9.2 Manually Awarding Aid for a Student without a FAFSA

Purpose:  Use this document as a reference on how to award financial aid (i.e., scholarships, workforce funding, etc.) to a student who has not yet completed a FAFSA.

Audience: Financial Aid Staff

There will be instances where you will need to award certain types of Financial Aid to students on whom have not yet completed a FAFSA.  For example, you may have to award a merit scholarship from a private outside donor, or you may have to award Workforce funding.  There are four essential steps that need to happen before you can award:

1) Aid Year Activation - In the Financial Aid pages, you must Aid Year Activate a student so that FA Term and Budgets can be built.  Recall that when an ISIR loads, that automatically Aid Year Activates a student.  When no FAFSA exists, Aid Year Activation does not build, and you must manually Aid Year Activate the student as a precursor to FA Term.

2) Build FA Term - Depending on whether or not the student is enrolled in classes for the respective term, you will have to build FA Term manually.  Recall that without an ISIR, the FA Term process will never build in batch, so this step will need a manual adjustment as a precursor to Budgets.

3) Build a Student Budget - Student budgets must be built manually so that you can successfully award aid.  Recall that student budgets will not build without FA Term, so this step is a manual adjustment as a precursor to awarding.

4) Assign Awards to a Student - Once all the precursory steps are in place, you are ready to assign awards to a student.  This will need a manual build using the Num and Action columns; you will not be able to "Retrieve" aid package as there is no other Financial Aid that you will be able to assign using the Retrieve button.

Aid Year Activation

Navigation:  NavBar > Navigator > Financial Aid > Aid Year Activation > Manage Financial Aid Years

  1. The Aid Year Activation search page displays.
  2. Enter the ID.
  3. Select the Search button.
Aid Year Activation Seach Criteria page
  1. The Student Aid Year Activation page displays.
  2. Enter the Institution.
  3. Enter the desired Aid Year.
  4. Select the Save button.
Student Aid Year Activation
Build FA Term

Navigation:  NavBar > Navigator > Financial Aid > Financial Aid Term > Maintain Student FA Term

  1. The Financial Aid Term search page displays.
  2. Enter the:
    • ID
    • Academic Institution
    • Aid Year
  3. Select the Search button.
FA Term search page
  1. The FA Term page displays.
  2. Enter the Term in which you assigning a FA Term.  In this example, Fall term 2021 is used.

Note that the example in this QRG, the student is not enrolled in classes, and is not Plan Stacked to a particular program.  This example displays a brand new student who will--ideally--be matriculated into their program once the aid offer for scholarship or workforce funding is in place.  

If the student to whom you are awarding a scholarship or workforce funding is enrolled and Plan Stacked, you can simply enter the Term on the FA Term tab, and select the Build button to build FA Term, and select Save.  Refer to the QRG "Building an FA Term".  

  1. Next, select the Academic Career from the drop-down list.  Note that the Override check box will automatically be selected.  
  2. Select the Primary Program from the drop-down box.
  3. Select the Academic Plan -- best practice is to assume the student will choose a general AA-DTA degree until the student refines their intent into their respective academic program with Enrollment Services.
  4. Select the Campus from the drop-down list.
  5. Next, select the Acad Level tab.
FA Term Acac Level tab with Term Information and Student Data page
  1. The Acad Level tab displays.
  2. Select the checkbox in the FA Load row.  

By selecting the override checkbox, you are overriding the student's FA Load enrollment to remain at Full-Time.  Recall that Financial Aid offers always assume Full-Time enrollment unless a student otherwise notifies the Financial Aid office.

During actual/real-time enrollment transactions, the Academic Load value will change on FA Term -- you can then compare that value to the FA Load value at Census and thereby determine the student's actual enrollment at that time.

