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Meeting Minutes
October 14, 2005

Board Members Present: Mary Jo Green, Ann Neviaser, Debra McKinney, Mary Cuene, Kevin Ingram, Khalaf Khalaf, Milton McPike, Thomas Shields, Elizabeth Tucker, Dr. Betty Womack, Vickie Young, Dr. Verna Fowler

HEAB Staff Present: Connie Hutchison, Sherrie Nelson, John Whitt, Mary Lou Kuzdas, Cassie Weisensel

Others Present: Paul Nelson, WAICU; RJ Binau, DOA; Kristen Hendrickson, UW System Administration; Sharon Wilhelm, UW System Administration; Margaret Zitzer, Marquette University; David Glisch-Sanchez, United Council; Jacky Thomson, Marquette University; Tom Heffron, WTCS.

Chair Mary Jo Green called the meeting to order at 9 a.m.

Moved by Ann Neviaser, seconded by Kevin Ingram to approve the minutes of the July 29, 2005 Board Meeting.

Kevin Ingram noted a correction on page three in Board Report #06-03 to the last line of the last paragraph. Kevin noted that it should say "It was accepted as a friendly amendment by Kevin Ingram." The minutes were approved as corrected.

HEAB Staff Changes:
Connie Hutchison announced that Nancy Wilkison had been promoted to a Grant Specialist at HEAB for the Academic Excellence Scholarship. Cassie Weisensel, an LTE who has been with the agency for a while, will be filling in for Nancy until Nancy's position is permanently filled.

Tribal Ex-Officio Member: Connie welcomed Dr. Verna Fowler, the Ex-Officio Member representing the Tribal Colleges, to the first meeting that such a member is recognized by the Board.

System Rewrite: The HEAB computer system will be re-written and the agency is in the process of gathering information and input from both staff members and from staff at other financial aid offices around the state. Timeline for re-write is two years.

Sector Meetings: Connie reported that she and several HEAB staff members will be attending the WASFAA Conference in November. During this conference, all three sectors, UW Systems, Wisconsin Technical Colleges, and the Private/Independent Colleges and Universities, will be holding meetings. HEAB staff will be attending these meetings.

High School Counselor Workshops: The Wisconsin Association of Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA), of which HEAB is a member, is again sponsoring workshops for high school guidance counselors. During October, there are 12 workshops being held throughout the state, and HEAB staff members Mary Lou Kuzdas, Nancy Wilkison, Sandy Thomas, John Whitt and Connie Hutchison will represent HEAB at these meetings. These are excellent workshops that are well-attended.

College Goal Sunday: On February 12, 2005 WASFAA will sponsor a one day workshop set up in various locations around the state to help students and parents fill out the FAFSA. It is hoped that it will help students apply early, it will help families filling out the FAFSA for the first time, and it will help low income students think about the resources available for funding college.

Federal Aid Restrictions Concerning Certain Drug Convictions: Federal Law States that if you have certain drug convictions you can not receive federal financial aid. Wisconsin has not picked up this bill yet. Connie explained the difficultly in tracking for these drug convictions because it is self-reporting. HEAB position on this bill is that there is no way for HEAB to administer the law.

Grow Wisconsin: Governor's office is working on legislation that would increase the WHEG cap to $3000.00 for the 2006-2007 school year. The current Maximum is $2500.00. There is no maximum for Tuition Grant.

Features of this report were highlighted page by page. Minority Teacher Loan, Nursing Student Loan, and WHEG-TECH all had money left over last year so HEAB is looking at the processes by which the money is given out to ensure that all available money is spent. The loans are annual so the money can not be carried over. HEAB is working with the Sectors to determine a formula for the Wisconsin Tuition Grant, WHEG-UW, WHEG-Tribal, and WHEG-Tech to get recommendations for the formulas for the upcoming 2006-2007 school year. Connie asked for questions on the report. At the next HEAB Board meeting there will be a public hearing regarding the rules for Nursing Student Loans. Fifty percent of the loan may be forgiven if the individual recipient is working in the nursing field in Wisconsin. It was asked how the public is notified of a public hearing and Connie responded that it is posted in newspapers and that we will let the board know where and when it will be published.

