Facts of the Month

2014-15 Indiana Student Financial Aid Technical Difficulties/Delays

Have you been experiencing issues with your state financial aid awards this year? Here is a copy of a message sent out by Ali Curtis to students who were directly affected. Please check your email to see if the following message was sent to you from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. (see below). As always, if you are experiencing issues with your state financial aid, please contact the Indiana Division of Student Financial Aid immediately (contact information below): 

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Dear Student,

As the 2014-2015 Academic Year gets underway, you may be aware that the Indiana Commission for Higher Education has experienced significant technical difficulties that delayed notification to schools and students of the state student financial aid award amounts. We apologize for any inconvenience or difficulties you may have experienced as a result of this, and want you to know that we anticipate this to be a one-time problem related to programming required this year.

Typically, these award notifications have been sent to schools and students in early July. Unfortunately, the technological difficulties we have encountered are still preventing us from providing you, the students, with this information directly. Institutions have received this information, at least in a preliminary format, and have started to process awards according to their administrative procedures.

The primary reason for the technology issues we experienced relates to changes made in the state financial aid system, which require institutions to report credit hour completion information for some students. The renewal of state financial aid is contingent upon students completing a certain number of credits, and therefore, this information was critical to the creation of awards for those students. This is the first year these credit hour requirements are in place, and the computer programming associated with the change has been significant. Our delays impacted institutions, and ultimately, you.

We do anticipate that our full system will be functional soon, and we will be able to provide you with direct access to this information both through eStudent, our online student portal, and by phone through our new automated system.

In the meantime, we are available preferably by e-mail, or phone, to answer your questions and provide you with information about your state financial aid award. You can reach us through our Awards Team atAwards@che.in.gov or by phone at 888-528-4719. Please note that if you call, we are experiencing higher-than-normal call volume. If one of our Awards team members is unavailable at the time of your call, please leave a message and someone will return your phone call as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours.
We look forward to being able to provide you directly with your financial aid information and answering any questions or concerns you may have.


Sincerely,

Mary Jane Michalak, Associate Commissioner, Student Financial Aid
 
To renew and remain eligible for the maximum student financial aid award, students receiving the Higher Education Award, the Freedom of Choice Award, or the 21st Century Scholars Award must complete at least 30 credit hours each year. Students who complete at least 24 credit hours during their first year may still be eligible for state financial aid, but will receive an amount that is less than students who complete 30 credit hours. More information about these requirements is available at http://www.in.gov/sfa/2569.htm (Students who received their first state financial aid award prior to the 2013-2014 academic year are not affected by this policy.)
  
Visit the LearnMore Cash for College website athttp://www.in.gov/cashforcollege/index.htm to learn more about succeeding in school, saving for college and finding financial aid.

Contact:
1-888-528-4719


Publication Date: September 2014

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