[Wsssc] Between Scylla and Charybdis

Matthew Campbell MCampbell at pierce.ctc.edu
Mon Nov 21 17:21:41 PST 2016

Is this outside the concept of intent coding? For that, particularly for pre-xxxx, we use the “M” code, which indicates “multiple pathways.” This coding has been vetted with the Feds and can be used to allow students to be eligible for financial aid without being disingenuous (it would only be disingenuous if the student, upon earning, say, a DTA whilst on the waitlist chose not to accept the degree; or if the student was opposed to the concept of being coded as pursing two paths simultaneously and only wanted to be coded for one program).

You may recall the attached memo from earlier this year. I don’t believe it references financial aid directly, but the intent (no pun intended…really!) is that the codes permit students to be in multiple programs simultaneously and to be eligible for financial aid as relevant to each of those programs. The second foundational piece is that those codes can change as student goals/intents change (e.g. change from M to F when going from pre-nursing to nursing).

Does that help?

Matthew Campbell, Ed.D.
Vice President, Learning & Student Success
Pierce College Puyallup
p/  253.840.8419
f/   253.840.8423
e/  mcampbell at pierce.ctc.edu<mailto:mcampbell at pierce.ctc.edu>

[cid:image001.png at 01D2441B.B9422010]

From: wsssc <wsssc-bounces at lists.ctc.edu> on behalf of "Cosby, Glen" <Glen.Cosby at scc.spokane.edu>
Date: Monday, November 21, 2016 at 3:17 PM
To: "wsssc at lists.ctc.edu" <wsssc at lists.ctc.edu>
Subject: [Wsssc] Between Scylla and Charybdis

I would like your collective wisdom on this one.  We have run into a proverbial rock-and-hard place dilemma when it comes to complying with federal financial aid regulations, on the one hand, and trying to maintain FTEs, on the other.  The dilemma is this: many of our CTE programs employ a waitlist strategy for enrollment management, so students get on the waitlist and, as the name implies, wait until they are fully admitted.  Most of course want to go to school in the meantime and want to be eligible for the full array of financial aid packaging, and therein lies the rub.  Until the student is officially admitted into a program, the student is only eligible for loans, even if the coursework they are taking while waiting to get in is related instruction that is included as part of the degree program.  The “solution” that our counseling department (ever the student advocates) has come up with is to have the students declare that their intent is AA-DTA since most of the time the related instruction consists of coursework also listed on the transfer degree.

Of course, the problem is that such declarations are disingenuous, and that puts our financial aid folks into a real dilemma as they decide whether to help the student get fully funded or whether to hew to the letter of the regulation.  I understand that the U.S. Department of Education has been pretty clear that a disingenuous degree declaration is not acceptable, but our counselors tell us that if we tell these students “sorry, loans only for you”, we can expect to lose about 300 FTEs, which is not acceptable to our president.  I assume others have run into this issue, which is not a problem faced by four-year schools since they have designated “pre-(fill in the blank)” programs that are fully fundable, whereas students taking, say, nursing program prerequisites cannot be so funded.  Has anyone come up with a solution?

We are discussing doing away with waitlists, but that creates as many new problems as it does solve old ones, so that conversation has moved slowly at best.

Glen A. Cosby, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Services
Spokane Community College
1810 N Greene St. MS 2150
Spokane, WA 99217-5399

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