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Meeting Minutes

March 8, 2002


Board Members Present: Jeremy Shea, Steve VanEss, Mary Jo Green, Paul Spraggins, Linda Cross, Andre Jacque, Barbara Manthei, and Debra McKinney

HEAB Staff Present: Jane Hojan-Clark, Jim Buske, Mary Lou Kuzdas, John Whitt, Sandy Thomas, and Nancy Wilkison

Others Present: Margaret Zitzer, Marquette University; Tom Heffron, WTCSB; and Kristen Hendrickson, UW-System Administration

Chairman Jeremy Shea called the meeting to order at 9:05.

Motion was made by Barbara Manthei to approve the minutes of the October 19, 2001 meeting and was seconded by Andre Jacque. Approved.

The High School Counselor workshops were once again successful. Just under 700 counselors attended. According to the evaluations, the HEAB presentation was listed as one of the most helpful and counselors would like to see this part of the presentation expanded.

A report on the Proposed Farmer Loan Assistance Program was submitted to the Governor and Legislature on March 1, 2002 as required by statutory language. The Board will receive this report in the next Board Report packet. Currently Wisconsin is losing farmers at the rate of 1,000-1,500 per year. The proposed loan program would be aimed at keeping farmers working in the state in exchange for having all or part of their student loan debt paid by the State.

The HEAB website statistics show just under 6,000 visitors per month. A handout showed such statistics as number of website hits, number of visitor sessions, average length of visit, numbers of repeat visitors and high volume days of the week. This charting can be a useful tool to HEAB in the future.

HEAB has sent out two recent press releases. One encouraged students to apply for financial assistance early and the other announced the new Student Nursing Loan Program. The latter has generated a great deal of interest.

We are currently working on computer system programming in preparation for 2002-2003. HEAB hopes to begin processing early in April.

HEAB is working on identifying ways to trim operations costs to deal with the most recent recommendation by the Joint Finance Committee. The Committee recommended 9.5 percent (01-02) and 11 percent (02-03) cuts for the 01-03 biennial period. At this point HEAB is looking at the possibility of a staffing cut of 8% as well as other operational cuts.

Administrative rules for the Teacher Education Loan and the Teacher of the Visually Impaired Loan Program were approved and are now in effect.

A work group reviewing the TIP Grant has been meeting and has been very productive. The next meeting will be in April.

Several bills of interest to HEAB were discussed. SB288 includes statutory language revisions to HEAB administrative code. This bill was originally submitted in 1997. There is an unassigned bill that directs school boards to instruct pupils in the 11th and 12th grades on the requirements for males to register with Selective Service. This ties in with recent legislation that requires students to register with Selective Service before they can receive funds that HEAB administers.

HEAB is currently working with its colleagues from Minnesota to adjust the 2002-2003 Memorandum of Understanding for the Minnesota/Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Program in order to submit it to the Joint Finance Committee. Within the next week or two the revised memo will be ready to submit to Joint Finance.

Jane was recently appointed to the Financial Education Task Force. This special committee is looking for successful financial education models.

Adjustments were made to the order of the following reports to accommodate the schedule of Board members.

Currently the WHEG-UW has committed 132.77 percent ($26,224,109) of its appropriation with 22,728 awards. This is 446 more awards and 12.5 percent more committed than at this time last year. HEAB expects to spend the full appropriation this year. WHEG-WTC has committed 171.63 percent (24,253,477) of its appropriation with 28,387 awards. This is 2,172 more awards and 15.45 percent more committed than at this time last year. With this program there has been a dramatic increase in applicants. This increase became evident in January and at that time a wait list was established. HEAB also froze the awards that had been committed up to that point. HEAB does expect to spend the appropriation for this year and has carried some funds back in the amount of $500,000 to cover vouchering for those who were committed up to the point at which the wait list was implemented. For the Wisconsin Tuition Grant there were fewer awards, which was expected. WTG has committed 117.01 percent (25,233,219) of its appropriation with 11,798 awards. This is 1,222 fewer awards and 2.07 percent less committed than at this time last year. The overall number of applicants through March 5, 2002, for 2001-2002 is 189,771. Applicants for 2000-01 totaled 215,025.

Governor McCallum recently released the Budget Reform Act of 2002. Jane was extremely pleased to report that the programs HEAB administers remain intact in the Governorís proposal. No Program is eliminated nor is funding decreased for any program. In fact, the Governor proposed funding increases for each of the UW and WTC WHEG Programs. This is extremely good news. This bill will now need to go through the legislative bill passage process before it can become law. The Joint Finance Committee met this week and was in agreement with the Governor regarding budgeting for higher education.

Jane presented the WHEG and WTC program formulas for Board consideration. The general structure of the WHEG formula is outlined in the State statutes. However, the components may be adjusted to incorporate changes in the cost of education, the Federal Methodology (which determines the Expected Family Contribution) and the number of applicants (which relates to the number of students who enroll and the available funding).

