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California State University, Long Beach

Faculty and Staff Reference

Overview of the New Payment Process via the Student System

Background

Beginning Fall 2011, all scholarships will be disbursed via the Student System.  This will allow:

  • Increased visibility of scholarships as the specific award will appear on the student’s financial aid award and student account.
  • Automatic payment of student charges, including issuing a deferment for charges so the student will not have to prepay their fees while waiting for the award to be disbursed.
  • Disbursement of awards that are in excess of university charges directly into the student’s bank account via secure electronic funds transfer (E-Refund).
  • The creation of CSLink reports for departments to monitor their scholarships and recipients.

It is very important that all awards are set-up accurately in the student system and that information on delegation of authority is current.  This is necessary because control steps previously performed by Accounts Payable in the Foundation will now be done by the Office of Financial Aid.  For information on how this information is collected, please review the Procedure for Annual Review of Scholarship Profile Information.

Process Overview

  1. Step 1 Department Selects Recipients and Completes Payment Forms

    • Department conducts a transparent selection process which avoids the potential for conflicts of interest while adhering to the intent of the donor or awarding agency.
    • Recipients are selected based on available funding.  Wherever possible, recipients should be selected during the spring or summer prior to the academic year of the award.
    • Department notifies the recipients of their selection and any terms for receipt of the award ensuring that the award is to further the education and experience of the recipient at CSULB, and, is not compensation, salary, or wages for services rendered.
    • Department completes the Scholarship/Educational Award Payment - Form as soon as the recipient is selected.  Early submission promotes a smooth process for the student allowing for timely coordination of other Financial Aid sources as well as the other steps outlined below.  Payment via the Student system allows for set-up that will not disburse awards until the appropriate period that is authorized on the form.   
    • The form is signed by the Award Approver authorized during the Annual Review of Scholarship Profile Information process.
    • If the award is made as part of a “Grant and Contract” it must also be approved for ‘allow ability’ by the Grant and Contract Administrator before submission to the Office of Financial Aid.
    • The authorized form is submitted to the Office of Financial Aid – Scholarships: 123 Brotman Hall
  2. Step 2 Financial Aid Reviews Awards and Enters Award into the Student System

    • Award Payment forms are reviewed based on the Scholarship/Educational Award Profile Information on file.  Be aware that the system will not allow entry of the award until the “Scholarship/Educational Award Profile Confirmation, Delegation of Authority and Certification” form has been received for that academic year.  The system will also not allow entry of awards that exceed the annual funding amount authorized on the Profile Certification form.
    • The award is entered in the Student System based on the payment schedule indicated on the form.
    • If the student is receiving other financial aid, their complete aid package is reviewed for compliance with federal and state guidelines and adjusted as appropriate.
    • If the student is not a US Citizen or Resident Alien, the award will be reviewed to evaluate if the IRS requires tax withholdings prior to disbursing the award.
  3. Step 3 Financial Aid Notifies the Student of Award Availability

    • Student is notified that the award has been entered and that they can review their award details by selecting “View Financial Aid” in MyCSULB.  The name of the award, amount by term and payment schedule can be seen here by the student.
    • If the student has not already signed-up for E-Refund, they are notified to do so using “Request E-Refund Direct Deposit” on MyCSULB.    
    • If the student has not already paid their fees for the term of the award, the system will generate a ‘deferment’ for the amount of the award so that the student does not have to prepay their fees only to get a refund later.
  4. Step 4 Student Registers for the term and Signs up for E-Refund

    • Student registers using MyCSULB.  If they owe a balance after consideration of the ‘deferment’ or ‘anticipated’ aid due to the scholarship or other financial aid, they just pay the remaining balance by the appropriate deadline to avoid a registration hold and/or cancellation of their classes.
    • If they have not previously done so, the student signs up for E-Refund using “Request E-Refund Direct Deposit” on MyCSULB.   This allows any awards they receive in excess of University charges to be securely deposited directly in their personal bank account.
  5. Step 5 Financial Aid Disburses the Award (When and how the award is disbursed.)

  6. When will the awards be disbursed?

    Semester Awards:

    • Beginning 10 days before the first day of instruction for each term, Financial Aid begins disbursing awards nightly.  Unless the ‘hold until census’ check box is indicated on the award payment form, the system will attempt to disburse any term awards at this time allowing for funds to be available to the student by the beginning of the term.
    • If the ‘hold until census’ check box was marked on the payment form, the system will hold the award until approximately the fifth week of the semester and will check enrollment at that time prior to releasing the funds to the students account.
    • If an award payment form is not received by Financial Aid until after the disbursement dates above have past, the award will disburse as soon as it has been fully processed.

    Monthly Stipends:

    • Some awards allow for a monthly disbursement to assist the student with living expenses.   These stipends are not compensation for services but an alternate disbursement schedule to assist the student in managing their expenses. The amount of each month’s stipend is indicated in the Monthly Payment section of the award payment form.
    • The system will attempt to disburse the monthly amount indicated on the evening of the 20th of the month.  The system will check for enrollment for the appropriate term each month prior to releasing the funds to the student’s account.

    How will the award be disbursed?

    • Based on the disbursement date above, the system will begin attempting to disburse the award.  The student must meet the minimum enrollment established for the scholarship prior to disbursing the award.  If the student is not yet enrolled in the minimum number of units, the system will recheck eligibility each night to attempt to disburse the award at the earliest possible point.
    • If the student meets the disbursement requirements, the award is posted to their student account the following morning.  They will see the name and amount of the award in MyCSULB using “Account Inquiry.” 
  7. Step 6 Student Receives Funds

    • If the student has a credit balance on their student account after the award disbursement is posted, a refund will be generated that day. 
    • If they have signed up for E-Refund as required, the refund will be securely transferred directly into their personal bank account, normally within 48 hours.  The student also receives an email notifying them of the transaction when the transfer is initiated.
    • If they have not signed up for E-Refund, a physical check will be requested which will be mailed to their address on file in MyCSULB.  It normally takes at least an additional 10 days for receipt of a physical check.  E-Refund is a much timelier and more secure method of payment receipt.
  8. Step 7Student Financial Services Bills the Foundation and the Foundation Reimburses the University

    • Student Financial Services will periodically bill the Foundation (or other funding source) for awards that have been disbursed to student accounts.  The Foundation will then transfer the appropriate funds to cover these awards that have been disbursed.
    • The resulting transfers will appear on department financial reports and will be reflected in the account balance.

Reports

The new awarding and payment process will result in the availability of specific award information in the student system.  As a result, CSLink reports will be made available to assist in award administration.  Reports will show awarding, disbursement and enrollment information by student.