  1. Select the Financial Aid tab.
Financial Aid Tab with Financial Aid Load field annotated
  1. The Financial Aid tab displays.
  2. Define the NSLDS Loan year by selecting the desired year from the drop-down box.  Note that when selecting this option, the Override box is automatically selected.
  3. Select the Direct Lending Year by choosing an option from the down box -- Repeat previous steps for each term in which you are inserting a new row to build a FA Term in that term for the Aid Year.  

You must project out terms for all terms in the Aid Year.  When adding awards for one single term, the best practice is to award the aid leaving multiple term buckets open in the Aid Year so that if the funding is to be used in subsequent terms, you have already projected FA Term, built the budgets, and have made available the terms in your Disbursement Plan.  This practice prevents having to add multiple Item Types in the award, that can be saved for other funding in the year, and thus, the aid package stays clean.  When the student leaves the institution, you can then clean up the budgets and FA terms in which the student did not attend.

  1. Select the Save button.

You must define these values noted above because at the time Federal Financial Aid is offered at the time the student eventually completes their FAFSA, awards will error out if these fields are not defined on this tab of FA Term.  These fields will eventually update from the student's response to the Year in College questions on the FAFSA.

Financial Aid tab with NSLDS Loan Year and Direct Lending Year rows annotated

OPTIONAL: Back at the FA Term tab, in the Student Data group box, note the Override Expiration Date field.  In this field, as part of your business process, you can enter a date in this field to have all the projected overrides deleted when the Batch FA Term is run based on real-time student enrollment activity.  

The purpose of manually building FA term on a non-enrolled student is so you can proceed to offer them aid before they are registered.  However, when the student finally registers for classes, you want the budgets to accurately build off of their real-time enrollment activity.  If these override buttons are selected, they will remain in effect -- and accurate FA Term and Budgets will not build until these are Overrides are un-selected, using a new Effective-Dated row.

As a tip, you can use this Override Expiration Date field to hold the student in what you assume to be Full-Time enrollment, until the student actually is able to enroll for classes.  Best practice would be to set this Override Expiration Date field to a date that is prior to running your quarterly FLF Process, and Authorization and Disbursement process.

NOTE: If you do not use this optional process, to set an Override Expiration Date, you will have to manually track these students for which you manually build FA Term, and un-select the Override Checkboxes when the term enrollment activity has commenced for students.  The reason Overrides must be unchecked prior to the start of the term, is so FA Term can build in batch, based on enrollment; as students may often declare degree changes and class loads prior to the start of the term.

If you use this option, remember to select the Save button.

FA Term tab with Override Expiration Date field annotated
  1. Next, you will manually build a student budget.
Build a Student Budget

Navigation:  NavBar > Navigator > Financial Aid > Budgets > Create Student Budget

  1. The Create Student Budget search page displays.
  2. Enter the:
    • Empl ID
    • Academic Institution
    • Aid Year
  3. Select the Search button.
Create a Student Budget Search Criteria page with Search button annotated
  1. The Create Student Budget page displays.
  2. Enter the desired term into the Term field.
  3. Add a new row and then enter the next term in which you want a budget in the aid year.  
  4. Continue on until you have added all the desired terms.
  5. Select the Build Budget button.
Create Student Budget Term with Term annotated

*Tip, in the Budget Term Summary group box, you can select the Detail link to preview the budget that was built.  After reviewing the budget, select the OK button on the pagelet to return back to the Create Student Budget page.  

  1. Select the Move Budget button.  
  2. Select the Save button.
Create Student Budget and Save button annotated
  1. Now, you are ready to Assign an Award to a Student.
Assign Awards to a Student

Navigator:  NavBar > Navigator > Financial Aid > Awards > Award Processing > Assign Awards to a Student

  1. The Award Entry search page displays.
  2. Enter the:
    • Empl ID
    • Academic Institution
    • Aid Year
  3. Select the Search button.
Award Entry Search Criteria page and Search button
  1. The Award Entry page displays.
  2. You will see a Warning Message -- this message is informing you that there is no FAFSA on file.
  3. Select the OK button to continue.  
Message Error and OK button annotated
  1. The Award Entry page displays.
  2. On the Student Aid Package tab, enter the NUM value of "10" into the NUM field.
  3. In the Action field, enter "B" to Offer/Accept the award.
  4. Select the Lookup Tool in the Item Type field to choose your desired Item Type.
Student Aid Package with Num and Action boxes annotated
  1. The Look Up Item Type pagelet displays.
  2. Choose the desired Item Type.
  3. Select the OK button to continue.

