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Friday, May 29, 2015

Proposed changes to current FERPA language

The “discussion draft” of a new bill was recently released to Congress calling for a review and possible amendments to the current FERPA language. Essentially, the bill would clarify the definition of a student’s “educational record” and ban the use of such information for marketing or advertising. It would also impose new contracting requirements on states and local education agencies and allow for fines of up to $500,000 to be levied on educational service providers that improverly share student information. The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), along with members of the University of Minnesota and other educational associations, are providing feedback on the proposed changes. We do not anticipate that any changes will be approved through Congress this session, but we will keep you informed if we hear of any developments.

Payment plan options for students

Turning on the payment plan option for students is not as simple as it seems on the surface. There no switch that gets flipped on or off each term, and, like much in life, there are many processes and decisions that need to happen before making these options available to students.
So, how does it work?

First, the Board of Regents need to set and approve tuition rates, which are typically approved during their June meeting. However, this presumes that the Minnesota State Legislature has already determined the University's state allocation. The Regents can’t set tuition rates before this allocation is determined, because tuition rate increases (or freezes) are tied directly to legislative decisions.

After the rates are set it takes three to four weeks for Student Finance-Information Technology to set up tuition and fees in PeopleSoft and another week to test whether or not it's working correctly. Behind the scenes, the Office of Student Finance (OSF) implements multiple payment plans for students with the hope that eventually the best single-plan option can be selected. Once the PeopleSoft tuition and fees are verified, OSF can begin to run tuition calculations for students who have enrolled for the upcoming term. After the tuition calculations have run, the delivered version of PeopleSoft's payment plan can be 'turned on' allowing students to select and enroll in the payment plan​.

However, OSF wants to avoid unnecessarily assessing students the $20 enrollment fee if their financial aid would cover ​all of ​their tuition and fees. For that reason, it's important that the payment plan not be available for students until after​ the first major​ financial aid disbursement date. This is especially true this term, because this is the first time students aren’t automatically enrolled in the payment plan option and need to proactively enroll themselves. Aid is disbursed to students approximately ten days before the start of the semester, so the payment plan will become available in the very short window between disbursement and the start of the semester.

One Stop changing model to enhance student support efforts

One Stop is making additions to their service model in an effort to continue to meet the changing needs of students, parents, faculty and staff by providing additional community support to ensure student success. One Stop Counselors will be prepared to engage and interact with students concerning their financial lives and success, and issues concerning degree progress goals.

One Stop counselors have developed curriculum, advising standards, and learning outcomes for one-on-one financial wellness counseling sessions with students. These counseling sessions are designed to empower students to examine their financial lives, and realize the impact that financial education can have on student success measures, such as academic degree progress and timely graduation. All One Stop Counselors are now required to have their certification as a Personal Financial Manager.

Additionally, One Stop Counselors will work collaboratively with the UMN Student Degree Progress Team, collegiate staff, and faculty to engage current and former students on their degree progress goals by developing success plans that will assist the institution with increasing retention and graduation goals.

Tina Falkner named Office of Student Finance interim director

Tina Falkner has agreed to serve as interim director of the Office of Student Finance (OSF); Stacey Tidball will be stepping in as the interim director of Continuity and Compliance. It’s expected that these interim position will last for 3-5 months while ASR prepares and conducts a national search for a permanent OSF director.

First Financial Wellness 1:1 session held

Live Like a Student and One Stop Student Services are piloting 1:1 meetings with students to talk about financial wellness at the University of Minnesota. These sessions are designed around the needs of the specific student and can be requested through One Stop. Typical topics for these meetings include creating a spending plan, living like a student while in college, preparing for financial decisions post college life, making major purchases, credit scores, and more. These meetings are part of LLAS and One Stop's contribution to the RAoS initiative at the University of Minnesota.

Postbaccalaureate realignment proposal

The University of Minnesota is considering a realignment for supporting postbaccalaureate education. Generally the proposal works to align programs into either a traditional graduate education community or a professional degree program community. You can view the details of the proposed alternative structure on the UMN Academic Affairs and Provost website. Senior Vice Provost Karen Hanson is encouraging faculty and staff to send feedback on the proposal to provost@umn.edu.

Friday, May 1, 2015

After the Upgrade: Getting to Mail and Moodle through MyU

A new MyU is launching as part of the PeopleSoft Upgrade on April 20. It will be available at the same address as the current myU: myu.umn.edu. The new MyU is role-based, with a personalized interface based on what you do at the University. MyU brings together links and information to help faculty, students, and staff get business done at the U.

Will I still be able to access my University email account in MyU?

Yes! Just use the link in the upper right of the new MyU. Alternatively, you can always access your University email account at mail.umn.edu. You’ll need to log in with your Internet ID and password.

Portal Decommission Screenshots.png

Can I still get to my Moodle course sites?

Yes! Look under “Key Links” in the new MyU. Alternatively, visit moodle.umn.edu. Then you'll see all the Moodle course sites you have access to in the Moodle Kiosk on the main page.
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Questions? Email upgrade@umn.edu.

Managing advising committee members

Those who update advising committee members will need to be sure to check the “Include History” box on Manage Committees search page. If not, the system does not recognize previous rows and may produce an error message. The UPK documentation is updated to reflect this step.

MyU Tips

Many issues encountered in the new MyU are resolved with the following actions. Try them and share with others:

Still having issues? Find help here.