Financial aid for summer instruction

Draft (March 2007)

Systemwide Policies and Expectations

Context and Goals for Summer Session Financial Aid
Funding for Summer Session Financial Aid
Summer Financial Aid Packages
Summer Financial Aid Process
Support for Special Summer Populations
Interaction with Academic Year Financial Aid Policy

Context and Goals for Summer Session Financial Aid
Summer session will remain a unique academic experience for students, one that is both optional and usually an “overload” term. This means that campuses will continue to have flexibility in setting the academic calendar for summer and the course selections. Students will not be required to attend summer nor required to substitute summer for a regular academic year term. Thus, it can be assumed students will enroll in summer in addition to the regular academic year and will more likely enroll on a part-time basis. Given the optional nature of summer, incentives may be required to entice students to enroll or to maximize the number of units in which they enroll.

Goals for summer session financial aid at the graduate and professional level are the same during the summer as during the academic year.

The goals for financial aid at the undergraduate level in the summer emphasize making summer an affordable enrollment option for students with financial need but may also include provide an incentive to achieve summer enrollment targets. In recognition of the multiple goals for which financial aid can be used in the summer, summer financial aid will not be incorporated into a year-round Education Financing Model (EFM). Rather, campuses will have more flexibility in their awarding of summer financial aid by having a return-to-aid that stays on the campus and is not subject to the EFM principles governing academic year financial aid, nor the administrative guidelines governing the academic year University Student Aid Program (USAP).

Nevertheless, the University must be accountable for summer funding it has received. The University has committed to achieving a summer enrollment equal to 40% of a regular academic year term enrollment, or 24,000 FTE, by 2010. In addition, the state expects the University to offer a quality summer experience that warrants their investment. In order to meet its commitment to provide comparable services and support in the summer, the University expects campuses to reserve a portion of summer fee revenue for financial aid equal to the portion of academic year fee revenue reserved for financial aid.

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Funding for Summer Session Financial Aid
Campuses currently levy and collect summer fees in accordance with systemwide summer fee policy (link to fee policy). A portion of this fee revenue collected and managed locally is expected to be set aside for student financial support. Each year, the Office of the President will calculate the percent of total fee revenue that is used for financial aid during the academic year. A comparable proportion of total summer session fee revenue (before any discounts are taken) is the minimum to be set aside for financial aid in order to meet UC’s obligation to the state to provide a quality educational experience in summer.

Campuses that offer a fee discount in the summer may count the reduction in fees against the summer return-to-aid requirement. This treats the discounts as fee waivers, or non-need financial aid, which recognizes the option to use return-to-aid grants for enrollment management, as well as affordability, purposes in the summer.

Click here for current guidance on calculating required funding for summer session financial aid (link to detail).

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Summer Financial Aid Packages
Because ensuring affordability is a primary goal for summer financial aid, campuses are encouraged to award their summer return-to-aid on the basis of EFM principles. However, campuses will not be expected to package financial aid in the summer in the same way as during the academic year. For instance, campuses may set different minimum enrollment requirements for summer aid eligibility, may opt not to package summer Cal Grant, may opt not to replace “missing” Pell and Cal Grant with UC grant, etc. Similarly, campuses may award a portion as non-need aid by providing fee discounts to students taking more than a specified number of units.

This additional flexibility in summer financial aid packaging recognizes both the option to use summer return-to-aid to achieve enrollment goals and the reality that summer financial aid may not be sufficient to create equivalent aid packages on a dollar-per-unit basis. Not only is UC’s summer return-to-aid not likely to offset shortages in non-UC aid funding (e.g., no supplemental “summer” Pell Grant, no higher federal loan limits for year-round enrollment, no extra campus-based or private aid funding, etc.), the greater part-time enrollment patterns in summer creates a higher need for aid on a per-unit basis. The higher need results because a summer student taking less than a full-time load across all summer sessions will have reduced fee and book expenses, but will still have the same living expenses as a full-time student.

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Summer Financial Aid Process
Campuses may require students to file a separate application in order to be considered for financial aid during the summer. This helps campuses identify which students are seeking assistance and provides an opportunity to ask additional questions required to administer financial aid in the summer.