In the Item Type Lookup Search Criteria, you can search by Description so you do not have to scroll through a long list of Item Types.  You can narrow your search by moving the Description criteria to "Contains" -- instead of "Begins With", and enter in a key word, i.e., Scholarships.  Select the Search button. The system will then narrow your search down to the Item Types containing the key word Scholarships.  Select the desired Item Type.

Look Up Item Type Description with Item Type and Search Button
  1. The Student Aid Package page displays.
  2. Next, enter the desired amount of the scholarship in the Offered field.  Select the tab button, and the Accepted amount will populate with the same amount.
  3. Select the Disbursement Plan Lookup Tool.  Note the Disbursement Plan, which automatically defaults to "10".  Before Validating and Posting this award, double check your Disbursement Plan.  Recall that best practice is to select the Disbursement Plan that has all four terms available in the Aid Year, so you have the option to increase and/or adjust the award later on in the Aid Year.
Offered Amount and Disbursement Plan annotated

Note in the example below that the Disbursement Plan is set to "10", which is the FA-WI-SU-SP (Fall, Winter Spring, Summer).  Note that in this example, this college is a Trailer college; Fall is the beginning of their Aid Year.  

  1. The Look Up Disbursement Plan pagelet displays.
  2. Select the "10" Disbursement Plan to return back to the Awarding page.
Disbursement Plan pagelet
  1. The Student Aid Package tab displays.
  2. Select the Split Code Lookup Tool.  Note the Split, which automatically defaults to "AY".  Before Validating and Posting this award, double-check your Split Code.  Recall that best practice is to select the Split Code that has all four terms available in the Aid Year, so you have the option to increase and/or adjust the award later on in the Aid Year.  
Split Code annotated
  1. The Look Up Split Code pagelet displays.
  2. Verify this is the desired Split Code plan, and select the Split Code to continue.
Look Up Split Code with AY Split annotated
  1. The Student Aid Package tab displays.
  2. Once satisfied with the award, select the Validate button -- a Validation message will appear.  
  3. Select OK to continue.
Validation button annotated
  1. Before Posting the award, select the Disbursement link.

By selecting the Disbursement link, you can verify the award split among the term as intended.  In this example, the intended outcome is to award the scholarship in the Fall term only.

Disbursement link annotated
  1. The Award Disbursement Detail page displays.
  2. After verifying the award applied correctly, select OK.
Ok button annotated

At the Award Entry page, note the Package Status, which indicates "No Electronic Application" (No FAFSA).

When you Post this award in the next step, the Package Status will change to "Packaged".  If the student ever completes a FAFSA, and is intended to be selected for Mass Packaging, this Package Status must be returned to its original status, which, in this case is "No Electronic Application".  

If the Package Status is not returned to the original status before you manually packaged a scholarship or other funding -- and the Packaging Status remains at "Packaged", the student will never be selected for Mass Packaging because the system will read it as Packaged, and the process will ignore this student.  

When manually awarding aid such as Scholarships, or Workforce funding, etc., you must always return the Packaging Status back to the original status directly after you Post the award.

  1. The Student Aid Package tab displays.
  2. Select the Post button -- an award posting message will appear.  
  3. Select OK to close the confirmation message and return to the Student Aid Package tab.
  4. Change the Packaging Status back to its original status -- which, in this scenario, is "No Electronic Application".  
  5. Select Save.
Post button annotated
  1. End of procedure.

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