Graduate Student Waivers for Spring 1998
Rita Cowan, Administrative Services Coordinator
Academic Affairs has made improvements in the processes used to issue tuition payments to reduce the paperwork needed and to insure the accuracy and monitoring of need-based scholarships.
Need-based scholarships for spring semester will be processed using the Letter of Appointment (LOA) file rather than completing the Scholarship Notification Document. Departments will no longer need to submit paperwork to Student Financial Affairs to grant these scholarships for payment of fees. Each college’s allocation for these dollars will be placed in one account for each college using “995” in Level 5 of the account and the standard college’s Level 3 & 4, such as,
The exception to this will be the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that will have a separate account for each of their departments. Budget equivalent to the college’s remaining allocation for need-based scholarships will be put into these accounts by Academic Affairs to reflect the amount available to fund the waivers for the students selected. This account is to be used in the LOA file as the source of funds for the student’s waiver. These accounts will be restricted so that they can only be used for payment of tuition fees.
To assist you in selecting qualifying students, we will provide the colleges with a list of students with financial need who qualify for these funds. These listings will be available December 15 and are to be picked up by the college in our office, Room 29 Tigert. A second listing will be available for pick up by the college on January 5. Since students needs can frequently change, we ask that the second listing be used to double check that the student is still eligible for the need-based scholarship before we process the waivers. Corrections to the LOA file should then be made no later that noon, January 6. Be sure to select only students whose need exceeds the amount of the fee waiver. If a student no longer qualifies for a need-based scholarship, the source of funding for the fee waiver will need to be changed in the LOA file. Students in the LOA file with their records indicating need-based scholarship as the source of funding for the fee waiver will have their financial aid checks issued for any other financial aid the second week of class to maximize the number of dollars going to the student.
Those students receiving need-based scholarships are to have no other sources of funds listed in the LOA file for their fee payments since the scholarship is to be the sole source of payment.
Academic Affairs will enter the scholarship account into the LOA file for those students for whom we have received the Scholarship Notification Document prior to today’s date. This includes the Scholarship Notification Documents which were processed at the beginning of fall semester but included both fall and spring semester. In order to be able to do this, these students must have a record created in the LOA file by the department no later than December 18, 1997. The appropriate account number will then be added to each record. Listings of the students for whom we have entered need-based scholarship accounts will be made available for the colleges after we make the entries on the LOA file. These students will also need to be checked against the list of students with financial need that we will be issuing to make sure they still qualify for the need-based scholarship.
If for some reason a student no longer qualifies for the need-based scholarship (the student withdraws from school or drops below the minimum number of hours required for the assistantship/fellowship) the budget will automatically be returned to the college.
Other Graduate Assistant Waivers
The LOA file is currently available for input for spring semester. Records that are created at this time may be for more than one semester (up to one year) but must have beginning and ending dates which are consistent with established semester dates (see Academic Personnel’s memorandum dated June 19, 1997). If you are listing funding sources for summer or fall semester, 1998, the accounts listed for tuition waiver authority and tuition remission clearing accounts are to have “992” and “994” respectively in the SAMAS Level 5 of the account:
|Tuition Waiver Authority||1606-992-11|
|Tuition Remission Clearing Account||1606-994-11|
The LOA file will be available for input until noon, January 8, 1998. At that time we will begin the process of issuing tuition waivers. The file will then be available again by January 13 to allow departments to input late waiver information. Students receiving late waivers will no longer have to have their waivers input by Academic Personnel. Instead this will be done by the employing department and batches will be processed every few days to generate fee payments. The second week of class we will run this process each night to aid the students in paying their fees by the deadline of 3:30 PM, Friday, January 16. Student fees not paid by this deadline will be subject to late charges.
After the fee payment has been made via the LOA file, we ask that the departments, except to update the accounts to be used for paying the fees, not change the records in the LOA file. Changes in FTE, dates, titles, etc. should be sent to Academic Personnel for update.
If the tuition remission clearing account is used for a student’s fee payment, for areas other than IFAS and the College of Engineering, this account is to be changed to another source of pay such as a grant or tuition allocation account no later than May 8, 1998. The LOA file will remain open during the entire spring semester to allow you to make these updates.
The amount of a waiver is to be based on total employment with the university. Therefore, it is important that the LOA file has a record for all assistantships offered to a graduate student. If a student has multiple LOA’s marked for payment of fees, the costs will be prorated to the accounts listed based on FTE and percent of cost listed for each source of pay. If a student is granted an assistantship for less than a full semester, but more that half of the semester, in addition to a regular assistantship for the entire semester, the assistantship will be taken into consideration for FTE when calculating the amount of a waiver. Assistantships of this nature should be brought to the attention of Nancy Paris in Academic Personnel so she can assist the department with the LOA file.
Pre-doctoral Fellowship Waivers
Beginning with spring semester, those departments/units granting pre-doctoral fellowships, which qualify for a tuition payment, will be responsible for inputting the information into the LOA file to generate the fee waiver. The FTE for these records is to be .01 and the dates listed are to be valid semester dates.
Only those fellowships that are granting fee waivers are to be entered into the LOA file. To qualify for a waiver, the fellowship must be for at least $3150 during the semester. Other fellowships are not to be entered. If a student is receiving both a fellowship and a graduate assistantship with the assistantship paying for the waiver, the fellowship is not to be entered into the LOA file.
The source(s) of funds for the fee payment are to be listed in the LOA file, however, tuition remission clearing accounts may not be used for fellowships. The actual account(s) to be charged must be indicated.
Those fellowships already in our office that were submitted either fall semester or for the spring semester will be reviewed to select those fellowships that are to receive waivers. We will then provide the names of the students to the fellowship granting department/unit so they can create the LOA file record for payment of fees.
In order for us to generate fee payments for a student, whether that student has an assistantship or fellowship, the student must be registered for the proper number of hours and must have a grade point average of at least 3.0. Exceptions to this will require a petition approved by the Graduate School.
In addition, for us to be able to input a fellowship into the personnel/payroll system, the student must be registered for the proper number of hours. Fellows receiving a waiver must be registered for at least 12 hours. Other fellows need to only register for 3 hours, unless the student has an assistantship that requires more hours. To help ensure the issuance of a check on January 16, 1998 for appointments received in our office by the December 5 deadline, the student should be registered by January 5.
Departments are asked to use Form AP FEL for fellowships rather than Form GS-705. This will reduce paperwork for the department since the required questionnaire is included on the form.
To assist those graduate students receiving waivers as well as financial aid, we ask that their records in the LOA file be completed by the first day of class. These students will then have their financial aid issued the second week of class to minimize the amount of funds taken out of their aid check to cover student fees.
Academic Affairs continues to work on enhancements to the LOA file to make it easier for the user. In the next few weeks, we will issue another memo that will introduce further improvements.
Should you have any questions on the materials presented, please contact Nancy Paris or myself by phone (392-1251), fax (392-3464) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).