2013-14 Unit Plan
Financial Aid

Mission Statement

The mission of the Butte College Financial Aid and Veterans Services Office is to assure that the delivery of student aid funds is conducted accurately, expediently, and with respect. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of a diverse and talented campus community by providing quality customer service through the use of technology and a knowledgeable staff. Our overall goal is to provide financial assistance to students who would find it difficult or impossible to attend college without such aid. 

While working in tandem with the college and the Financial Aid Office, the Office of Veterans Services strives to ensure a positive and rewarding experience for veterans and dependent students of veterans. The specific goal of Veterans Services is to help veterans and their dependents acquire and share knowledge while supporting opportunities for veteran students to access higher education and to achieve their educational goals. 

Reassessment of goals and consistency in delivery of services is an integral part of our missions.

Program Description

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 
The Financial Aid Office (FAO) administers federal and state monies to eligible students in the form of grants, loans and student employment (Work-Study). Other areas of responsibility include:  
(1) Familiarizing students and families about the availability of financial aid and educating them about the financial aid process and federal regulations defining eligibility; 
(2) Providing direct service to current and prospective students and families through various customer service venues: window service, telephone inquiries, and Financial Aid email;  
(3) Assisting students with special circumstances, eligibility needs, and appeals through individual scheduled and walk-in appointments;  
(4) Communicating with other student service areas to ensure policies are understood for effective collaboration on recruitment and retention of students;
(5) Working with other college offices to ensure that assistance for individual students with multiple needs is coordinated and communicated clearly to all parties;
(6) Oversight of regulatory and compliance requirements as stipulated by state and federal agencies.

Financial Aid regulatory services are guided by our office’s Institutional Participation Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education (recertification obtained in 2011 through 2014), which requires that the FAO have the “administrative capability” necessary to fulfill these functions. The signed agreement with the Department of Education also stipulates that staff must be current with federal student aid regulations in a regulatory landscape that is ever-changing. State monies and policy are regulated by the Student Financial Aid Programs within the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Both federal and state regulatory requirements provide an enormous challenge, as regulations have grown disproportionately to the size and available time of our staff. In 2012, the Financial Aid Office signed a new regulatory agreement with the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), which places further burdens on institutional eligibility through outcomes reporting (SB-70).
 
Veterans Services provides services to veterans and dependents of veterans who are students at Butte College or who plan to attend Butte. These services include certification of veteran’s educational benefits, referrals to both on- and off-campus resources including financial aid, and supervision of Veterans Work-Study. The regulatory services are guided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans Services also provides oversight for the Veterans Resource Center (VRC). Further guidance is provided by the Student Services and Special Programs Office within the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.  As with financial aid, regulations concerning new GI Bill chapters have grown exponentially while the number of staff -- one certifying official -- has remained the same.
 
For several years, Butte College Veterans Services and the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) have received state and national attention for model programming. This is a source of pride for Butte College and should be directly supported by district funds. Additionally, an increase in veterans returning or entering college as new students is expected due to continued reduction of active duty forces and to the development of new GI Bill programs such as VRAP. 

Future Development Strategy

Strategy 1

AUGMENT STAFFING for the Financial Aid Office and Veterans Office.

Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale
    At present, there are 9 financial aid classified staff and one manager (director) to meet these needs. College reports indicate that over $50 million in financial aid was disbursed by this office in 2011-2012. The Financial Aid Office processed over 17,000 FAFSAs, including Pell Grant for over 8,000 recipients, as well as other aid programs: Federal Direct Stafford loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), Cal and Chafee Grants, BOG Fee Waivers, and other smaller programs. The Veterans Office provides information and services to approximately 300 veterans and dependents of veterans, requiring liaison and coordination with state and federal agencies for services to our students.

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Maintaining the appropriate program and service mix between the main campus and outlying centers
  • Strategy 2

     

    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Valuing a culture of learning
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture
  • Modelling sustainability

  • Supporting Rationale
    The FAO has a valuable partner in IS/T in understanding and utilizing Colleague to maximize efficiency and accuracy. One area we hope to develop is the FAO interpretation and use of information. An example of a pending project is the analysis of past borrowers who are delinquent or in default on their student loans. A demographic analysis will better describe the commonalities of our defaulters and probable future defaulters, with the intention of designing more effective preventive default measures.

