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James Tinney

Last modified: Friday, December 7, 2001

IU changes to single financial aid system

Indiana University has announced a future change in its student loan program that will eventually bring all of its campuses under the same student loan system, the Family Federal Education Loan Program (FFELP). University officials expect that the change will avoid future cost increases in administering the program while enhancing services to students.

The change was discussed during the meeting of the IU Board of Trustees today (Dec. 7) in Indianapolis.

Prior to 1994, all seven campuses administered by IU used FFELP. Two campuses, Bloomington and South Bend, elected to use Direct Lending (DL) after the federal government launched the system in 1994. Since then, the university's administrative services have supported both systems.

One recommendation of IU's Administrative Services Review was for the university to commit to a single financial aid system. Over the next three years, IU will begin using the PeopleSoft Financial Aid Module as part of its ongoing transformation of its Student Information Systems. Supporting both financial aid systems through PeopleSoft would require an up-front investment of about $1 million, according to the Student Information Systems Steering Committee. In addition, annual costs of approximately $500,000 would be required to maintain the two systems. No other university using PeopleSoft runs both financial aid systems.

No current IU students will be affected by the change. Students now receiving financial aid through Direct Lending will continue to do so. The change will not occur before FY 2004 in accordance with the planned SIS implementation.

University officials said that both the FFELP and DL systems offer similar benefits to financial aid recipients and to universities. The decision to move to a single system was made in the interest of efficiency, service and cost savings.

The costs that the university avoids in making the change will allow for more investment in IU's primary academic missions -- teaching and learning, research and service.