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The Monthly Memo Archive

The Monthly Memo

February 1, 2002

Dear Colleagues,

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

Points of Interest:

  1. Governor McCallum recently released the Budget Reform Act of 2002. This bill is designed to address the budget deficit for 2001-03 that developed after the budget was originally passed last August. I am extremely pleased to report that the programs HEAB administers are all held harmless in the Governor's proposal. No program is eliminated nor is funding decreased. The funding increases included in the 2001-03 biennial budget passed in August are also held harmless. In addition, the proposal includes a 1.2 million-dollar increase in the UW-WHEG and a $800,000 increase in the WTC-WHEG for 2002-03. The Governor's proposal is extremely good news for financially needy college students. This bill will now need to go through the legislative bill passage process before it can become effective. If you would like to review a summary of Governor McCallum's proposed budget adjustment bill please go to www.wisgov.state.wi.us.

  2. You should have already received a set of electronic documents that include information related to the following:
    • New 2002-03 Nursing Loan Program proposed rules and procedures
    • New 2002-03 Selective Service Registration requirement procedures
    • Edvest Wisconsin Program procedures related to State aid eligibility calculations
    • Updated Delinquent Child Support Payment Procedures
    Please review the information and submit questions or suggested changes by February 15th.

  3. Paper copies of check registers will be eliminated and replaced with electronic versions February 15th. We will continue to send the checks as we have in the past. However, the check registers will be sent only electronically in the future. Please let Marilyn Gillies or Barb Moermond know if you have any questions or concerns about this change.

  4. I thank those of you who provided feedback on the issue of phasing out File Maintenance Changes for the 2002-03 academic year. It appears that some exceptions would need to be made in cases of professional judgement changes and "special tuition" file maintenance changes for WTG. There may also be other instances where on a case by case basis an exception may be necessary to allow a File Maintenance Change to occur in order to voucher funds quickly. However, in these cases the File Maintenance Change would occur after vouchering has begun and ultimately the change would also need to be made via the federal processor due to student file volatility. At this point in time we do plan to phase out the use of File Maintenance Changes beginning with 2002-03 with the exception of changes related to professional judgement, WTG special tuition, and case by case circumstances that occur after the vouchering process begins. If you still have concerns about this phase out of accepting most file maintenance changes for 2002-03, please let us know. We will work with you to see what alternative/s could be used to meet your needs. Please note that we will continue to accept file maintenance changes for 2001-02.

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 = 130.95% (last year at this time it was 119.34%)
      UW WHEG Spent = 83.27% (last year at this time it was 81.88%)
      WTC WHEG Award Commit = 177.65% (last year at this time it was 153.78%)
      WTC WHEG Spent = 97.20% (last year at this time it was 82.90%)
      WTG Award Commit = 117.95% (last year at this time it was 119.77%)
      WTG Award Spent = 79.21% (last year at this time it was 78.70%)

    NOTE: The "W" code is currently being applied to any new WTC-WHEG applicants.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. The next training sessions will be held:

      March 21, 2002
      May 16, 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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