PPY Implementation: A Campus-Level Task Force Approach
By Ron Day, Director of Financial Aid at Kennesaw State University, and NASFAA Past-National Chair
The utilization of representatives from various offices across the university is vitally important to the putting-into-practice phase of prior-prior year (PPY). This new mandate may indeed cause institutions to rethink their processes. To assist with this implementation, Kennesaw State University sought to involve individuals from the following offices and divisions:
- Communication Center (Call Center)
- Enterprise Systems & Services
- Student Media
- University Relations
- Budget/Financial Services.
Because students will be able to complete their FAFSA beginning in October 2016 for the 2017-2018 award year and may be able to note their awards soon thereafter, it is important to review orientation schedules, rethink when students will be able to register for classes, understand tuition and fee structures sooner, have housing assignments earlier, and have their admission decisions more aligned with the awarding of financial aid. If current practices, most of which do not typically occur until early spring, are maintained, the realization of the positive impact of PPY will be diminished. For example, why would it behoove a student to have their aid “in hand” and not know their room assignment, their coursework, their actual cost, and other vitally important items that assist in making a decision where to attend college?
The task force approach enables the financial aid office to receive input and assistance and make the impact more positive.
- Marketing materials are being reviewed and revamped.
- The university calendars are being developed sooner to allow setup processes to commence with financial aid management systems much earlier than done previously.
- The Enterprise Systems & Services that develop enterprise level applications are reviewing their calendar for releases that allow updating to occur that impact awarding.
- Enrollment numbers are known sooner and thus the need to add classes and instructors is a huge consideration.
- Course registration can commence earlier, which will allow the review of sessions and course load for faculty much earlier than previously done.
- Residence Life is able to assign housing earlier, which means their processes are being completely revamped.
- Freshman orientation that normally began in late spring is now being revised, expanded, and less “compacted,” which enables the university to begin this important activity much earlier.
- Financial services that deal with university budgets have stated they will indeed recognize revenue earlier and plans may be more correctly attuned to the needs of the school.
- Student media (i.e., the student newspaper) have assisted with the educational process for students and the KSU community in recognizing the positive impact of this new mandate.
- Our Communications Centers (Call Center – which takes inbound calls) are being retrained to assist students with questions.
The above list is not exhaustive. Many standard practices are being reviewed and reworked to align more readily with the implementation of PPY.
Publication Date: 6/3/2016