SU applicants to access financial aid status through MySlice
Prospective Syracuse University students will be able to log onto MySlice starting Dec. 3 and keep tabs on their applications for financial aid.
The applicants will have access to Overture, a financial aid management program already available to currently enrolled students. Access on MySlice will be restricted to Overture, and services such as MyMail will not be available, said Cindy Hoalcraft, project manager and a senior process analyst in Information Technology and Services.
A NetID with instructions for how to create a password will be sent out later this month.
‘What we’re trying to do is better deliver information to students,’ said Chris Walsh, dean of financial aid. ‘It’s quite evident that the use of the Web is the way students get information these days.’
All students applying for financial aid must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which the U.S. Department of Education then sends to SU. The department notifies the applicants when they have sent the form to SU, but the applicants have no way of knowing whether the school received it.
‘Every year, we get hundreds of calls asking, ‘Did we get it?” Walsh said.
With access to Overture, applicants will be able to determine online whether or not SU received the FAFSA, as well as when and how much aid is awarded. Overture also has a budgeting function that allows the students to plan different finance options.
Access will be granted before SU accepts the students, before they are even able to decide if they will attend, Walsh said.
‘Financial aid is something that develops very early in a college student’s career,’ he said.
Developing the system, proposed by the Office of Financial Aid in late spring, was not very difficult or time consuming, Hoalcraft said. The necessary components were already in place and only required some modifications.
‘We didn’t end up building anything new from scratch,’ she said. ‘It was all existing processes that were modified.’
For example, part of the project involved adding a new category for applicants to an already existing program that manages student, faculty and staff identities, Hoalcraft said.
Much of the development consisted of testing the system to ensure MySlice, designed for students and faculty, worked for applicants as well, she said.
Security was another issue considered during development, she said.
The applicant’s information will be protected by the same security system used by MySlice. They will also each create a complex password, like those used by current SU students.
In the past, SU only asked accepted students who committed to attend to create a password and NetID, Hoalcraft said.
With the new system in place, all applicants will be assigned an ID once their application for admission is received, she said. If the student decides not to attend, the university will delete their ID and password once the new school year begins, though the exact timing for this will not be decided until January.
Bobby Dobinski, an undeclared sophomore, said part of his decision to attend SU was based on how much financial aid he received. Being able to check the application’s status online would have sped up that decision, he said.
‘Waiting for stuff in the mail is a pain,’ he said.
This is not the first application component SU has online. The SU admissions Web site gives applicants the options of applying online or downloading the proper forms. Prospective students can also register for fall campus tours on the site.
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