What's the best way to pay down a student's balance?

When paying down a student's balance using a combination of financial aid and student payments, Populi assumes a particular workflow:

  1. First, package the student's financial aid.
  2. Then, add charges to your student's account and invoice them.
  3. Run a batch to disburse the student's financial aid. The student's awards will auto-apply to the appropriate invoices.
  4. To pay down the remainder of the balance, record and/or apply payments (cash, check, etc.) to the student's account.

Here's an example:

A student's COA is $15,000 and his EFC is $2000 (for one semester).

  • You award him (and he accepts) a $10,000 grant and a $3,000 loan.
  • You invoice him $15,000, of which all but $100 is aid-eligible, in one, single invoice.
  • He drops off a $2,000 check on the first day of school.

What should you do?

First, run a batch or two and disburse his $13,000 worth of financial aid

If you want, you can record his $2,000 check before you disburse aid, but make sure to leave it unapplied at this point.

What has happened?

At this point, the $13,000 has been applied to, obviously, the same amount of aid-eligible invoiced charges. What remains is $2,000, of which $100 is not eligible for aid. So, when you then apply (or record) his $2,000 check, it will catch everything remaining in his balance.

What if you recorded the check first?

It would have gone toward the first $2,000 on that invoice. Then, when you went to apply the $13,000 in aid, it would have gotten hung up on that $100 of ineligible charges, resulting in an erroneous "overpayment".

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