Jane offered three formula simulation options for Board consideration. Simulation #1 forms the baseline using last yearís applicant pool and this yearís formula. Simulation #2 uses a 46 percent multiplier. Simulation #3 uses a 47 percent multiplier. Simulation #4 has a 50 percent multiplier, which is the ultimate goal. The UW-Administration recommendation was Simulation #3. The logic being that the tuition would reflect the current academic year tuition level. It would maintain the level of support that currently exists, the 47 percent. With the knowledge at hand we see that Simulation #3 comes the closest to the 50 percent goal. Jane asked the Board to approve Simulation #3 even with the potential that students might be put on a wait list. Andre Jacque moved to adopt Simulation #3 and Paul Spraggins seconded the motion. A unanimous vote approved the recommendation.

Jane offered three formula simulation options for Board consideration. Simulation #1, again a baseline, does not change the formula, but uses the same student budget of $7,000 using a 15 percent multiplier which brings the award to the maximum amount. Simulation #2 reduces the maximum award by $75. HEAB believes that this simulation helps reach the goal to spend the appropriation while reducing the probability of having to wait-list students. The Technical College System Board has recommended Simulation #1. While the goal is to avoid wait-listing students, HEAB supports Simulation #1 with the understanding there is a potential to wait-list students there as well. Mary Jo Green moved to support Simulation #1 and Debra McKinney seconded the motion. Simulation #1 was unanimously approved.

Tribal Colleges recommend maintaining the current formulas now in place. HEAB supports this recommendation given that this is a relatively new program. Steve VanEss moved to accept the only formula put forth and it was seconded by Paul Spraggins. The recommended formula was unanimously approved.

Jane offered three formula simulation options for Board consideration. Simulation #1 was once again a baseline. Simulation #2 uses the current formula with a tuition update. Simulation #3 used last yearís applicant pool and this yearís formula with the exception of adjusting the UW tuition. HEAB was also able to increase the maximum award by $50 because of the potential additional dollars included in the biennial budget. The Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities has recommended Simulation #3. The chance of wait-listing students with this simulation would be slight so HEAB also supports this simulation. A motion was made to accept Simulation #3 by Debra McKinney. Andre Jacque seconded the motion. Simulation #3 was unanimously approved.

The 2001-03 Budget Bill that passed in August of 2001 required HEAB to submit to the Department of Administration an annual report on the effectiveness of the Minority Retention Grant Program. The first report was due in the fall of 2001. The report submitted used existing HEAB data and the results of surveys of the participating schools and students. Jim Buske said that the Minority Retention Grant is achieving what was hoped in helping minority students stay in school long enough to complete their education. HEAB is also seeing an indication that a higher number of recipient students are then staying in Wisconsin after graduation.

Minnesota made a payment of $2,430,518 to the State of Wisconsin for the 2000-01 program year. Changes made to the agreement between Minnesota and Wisconsin approved by the Joint Finance Committee that went into effect on July 1, 1998 reversed a 3-year trend of Wisconsin making payments to Minnesota. This payment was in addition to tuition payments made by Minnesota students attending Wisconsin institutions. The amount paid to UW institutions by Minnesota students to the Stateís General Fund was $4,905,298 in 2000-01.

WHEAL borrowers paid HEAB a total of $1,074,002. Of this amount $212,476 was the resulting interest payment on loans and $861,526 on the principal. Jim Buske stated that the significant number of payouts was due to consolidation of loans.

Jim Buske highlighted the report on the status of financial aid in the state of Wisconsin. Total need-based financial aid increased by almost 4 percent in this past year following an increase last year of 2 Ĺ percent. HEAB saw an increase in total awards of about 4 percent and the average award stayed about the same. Need-based loans continue to be the overwhelming primary source of assistance used by students. Unmet need increased during the year. Independent Colleges and Universities and Technical-System colleges saw the number of awards and the amount of aid go up. In the UW-System the number of awards and amount of aid stayed about the same. Tribal Colleges are now listed separately and will be tracked in the future. Basically there were no surprises in the survey and HEAB is fairly pleased with the numbers. Jane noted that the data that was gathered in these surveys was instrumental in the last biennial budget process. Legislators could be seen referencing the materials during committee meetings.

The HEAB Policies and Procedures Manual was approved by the Board on February 16, 2001. Jim Buske highlighted the major updates to the manual: draft descriptions and procedures for the new Nursing Student Loan Program, procedures for implementing the Selective Service Edit, revised procedures for Child Support Delinquency and procedures for monitoring EdVest participants. In addition to these items there will be numerous minor technical and wording changes that have been identified throughout the year. These changes will be highlighted on the website when they are made.

Jane highlighted the Federal Fiscal Year 02 and 03. On January 10, 2002, President Bush signed P.L. 107-116, title III which is the Department of Educationís Appropriations Act 2002. This effects our TIP programming, as it is part of the LEAP program, which experienced increases along with several other Federal programs. On February 4, 2002, President Bush unveiled his FY03 Budget. In it LEAP was eliminated completely. This has happened in the past. The LEAP program was started to help fund seed programs in various states. The fact that it originally was intended to be seed money has been the reasoning for its elimination in the past. We are working with legislators and stressing its importance. For Wisconsin it could mean an additional $1.5 million for the TIP Program annually.

Board members were asked to leave April 26, 2002 open if the need should arise for a meeting. If there are no issues to be discussed then the next meeting will be in July. At that time there will be discussions regarding the next biennial budget request that will be due September 15, 2002.

Andre Jacque made a motion to adjourn, it was seconded and Chairman Shea adjourned the meeting.


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