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The Monthly Memo Archive

The Monthly Memo

May 1, 2000

Dear Colleagues,

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

Points of Interest:

  1. A packet of 2000-01 information, revised applications, etc. were mailed April 21st. The first 2000-01 notification list and associated reports will be mailed April 27th. We apologize for the delay in the sending of the first notification list. Changes related to the formula conversions caused some unexpected challenges. File maintenance (FM) changes or adds can now be submitted for 2000-01.

  2. The Board met April 28th and began discussing the 2001-03 biennial budget request. Other items on the agenda included an action item related to setting aside a percentage of Indian Student Assistance Grant funds up front for special projects. The request was denied. Financial Aid Administrators are represented on the Board by Mary Jo Green of Mid State Technical College, Sr. Mary Beth Kornely of Silver Lake College, and Steve Van Ess of UW Madison. Copies of the various February and April Board Reports are in the process of being added to HEAB's website. The next Board meeting is scheduled for July 21, 2000.

  3. The new Policy and Procedures Manual can be viewed on the HEAB web site. The purpose of this manual is to provide a document to participating schools explaining the policies and procedures we use in administering our programs.

    Following is the implementation plan for the manual:

    April 19, 2000
    to May 30, 2001
    A review of the manual by participating schools. During this time, there will be ongoing comments, suggestions and discussions regarding possible revisions to the manual.
    May 30, 2001
    to June 30, 2001
    Participating schools will be asked to sign a Participation Agreement indicating that their institution will participate in the programs administered by HEAB and that the Policy and Procedure Manual will be followed.

    As we continue this process, we look forward to your comments, suggestions and in working with you to produce a manual that will be a useful resource.

  4. In April, the amendment of ch. HEA 11.03 (3) and the creation of ch. HEA 11.03 (5), Wis. Adm. Code, relating to the eligibility criteria for participation in the Minority Teacher Loan Program was finalized. Due to the changes, students who are enrolled at least half time and students who do not show financial need are able to participate in this program. Prior rules required that a student be enrolled full time and show financial need to be considered for participation.

  5. Two bills were recently signed:

    1. A new loan program, which HEAB is responsible for administering, has been established for teachers and orientation and mobility instructors of visually impaired pupils. Students attending school at least half-time can receive up to $10,000 per year for a total of $40,000. 25% will be forgiven the 1st two years of teaching and 50% will be forgiven the 3rd year of teaching. $100,000 has been allocated to the program for 2000-01.

    2. The Edvest Wisconsin Program now prohibits a State agency from including the balance of a college savings account in the calculation of a beneficiary's eligibility for state financial aid for higher education.

  6. HEAB met with representatives from the UW, Independent and Technical College sectors to review the WISSIS Data Collection Form. The meeting was an initial attempt to make the WISSIS form easier to understand, complete and collate. The UW System and the Technical College System Board complete the form for their respective sectors. Independent colleges and universities individually complete the form. Attached is a copy of the INITIAL DRAFT of the new form. Please take a minute to review the form. We are looking for your suggestions in order to offer the best possible collection tool. The sector meetings at the upcoming WASFAA conference may be a good opportunity to discuss the draft of the form. Please e-mail any suggestions or comments to Jim Buske at james.buske@heab.state.wi.us.

  7. HEAB's Office Manager position has been filled. Marilyn Gillies come to us with both a human resources and accounting background. We already have found Marilyn a great addition to our staff. Nancy Wilkison, Clerical Assistant, began today. Nancy also brings with her a great deal of experience. Please welcome both to HEAB.

Points Related to Processing:

1999-2000

  1. 1999-2000 notification lists and other associated reports are scheduled to print 5/9/00 and 5/23/00.

  2. Since we are currently processing FM for both 1999-2000 and 2000-01, it is very important to clearly indicate which year information is being sent for.

  3. We continue to run the 1999-2000 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 be aware that at the end of 1999-00 there will be a June 15, 2000 deadline for submitting all adds, changes, vouchers, and refunds.

  5. 1999-2000 award commit for WHEG and WTG is as follows:

      UW WHEG Award Commit = 138.30% (last year at this time it was 133.12%)
      UW WHEG Award Spent = 88.74% (last year at this time it was 94.90%)
      WTC WHEG Award Commit = 156.29% (last year at this time it was 167.83%)
      WTC WHEG Award Spent = 90.90% (last year at this time it was 98.70%)
      WTG Award Commit = 109.22% (last year at this time it was 113.67%)
      WTG Award Spent = 88.35% (last year at this time it was 99.25%)

2000-01

  1. 2000-01 WHEG and WTG formulas were included in the March Monthly Memo. 2000-01 notification lists and other associated reports are scheduled to print 5/16/00 and 5/30/00.

  2. Since we are currently processing FM for both 1999-2000 and 2000-01, it is very important to clearly indicate which year information is being sent for.

  3. The 2000-01 voucher (V) process will begin August 1, 2000. You may begin sending in voucher requests the last week in July. Please only voucher funds for students who are registered for coursework.

Other Points:

  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 Frequently Asked Questions 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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 (which we draw down daily). However, the notification list which communicates the student award to you is run every other 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.

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

  9. Recently there has been an increase in the number of errors 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.

  10. The May training session is full. The next three training sessions after May are:

      July 20, 2000
      September 21, 2000
      November 16, 2000

    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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