with files not being formatted properly when they had been fine previously and this means that the file maintenance changes and/or voucher requests that have been submitted aren't going through. Please contact Barb Moermond (barbara.moermond@HEAB.state.wi.us) if you have any questions.

  5. HEAB is no longer accepting "adds" submitted via File Maintenance effective March 20, 2001.

    1. Effective March 5, 2001, our production schedule began loading all File Maintenance and ISIR records received to date on both Tuesday and Friday nights of each week just prior to vouchering. In the past ISIR data was loaded every other Monday night prior to the notification run on Tuesdays.

    2. An "exception processing system" was put in place effective March 20, 2001, for "exception adds." On an exception basis we accept student ISIR file data directly from the school in order to establish a student record. This should occur only when extraordinary circumstances occur and needs to be submitted directly to the Program Coordinator for their review.

    3. Currently the majority of schools receive an electronic version of the notification list. We are in the process of working with the remaining schools who receive paper lists so that all schools receive the electronic notification list. Once all schools have converted to the electronic notification list, it is our intention to eliminate paper notification lists. Sending electronic notification lists to all schools and eliminating all paper lists will allow us to send the notification list once a week.

    We believe that with the above changes, concerns that have been provided through your feedback will be addressed. We will continue to accept all File Maintenance "changes." Only the acceptance of "adds" has been discontinued. We expect to obtain all new record or student information via Federal ISIR files.

  6. There have been a number of schools who have been sending file maintenance for students who are not enrolled at their school. Therefore, new awards keep recalculating based on file maintenance sent in by the school where the student is not attending. The school where the student is attending has to keep sending file maintenance to correct what the other school has sent. To eliminate this problem, please only send file maintenance for students who you know are attending or plan to attend your school.

  7. When you send file maintenance, which includes contribution changes, you must always include the SC and PC along with the new EFC for dependent students. This is important for maintaining our internal student system particularly when working with the TIP grant.

  8. Please note that all ISIR records are being loaded before each notification list run and/or voucher run. I encourage you to begin making all changes through the federal processor rather than via file maintenance. You are being encouraged to do this since most recent data received is what will be reflected on a student's record whether it be from file maintenance or the ISIR file. In many cases file maintenance data submitted is overridden by ISIR file data when the ISIR file does not reflect the change included in past file maintenance. To avoid this, please make changes via the ISIR record rather than via file maintenance.

  9. Please be aware that it is not necessary for schools to submit an award amount via file maintenance. This information is not used. Including this information consumes resources both at HEAB and at your school. Awards are calculated prior to each voucher and re-calculations are triggered by changes to any of the five key fields (dependency status, year in school, marital status, household size and EFC).

  10. Please note that the only proper procedure for correcting a student's Social Security number is to submit a separate email to the general HEAB address ( heabmail@heab.state.wi.us). Please include the student's name, the incorrect number, and the correct number. Also, please remember that when you submit a Delete for a student, you are deleting your school from the student's record, NOT the student's record from our system.

  11. For schools whose students receive WTG funding: If you have students with "special tuitions," please identify those students with their special tuition WTG code each time file maintenance is submitted for them.

  12. If your school receives the electronic report file of the notification list, please note that a 1 in the child support column means that the student is delinquent (1 = DELQ).

  13. The past procedure that was to be followed for students who were delinquent in child support payments stated:

    If a student is no longer delinquent in payments, a letter sent to HEAB from the student's county child support office stating that the student is clear of the specified child support obligations initiated a contact between HEAB and the Department of Workforce Development Bureau of Child Support to determine if the student could be cleared of the eligibility hold for state financial assistance.

    This was the procedure up until recently when HEAB staff had a phone conference with the Bureau of Child Support staff to discuss the possible transition to the use of another type of delinquency list.

    Based on that meeting, HEAB can no longer accept letters from the counties to obtain clearance from the Bureau of Child Support, rather the county has to inform the Bureau of the change in status. The Bureau will then update their intercept list which is what HEAB uses to place holds on student records for state financial aid eligibility purposes. Once the student is released from the Bureau's list, which is sent to HEAB, the financial aid eligibility hold will be released.

  14. Please be aware that if you request a disbursement of less than $250 for a term or a semester or if the student has used nine semesters of eligibility, the voucher request is manually handled through a "special voucher" which is run on Wednesday nights.

  15. Also be aware that you cannot voucher funds for a student you just sent FAFSA changes for to the federal processor. Please voucher funds for students after they are reflected on the notification list. Our agency will calculate an award the Tuesday or Friday night after file maintenance is received or after the student is loaded from the federal record. However, the notification list which communicates the student award to you is run every Tuesday. Please keep all of this in mind when you are making student record changes or vouchering funds. Please also keep in mind that we calculate awards on the most recent information that is received either through file maintenance or from the federal processor.

  16. Just another reminder that students can receive up to ten semesters of a combination of WHEG/WTG rather than ten semesters of each.

  17. Please be aware of the following errors that have been made in the processing of refunds. The errors fall into two categories:

    1. Schools returning more money for a student than was originally vouchered.
    2. Schools sending in duplicate refunds.

    Please take a moment before sending in refunds to check and make sure that:

    1. You are returning the proper amount.
    2. You have identified the proper program.
    3. That the same refund has not been sent to us previously.

  18. The next training sessions will be held:

      January 17, 2002

    The program begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends no later than 3:00 p.m. It is held at the HEAB offices at 131 W. Wilson St, Suite 902, Madison, WI. We have room for up to 6 people at each session.

    If you want to register for a session or need more information, please call Jim Buske at (608) 267-9865 or send email to james.buske@heab.state.wi.us.

I appreciate your feedback and thoughts! My phone number is 608.264.6181, FAX: 608.267.2808, EMAIL: jane.hojan-clark@heab.state.wi.us and SNAILMAIL: HEAB, P.O. Box 7885, Madison, WI 53707-7885.

 

Jane Hojan-Clark, Executive Secretary
Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board

 

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