Significant additional workload will result from the increase in financial aid offered during the summer and the anticipated increase in enrollment. Before state support, campuses often processed financial aid during the summer manually. This will not be sustainable in the long run. Additional workload will be associated with support of intercampus students and “prematriculants” (students who enroll in the summer before their first regular academic year term).

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Support for Special Summer Populations
Campuses will be expected to offer flexible ways for students to enroll in the summer and still receive financial aid. These include the following

Campuses should provide financial aid to students enrolling at another UC campus in the summer that is equivalent to the financial aid provided to students enrolling at the home campus.

Campuses should provide financial aid to students enrolling through study abroad programs in the summer that is equivalent to the financial aid provided to students enrolling at the home campus.

Campuses should provide financial aid to students enrolling in the summer before their first fall academic term (“prematriculants”) that is equivalent to the financial aid provided to continuing students enrolling in the summer. The process to apply for financial aid may be more burdensome for prematriculants, as a FAFSA for the preceding academic year may need to be filed by the student.

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Interaction with Academic Year Financial Aid Policy
Summer enrollment will be treated as optional for the purposes of academic year EFM, which means that the loan/work expectation for the academic year will be unaffected by state-supported summer. Like other students engaged in summer activities that compete with the EFM summer work expectation (e.g., travel, unpaid internships, etc.), summer students will still be expected to provide the same savings from summer earnings as other students. If they do not have these savings, they will need to work or borrow more during the academic year.

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Financial Aid – Detail
Draft (March 2007)

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Calculating Required Funding for Summer Session Financial Aid
Return-to-Aid on Fees Paid by Summer EAP Students
Intercampus Summer Enrollment
Prematriculants
Use of Academic Year USAP to Support Summer Students

Calculating Required Funding for Summer Session Financial Aid
For Summer 2007, campuses are required to return a minimum of 26% of total undergraduate summer fee revenue and 45% of total graduate student summer fee revenue to financial aid. These percentages represent the percent of total financial aid that is currently funded from total fee revenue, including decentralized aid programs such as the Graduate Block Grant and the Regents Scholarship.

When calculating the required amount to budget for financial aid, campuses should exclude fees not collected as a result of the Cal Vet Fee Exemption or other systemwide fee exemptions before calculating the 26% and 45% “return-to-aid” shares. Campuses should ignore any voluntary fee discounts or funded fee waivers when calculating the anticipated revenue and required return-to-aid, although these discounts and waivers may be credited toward the 26% and 45% requirements. Allowing the fee discounts to count toward the required return-to-aid is in recognition of the flexibility needed in the summer to help campuses achieve their summer enrollment targets. The table below shows an example of the appropriate calculation.

SUMMER 2007 - Example for Undergraduates
Anticipated Fee Revenue
Summer 2006 Actual UG FTE
1,000
Units per FTE
45
Total Units
45,000
$ per Unit
$147
Est. Income
$6,615,000
Estimated Total Fee Income Generated
$6,615,000
Anticipated Exemptions
Total Anticipated Fee Exemptions (Cal Vet)
$200,000
Return-to-aid Obligation
Net Anticipated Fee Revenue
$6,415,000
Required "Return-to-aid" (RTA)
26%
RTA for Undergraduates
$1,667,900
Summer Incentive Fee Discounts
$500,000
Financial Aid Grants
$1,167,900

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RETURN-TO-AID ON FEES PAID BY SUMMER EAP STUDENTS
At this time, the portion of summer fees paid by summer EAP students that will be se aside for financial aid is unresolved.

Intercampus Summer Enrollment
Campuses are expected to facilitate the enrollment of students who wish to enroll at another UC campus, or “host campus,” other than their own, or “home campus.” This presents a new set of administrative challenges, especially in the delivery of financial aid. Below are some of the features of state-supported summer as they relate to intercampus financial aid.

Each campus will allow self-identified financial aid recipients to enroll and retain their classes until the first day of classes without paying fees. This will allow time for financial aid, which these students rely on pay fees, to be processed, disbursed, and deposited in their accounts. Campuses will be expected to allow intercampus enrollees to self-identify as financial aid recipients on their summer application form. Holding classes until the first day of class is the minimum expectation and campuses are encouraged to be even more flexible.

The host campus is responsible for reporting the enrollment of intercampus students to the systemwide Intercampus Summer Enrollment (ISE) database on a daily basis. The host campus should reflect the reduced fees due to the exemptions in the ISE reports.

