Financial Aid

The PeopleSoft Financial Aid module provides for a significantly increased ability to track and report on the financial aid payments of students across the campus. To make full use of the accuracy and efficiency of this product, a policy should was put in place to ensure that ALL financial transactions to the students account are entered through the PeopleSoft system. The most typical way for departments to process student payments, by manual Transfer Journal Voucher, is no longer an option.

Administrative Value

In PS, a student's record and account can be shared, both indirectly or directly, by a department, such as a graduate program, and the appropriate Financial Aid Office. The ability of these units to know what the other has done has obvious advantages:

 

  • It prevents duplicate entry and errors related to the student's account. Often, a department may not know that another unit has already credited the student's account. Up front knowledge will prevent duplication of effort and errors.
  • The "shared" access and posting will prevent over awarding, and ensure that Federal and institutional guidelines for the payment of students are not inadvertently violated. System entry will also ensure that appropriate laws concerning taxability or income reporting are adhered to.
  • The ability to do real time and accurate reporting will be appreciated by all units, at various levels. Allowing any payments to bypass the People Soft system will jeopardize accuracy, and we would lose any advantage gained.


The People Soft system also allows for both ease and efficiency in the payment of students by the departments, and thus reduces administrative costs. On line transactions ensure that there are no delays in crediting the students account, and reduce the all too common data entry errors by the department, accounting, or the Financial Aid and Bursar's Office. The department will only have to post something once, and will be given choices from their own funding sources, so that the possibility of error is greatly reduced. Departments will also be able to add, on line, layers of knowledge about an award if they choose. They can:

  • Tie the award to faculty committee results which can, in turn, be reported upon.
  • Attach "notes" to the student's computer file concerning the reasons for an award or an adjustment. These notes can be shared with other units if appropriate
  • Work with the Financial Aid Offices to make an award "automatically" to a student who meets certain criteria. For instance, many graduate programs offer the same award to all first year Ph.D. students who have been admitted, and who have not received any external awards. Having this done automatically will not only save duplicate entry by the Department and the Financial Aid Office, but will in fact save initial entry.

 

There are several avenues for initial awarding of Financial Aid funds through the PeopleSoft Student Administration System

  1. Departments and units may be given direct access to a student's Financial Aid file. This option may be appropriate for some departments, but requires the most training of any of the available options.
  2. Within PS Financial Aid there is a panel group entitled "Restricted Aid," where a unit may enter an award for a student, and indicate the appropriate funding source, without having direct access to the "Financial Aid" panels. The award information is then pulled into Financial Aid and Student Accounts. The transaction can be set up to require the approval of Financial Aid, if that is appropriate.