Step one: start working on general financial aid settings

General financial aid settings cover a wide variety of miscellaneous aid functions and workflows. Look over these settings first, if only to get a sense of some of your options; you can return here at any time (even after setup) to update them to suit your needs.

To get started, go to Financial Aid > Settings > General. Review and update the settings you need to change. A few notes:

  • When you're finished, make sure to scroll back to the top of this screen and click Save Settings.
  • Items marked with * require a Financial Admin user to fill them in.
  • Additional settings related to financial aid are located in Financial > Settings. You will need to ask someone with the Financial Admin role to fill those in.

* Email Financial Aid Award Offers

When you offer a financial aid award to a student, you can have Populi send them a simple email with the details (There are other options for informing students of Awards, including printed award letters).

Financial Aid Phone Number

Your school's financial aid office phone number is included on the 1098-T forms you submit to the Internal Revenue Service.

* Manually apply financial aid to invoices

When you disburse financial aid, it automatically applies to the oldest unpaid invoices first. If you would rather have complete, manual control over how these payments hit student accounts, check Yes.

Auto-apply pending aid terms

An aid disbursement will always be applied first to invoices in its own academic term. If there is pending aid left over after all term invoices are covered, should it auto-apply to any term with an unpaid invoice, or should it never auto-apply outside its term?

Disbursement batch workflow

When disbursing aid, in what order does your school process funds? Do you first disburse to students and then draw down funds from the source, or do you first draw down funds and then disburse to students?

* Aid refund policy

By default, Populi creates a separate transaction for each type of money that can be refunded. If you wish to change the types of transactions generated when you refund a credit balance, select your preference here.

Below are your options for this setting, together with brief explanations of what will happen in the following scenario:

Student Rainey Sparhawk has a credit balance of $600. She has $200 unused of a Pell Grant, $200 unused of a local scholarship, and a $200 overpayment.

  • Separate all refunds: Three separate transactions are required: an Aid Refund for the Federal aid (Pell Grant), an Aid Refund for the scholarship, and a Customer Refund for the overpayment.
  • Separate Federal aid refunds from all other refunds: Two separate transactions are required: an Aid Refund for the Federal aid and and a Customer Refund for the combined scholarship and overpayment.
  • Separate all aid refunds from non-aid refunds: Two separate refund transactions are required: an Aid Refund for the combined Federal aid and scholarship and a Customer Refund for the overpayment.
  • Combine aid and non-aid refunds: One, single Customer Refund combining all three refunds is required.

Email students about disbursements/refunds

Select Yes to email students every time a disbursement or refund is posted to their accounts. If you select No, you may still email them about particular disbursements/refunds.

Disbursement/refund email text

Enter the text you'd like to include in the aforementioned emails.

Refunded aid recoup fee

Select a fee to charge students when you refund aid to the source after having refunded it to the student.

Enrollment status mismatch warnings

When a student’s enrollment status on the aid application does not match their actual enrollment status, should Populi display a warning? Warnings are shown on the Aid Applications report and individual student aid applications.

Send enrollment status change notification emails to:

Notify these people when a student’s enrollment status does not match the status listed on their aid application.

Excess Aid Authorization Text

Federal law normally permits you to automatically apply Federal financial aid awards to a student's aid-eligible charges (tuition, eligible fees, room & board). It also makes provision for a student's excess Federal aid to cover other charges when the student authorizes your school to do so. Students can authorize this on their aid applications. This setting lets you provide explanatory text for the student to review when they decide whether or not to authorize this use of Federal aid.

FWS Credit Account Authorization Text

Federal law normally requires Federal Work Study (FWS) funds to be issued to the student worker via check. However, if authorized by the student, you can apply these funds directly to the student's account to pay down charges. This setting lets you provide explanatory text for the student to review when they decide whether or not to authorize this use of FWS funds.

Academic Term Grouping

To combine two or more academic terms for financial aid purposes, select a Report As term from the drop-down. Academic enrollment data from the term in the Term column will be included in the data from the term in the Report As column.

For example, you may have three Summer terms—Summer A, B, and C. Because of their timeframes and how you manage enrollment for those terms, you could set Summer B and Summer C to Report As Summer A.

Next: start adding aid application components.

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