The ISE is updated nightly from March to September.

March 1 is the target date for live updates for the upcoming summer.

Questions about the file format or the database should be directed to Gema Fonseca at UCOP (gema.fonseca@ucop.edu or 510-987-9768).

The home campus is responsible for awarding financial aid to intercampus summer students. This arrangement allows the student to receive more consistent financial aid treatment by his or her home campus. For instance, it allows the student to stay in the same loan program offered by the home campus.

The financial aid offices will share student budgets for summer via a UCOP web site. The host campus student budgets will be used by the home campus to award financial aid.

Home campus financial aid offices will award financial aid on the basis of their own awarding policies. Campuses are expected to award intercampus students using the same financial aid packaging policies used for their summer students enrolling at the home campus. The home campus will rely on its own definitions of minimum enrollment requirements.

Campuses need only support students enrolling at one other UC campus during the summer. Students who enroll at multiple UC campuses may not have all of their enrollment activity supported by financial aid. To do so would prove too administratively burdensome.

Home campuses will pay financial aid directly to students and will remind them in writing that they will be responsible for paying fees at the host campus in a timely fashion.

Campuses will share with others their disbursement dates for summer financial aid. Campuses are encouraged to disburse ten days before the first day of class at the host campus in order for students to have enough time to pay their fees before the first day of class.

Student expense budgets will generally be prorated versions of the academic year Standard Methodology Budgets. The books and supplies allowance will be prorated on the basis of units; all other living expenses will be prorated on the basis of the number of weeks students are enrolled; actual fees charged will be recognized.

Summer activity will continue to be reported as appropriate to the Clearinghouse, NSLDS, the University’s contractor for 1098-T, and Corporate Student Systems. Host campuses report enrollment and fee charges, while home campuses report financial aid awarded.

For purposes of federal and state aid eligibility, UC Financial Aid Directors will sign a single, systemwide consortium agreement. The Academic Senate has already approved the transferability of all summer units taken, which is the key concern of the federal government in providing aid for enrollment at another college.

The host campus is responsible for awarding and funding (through the loss of fee revenue) any fee exemptions (e.g., Cal Vet Fee Exemption, etc) for which a student is eligible. The student should apply to the host campus for exemption.[1] The host campus is also responsible for awarding and funding any voluntary discount provided to a UC student from another campus. Host campuses are not required to provide the same discounts to intercampus students as they provide to their own students.

The “rules of the game” for intercampus enrollment will be reviewed periodically as campuses gain more experience.

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PreMatriculants
Campuses are expected to facilitate the enrollment of students who wish to enroll in the summer before their first regular term at the University, which includes providing financial aid to qualifying students. These students have been admitted for fall, winter, or spring, but wish to enroll early.

As with other summer students, campuses may require early enrolling students to file a separate application in order to be considered for financial aid in the summer. Campuses that treat summer as a “trailer” for financial aid purposes may require early enrollers to file a FAFSA for the prior academic year.

Campuses will be expected to award financial aid on the basis of the same awarding policies used for other summer students.

Campuses do not need to actively promote the availability of financial aid to early enrolling students, but should include it in their written materials.

While these students are admitted for a subsequent term, they are regularly enrolled UC students (i.e., pay regular UC fees, are not “conditionally admitted,” etc.). The August 2002 letter from Jeff Baker at the Department of Education clarifies that these students are therefore eligible for federal financial aid.

While it adds some complexity, campuses are expected to offer financial aid to early enrolling students also enrolling as intercampus summer students.

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Use of Academic Year USAP to Support Summer Students
In general, summer session fee revenue set aside for financial aid should be used to support students enrolling in the summer and should not be used to support students during the regular academic year. Summer return-to-aid may only be used to support students in the academic year at campuses that have shifted significant amounts of federal and state grants to support summer students, e.g., campuses that treat summer as a “header” for financial aid purposes. The amount of summer return-to-aid used in this way should not exceed the amount of outside grant shifted.

Academic year USAP, on the other hand, may be used during the summer to support students. This “one-way firewall” recognizes the importance of summer session to the University and the shortages of non-UC funding for summer.

Nonetheless, in recognition of the volatility of summer enrollments, campuses that have a surplus left at the end of summer will have the flexibility to carry 10% of the summer return-to-aid forward to support academic year students.

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