Every year HEAB is required to report on the status of the Academic Excellence Scholarship to the Joint Finance Committee by August 1st. It was pointed out that not much changes year to year regarding this program. Ninety two percent of the freshmen awarded the Academic Excellence Scholarship in 2004 accepted the scholarship and used it to attend a Wisconsin post secondary institution. In 2004-05, 781 freshmen enrolled in a Wisconsin post secondary institution. Total AES funds going to these students were $864,294 with an average award of $1,107. In 2004-05, the HEAB staff received enrollment and grade reports electronically which eliminated the need to update student records manually.

The 1999-01 Budget Bill required HEAB to begin annual reporting on the effectiveness of the Minority Undergraduate Retention Grant. The last annual report noted that among student recipients surveyed, 71.13 percent indicated that the grant positively affected their decision to return to or stay in school. 83.83 percent of the respondents either have earned a degree or certificate or continue to work towards obtaining a degree/certificate. In addition, over 67.01 percent of the recipients plan on living and working in Wisconsin for their working career. As those numbers are approximately what they were the year before, we continue to believe that this program is very effective.

In 2005-06, WHEG-UW has committed 131.07% ($53,060,132) of its appropriation with 28,214 awards. This is 165 fewer awards and 12.59% more committed than at this time last year. The final commitment for 2004-05 was 118.48%. WHEG-WTC has committed 155.70% ($24,548,738) of its appropriation with 31,068 awards. This is 281 fewer awards and 5.53% less committed than at this time last year. The final commitment for 2004-05 was 161.23%. WTG has committed 116.13% ($27,185,057) of its appropriation with 10,289 awards. This is 336 less awards and 5.85% more committed than at this time last year. The final commitment for 2004-05 was 110.18%. The number of applicants through October 4, 2005, for the 2005-06 academic year was 215,582. That number last year at this time was 206,032. Applicants in 2004-05 totaled 236,786.

Connie introduced three current printed bills that could be introduced in the upcoming legislative session.

Senate Bill 76: This bill, regarding the Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES), permits a senior with next highest grade point average, but not less than 3.800 or the equivalent, to be certified as an alternate and to receive a scholarship if a senior who is designated as a scholar or an alternate with the same grade point average does not enroll in a participating institution of higher education. This will be the case, regardless of how the high school weights it courses. Currently, the alternate must have the same grade point average as the designated scholar with the highest grade point average to be certified as an alternate.

Ann Neviaser made a motion, seconded by Mary Cuene to support Senate Bill 76 which allows the alternate Academic Excellence Scholarship recipient, to have a GPA of not less than 3.8000. The motion passed unanimously.

Senate Bill 370: This bill extends AES eligibility for a scholar enrolled in a two-year, full-time vocational diploma program, which is a program in an area designated and approved by the WTCS Board.

Mary Cuene made a motion, seconded by Kevin Ingram to support Senate Bill 370, which expands the Academic Excellence Scholarship program to include two year vocation diplomas. The motion passed unanimously.

Senate Bill 743: This bill would change the formula used to calculate the amounts appropriate for the higher education grants for UW System students and for Lawton grants. The bill also requires HEAB to use the new formula to calculate the amounts appropriated for tuition grants and for higher education grants for technical college and tribal college students. Specifically, under the bill, beginning in fiscal year 2006-07, the amounts appropriated for tuition grants, for Lawton grants, and for higher education grants for UW System students, technical college students, and tribal college students are determined by increasing the base amount for each of those appropriations by the greater of the highest percentage increase determined under current law or the amount obtained by multiplying the increase in the undergraduate academic fees charges for a student to attend the UW-Madison for the current academic year by the number of students who received the respective grants for the previous academic year, except that, if the undergraduate academic fees at each institution within the UW System did not increase from the previous academic year, the appropriations for the current fiscal year remain the base amounts.

Debra McKinney made a motion, seconded by Ann Neviaser, to support Senate Bill 743 which will tie the appropriations to the number of students and the tuition increase. The motion was passed with one abstention from Vickie Young.

A suggestion was made to include previous year data in the Minority Retention Grant Survey that will be available next October.

Moved by Thomas Shields, seconded by Khalaf Khalaf, to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried and Chairman Mary Jo Green adjourned the meeting at 11:15.


Respectfully submitted by
Debra McKinney, Secretary

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