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Strategy 3

    CHANGE THE BALANCE OF FUNDING TO THE FAO, between District Funds and BFAP,  in order to meet the requirement of the California Community College Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) for MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT (MOE), a problem which has been ongoing.

    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale
    It is our intention to have Leadership approve the reallocation of District v. BFAP accounts to help correct our balance of funding, such that the Financial Aid Office meets the BFAP SFAA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) reporting guidance. 

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Maintaining the appropriate program and service mix between the main campus and outlying centers
  • Strategy 4

    ESTABLISH DISTRICT SUPPORT OF OUT VETERANS SERVICES such that the Veterans Office may promote new initiatives for student success.

    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success

  • Supporting Rationale
    There are four initiatives that the Veterans Office has suggested over time that require the additional support of the District for implementation. With a District base of support, it is our intention to provide expanded services for veterans and dependents of veterans.  

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Resolving health, life, and safety issues
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Required Resources

    $41,355.56                                    Increase FAA II (60%) position to FAA II (100% fully benefitted). This represents the difference/increased cost to an indivdual currently receiving $26,353.77 in salary/benefits. The FAO is understaffed and needs to have this position made full-time on a permanent basis. Administrative Capability is an issue. Would also help with MOE.

    $98,421.00 est                               Hire Assistant Director (salary and benefits, estimated). This new hire is justified by increased regulatory and outreach obligations of the FAO, as well as succession planning. Administrative Capability is an issue. Would also help with MOE.

    $38,821.50 est                               FAA Senior/Veterans Certifying Official - move one-half of total salary and benefits from BFAP account to District account. Total salary and benefits $77,643.00. Dividing this position between two accounts would provide increased District support to the Veterans Center, assist with the MOE, and continue to provide strong veterans/financial aid connection, which is a benefit to students.

    $20,397.84 est                                Special Programs Clerk/Veterans Office - provide specialized clerical support to Veterans Certifying Offical; provide assistance and information to student veterans and dependents of veterans, now totalling a record high of 338 students in Spring 2013. Perform related duties as required.

    $25,000.00 est                               Dedicated Counselor hours for the VRC (See Strategy 4 supporting rationale).

    $   7,068.00                                    One-time equipment expenses for Financial Aid and Veterans Offices -- includes scanner, printer and software, and replacement computers, and printing and duplicating expenses. Would help with MOE.  

    $   6,000.00                                    Operating expenses for Financial Aid and veterans Offices -- includes printing, duplicating, office supplies. Would help with MOE.

              

    Current Revenue Stream

    2012-13 FINANCIAL AID OFFICE

    BFAP SFAA Account          

    $172,124 BFAP Base Allocation

    $327,329 BFAP Capacity Allocation

    $499,453 TOTAL BFAP SFAA 

    District '11' Account          

            $422,427.00

    TOTAL FAO BUDGET = $921,880

     

    INCOME GENERATED BY FAO ACTIVITIES THAT GOES TO OTHER AREAS

    FSEOG ACA (est)             $23,000

    PELL ACA (est)                 $41,500

    FWS ACA                           $18,407

    BFAP 2%                        $195,222

    JLD                                    $42,122

    TOTAL GENERATED FOR THE COLLEGE                  $320,251

     

    2012-13 VETERANS OFFICE

    $4,631.00 Veterans Administration Funds

     

     

