Step three: set up financial aid award types

Award types are the various financial aid awards you give to students, whether grants or loans, whether from a government entity or some other scholarship fund. As you prepare to award financial aid to students, you should review the built-in Federal awards and add any additional awards your school awards.

To get started, go to Financial Aid > Settings > Award Types.

A note about liability and asset accounts

Aid awards require you to link the award to a liability account and give you the option of also linking to an asset account. Some things to know:

  • When you select a liability account, you are selecting the account that is debited when the award is disbursed to the student. The built-in Accounts Receivable account on your Chart of Accounts is automatically credited in that transaction, which decreases the student's balance.
  • When you select an asset account, you are selecting the account that is credited when you issue an aid refund to the student (not to the aid source). The built-in Accounts Receivable account on your Chart of Accounts is automatically debited in that transaction, which increases the student's balance.
  • As mentioned in this article, the built-in A/R account handles the relevant portions of these transactions, so there's no need for you to create your own A/R account (nor should you suppose to link it to aid awards)—it just won't work the way the built-in account does!

Existing Federal award types

Populi includes the following Federal award types (they're marked with ):

  • IASG: Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants (COD)
  • SMART: National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant
  • PELL: Pell Grants (COD)
  • PLUS: Federal PLUS Loan (COD)
  • DLSUB & DLUNSUB: Direct Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized (COD)
  • FSEOG: Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • ACG: Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • TEACH: Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant
  • FWS: Federal Work Study (COD)

You can choose to report any of your custom award types as one of these Federal awards (see below).

If you're using the DoED integration, the awards marked (COD) (and/or any custom award types you're reporting as a (COD) Federal award—see below) will be used when syncing your data with the Common Origination and Disbursement system.

Before you can offer a built-in Federal award, you need to first associate it with an asset account and a liability account; a Financial Admin user can set these up in Accounting > Chart of Accounts. For an explanation of how these accounts are affected during a disbursement batch, have a look at this article.

  1. Click the award name.
  2. Select the asset and liability accounts for this award.
  3. Click Save.

How to add new award types

Before adding new award types, first make sure a Financial Admin user has set up corresponding asset and liability accounts in Accounting > Chart of Accounts.

  1. Click Add Award Type.
  2. Enter a name and abbreviation.
  3. What type of award is it—a Grant or a Loan?
  4. What is the award's source? Choose from Federal, State, Institution, or Other.
    • If you select Federal, you must then select the Federal aid types as which you will report this award to the Department of Education. Your selection will also enable Populi to automatically calculate any origination fees connected to this Federal award.
    • If you're using the DoED integration, take special care with your selections; they will be used when syncing data with COD.
  5. Is this award percentage-based? If so, refer to this article to learn about these kinds of awards.
  6. Check if you wish to flag this award as Veterans Benefits.
  7. Check if Need-based and whether this award affects the student's financial need amount.
  8. How should this award be reported on IRS 1098-T's? You'll get various options depending on whether the award is a loan or grant:
    • Scholarship (Box 1 and Box 5)
    • Payment (Box 1 only)
    • Scholarship for non-eligible fees (Box 5 only)
    • Tuition Discount (not reported)
  9. Do you want to only allow whole dollar amounts? That is, $1089 instead of $1088.78, etc.
  10. Finally, select asset and liability accounts which will be affected by transactions involving this award.
  11. Click Save.

To edit an award, click its name and make your changes. Your changes will only affect future awards; if you've already added this award to a student, your changes will not be retroactive.

Next: set up COA Categories.

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