    Augmentation Requests

    Original Priority Funded Program, Unit, Area Resource Type Description Account Number Object Code One-Time Augment Ongoing Augment Supporting Rationale
    1 Yes Financial Aid Office (FAO) Personnel Increase time base of 60% FAA II to 100% w/ benefits 11-000-703-1-646000 52120 $0.00 $41,356.00 Proven employee, was hired as FAA II (60%) 08/01/2010 after working in FAO first as a student assistant, then as a temporary. The FAO is overwhelmed with customer service needs, technology needs, and increasing regulatory and compliance issues. The employee is being trained to take over the compliance needs of the Return to Title IV process for another employee retiring June 2014. Additionally, the current 60% employee is necessary to our customer service area (window and emails) and other program areas as well. The FAO has used BFAP funds to pay for additional hours to equal full-time. However, the department requires the ongoing full-time employment of this employee, and it is only fair that this individual be made FT permanently and receive benefits.
    2 Yes Financial Aid Office (FAO) Personnel Assistant Director 11-000-703-1-646000 52110 $0.00 $98,421.00 The FAO currently consists of nine classified employees and one manager (director). The director supervises the nine employees, supervises all financial aid program areas and disbursements, oversees budget, training, web site, forms and letters, outreach, sees students on an individual basis, and is the liaison to other college programs and offices including Reg-to-Go. She is the only professionally trained student services/financial aid professional in the office. The FAO, which disburses over $50 million in aid annually to a student body the size of Butte's, should have a minimum of two managers in the office. Additionally, succession planning adds another concern.
    3 Yes Financial Aid Office/Veterans Office Personnel Split salary and benefits of FAA Senior/Veterans Certifying Official between District and BFAP funding 11-000-703-1-646000 52120 $0.00 $38,831.00 Dividing this position between District and BFAP accounts would: (1) demonstrate increased District support to the Veterans Center; (2) assist with MOE; and (3) maintain the strong relationship between financial aid and veterans services that supports student success.
    4 Yes Veterans Office Personnel Special Programs Clerk 11-000-703-1-646000 52120 $0.00 $20,398.00 Special Programs Clerk 50%, Range 18 Salary $16,643.28 plus Benefits $3,754.56 In Spring 2013, the Veterans Office has achieved an all-time high certification of 338 veterans and dependents of veterans. Veterans Administration compliance demands are increasing. The Certifying official has had only part-time help from student veterans with VA work-study. The current clerical and administrative demands of the Veterans Office require the ongoing assistance of a Special Programs Clerk. Growth in the numbers of veterans coming to Butte is anticipated, as are the compliance demands of an accountability climate.
    5 Yes Financial Aid/Veterans Office Personnel Dedicated Counselor Hours 11-000-703-1-620002 51460 $0.00 $25,000.00 We have seen a need for dedicated counselor hours at the VRC. Having counselors who are familiar with the needs of veterans and knowledgeable about VA funding requirements is considered to be a "best practice" for college and university veterans offices. Having a counselor with regular hours at the VRC will help facilitate getting troubled veterans to see a counselor and to feel more at ease in doing so.
    6 Yes Financial Aid Office (FAO) Equipment Document Imaging Scanner 11-000-703-1-646000 56410 $1,250.00 $0.00 The FAO requires an updated flatbed scanner with multi-feed, double-sided capacity and high resolution for the accurate and efficient scanning of all documents in order to fully implement our goal of scanning all documents and reducing paper storage. In a phone discussion with the CCCCO SFA of how to meet MOE, it was their contention that the district must contribute toward equipment necessary for the operating expenses of doing business, and that BFAP funds cannot supplant the district's obligation. Specific model to be recommended by IT/S at time of purchase.
    7 Yes Financial Aid/Veterans Office Equipment Replacement Computers (4) 11-000-703-1-646000 56411 $5,200.00 $0.00 Computer replacements for outdated models are required in the Veterans Office. 4 computers @ $1,300 = $5200 (as estimated by Ross Pryomski, User Services).
    8 Yes Financial Aid/Veteran Office Equipment Replacement printer 11-000-703-1-646000 56410 $618.00 $0.00 The Veterans Office requires a reliable printer. Estimate obtained through User Services for HP LaserJet Enterprise P3015n Printer - B/W - laser @ $575.34 plus $43.15 sales tax (no shipping charge) = $618.49.
    9 Yes Financial Aid Office (FAO) Operating Expenses Printing, Duplicating, and Office Supplies 11-000-703-1-646000 54200 $0.00 $6,000.00 The FAO currently has extremely limited district monies for printing and duplicating. This was questioned by the CCCCO in a phone discussion of how to meet MOE. It is their contention that the district must supply a budget for operating expenses including printing, duplicating, and office supplies, and that BFAP funds cannot supplant the district's obligation.
    Total(s) $7,068.00 $230,006.00