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October 2000 Board Meeting Agenda

New Business


  1. Distance Learning and Other "Nontraditional Learning Approaches"
    The majority of the programs the Higher Educational Aids Board administers require that the recipient of funds be enrolled at least half-time in an approved degree or certificate program. The programs also operate under a nine month academic year, beginning some time in August or September and ending some time in April or May. In recent years distance learning and other "nontraditional learning approaches" have taken hold in the higher education community. Schools have begun exploring twelve month academic years, less than nine month academic year programs, and numerous other program structures. There are many issues related to distance learning or "nontraditional learning approaches" in relation to the programs HEAB administers that need to be explored.

    In order to understand what all of the issues are, the financial aid community was asked the following questions:

    Has your school established distance learning education programs and/or other programs with "nontraditional learning approaches?"

    If so, what is the structure of the program/s?

    What impact has the implementation of distance learning or "nontraditional learning approaches" had in relation to the financial aid programs HEAB administers?

  2. Review of the Handicapped Student Grant Program
    The Handicapped Student Grant Program was established to provide funding for Wisconsin residents, enrolled at least half-time at an in-state or eligible out-of-state public or independent institution. The student must show financial need and have a severe or profound hearing or visual impairment. Students are eligible to receive up to $1,800 per year for up to ten semesters.

    The need to serve students with various handicaps continues to exist. In 1999-00, 71 students were awarded $110,803 under the Handicapped Student Grant Program. Historically funds under this program have not been fully spent within a fiscal year. The following indicates the amount of dollars either carried forward to the second year of the biennium or returned back to the State's general fund:

      1996-97   $10,381
      1997-98   $14,513
      1998-99   $30,154
      1999-00   $11,697

    This program, as it currently exists, provides funds to students with very specific impairments. Since not all funds tend to be spent each fiscal year, the program eligibility criteria should be reviewed. To better understand the needs of students with handicaps the following questions were asked of the financial aid community:

    How extensive is the financial need of students with profound hearing or visual impairments?

    What other types of handicaps do students who are not currently being served have?

  3. Review of the Talent Incentive Program Grant Awarding Criteria
    The Talent Incentive Program Grant provides grant assistance to the most needy and educationally disadvantaged resident students attending colleges and universities in the State of Wisconsin. The maximum award per year for freshmen enrolled at least half-time is $1,800. Upper class students enrolled at least half-time are eligible for up to $1,250 in 2000-01 if enrolled consecutive terms and continue to show financial need. Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. Funding for the TIP Grant is provided by both the State of Wisconsin and the Federal Government.

    Some of the language in the Administrative Rules that regulate this program has become obsolete. References are made of programs that no longer exist and some of the need or student status criteria may no longer apply.

    To better understand the needs of the disadvantaged student, the following questions were asked of the financial aid community:

    Are any of the need or student status criteria no longer applicable?

    If so, how should the criteria be altered?


Wisconsin State Statutes
Talent Incentive Program Grant (TIP)
Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant

Statutes for the TIP Grant and the Handicapped Student Grant are contained within the statutes for WHEG. Statutes 39.435(2) and 39.435(5) are specific to the TIP and Handicapped Student Grants respectively:

39.435 Wisconsin Higher Education Grants and Talent Incentive Grants.

39.435(1) There is established, to be administered by the board, a Higher Education Grant Program for postsecondary resident students enrolled at least half-time and registered as freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors in accredited institutions of higher education or in tribally controlled colleges in this state. Except as authorized under sub. (5), such grants shall be made only to students enrolled in nonprofit public institutions or tribally controlled colleges in this state.

39.435(2) The board shall award Talent Incentive Grants to uniquely needy students enrolled at least half-time as first-time freshmen at public and private nonprofit institutions located in this state and to sophomores, juniors and seniors who received such grants as freshmen. No grant under this subsection may exceed $1,800 for any academic year. The board may not award a grant to the same student for more than 10 consecutive semesters or their equivalent. The board shall promulgate rules establishing eligibility criteria for grants under this subsection.

39.435(3) Grants under sub. (1) shall not be less than $250 during any one academic year, unless the Joint Committee on Finance approves an adjustment in the amount of the minimum grant. Grants under sub. (1) shall not exceed $1,800 during any one academic year. The board shall, by rule, establish a reporting system to periodically provide student economic data and shall promulgate other rules the board deems necessary to assure uniform administration of the program.


39.435(5) The board shall ensure that grants under this section are made available to students attending private or public institutions in this state who are deaf or hard of hearing or visually handicapped and who demonstrate need. Grants may also be made available to such handicapped students attending private or public institutions in other states under criteria established by the board. In determining the financial need of these students special consideration shall be given to their unique and unusual costs.

39.435(6) The board may not make a grant under this section to a person whose name appears on the statewide support lein docket under 49.854 (2) (b), unless the student provides to the board a payment agreement that has been approved by the county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5) and that is consistent with rules promulgated under s 49.858 (2) (a).


Wisconsin State Administrative Code
Talent Incentive Program Grant (TIP)
Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant

The administrative rules for the TIP Grant and the Handicapped Student Grant are contained within the rules for WHEG. Rules HEA 5.04 and 5.05 are specific to the TIP Grant, and rule HEA 5.06 is specific to the Handicapped Student Grant:


HEA 5.01 Part-time Students. Wisconsin Higher Education Grants shall be awarded to students who are enrolled as at least half-time students as determined by the institution in which the student is enrolled.

HEA 5.02 Priority/Rolling Application Deadline. No specific application deadline shall be established in the Wisconsin Higher Education Grant Program, but rather a priority date with a rolling deadline. A student must, however, apply for a Wisconsin Higher Education Grant prior to or during the term for which the student expects to receive the grant.

HEA 5.03 Adjustments to Family Financial Strength. Procedures shall be available to the institutions which will enable the adjustment of the student's financial strength and resulting grant amount. Such adjustment procedures shall be available to correct inaccurate information and respond to the changing financial circumstances of students.

HEA 5.04 Talent Incentive Grant Eligibility. To be eligible for an initial grant award, a uniquely needy student shall be a Wisconsin resident, a first-time freshman and meet at least one criterion under sub. (1) and one criterion under sub. (2). The minimum award a freshman can receive will be $600 with the maximum being $1,800.

  1. Financial need criteria.

    1. A dependent student whose expected academic year parent contribution is $200 or less, or a single independent student with a minimum contribution of $1,200, or an independent student with dependents whose academic year contribution is $200 or less.

    2. The family of a dependent student or the student, if independent, is receiving AFDC benefits.

    3. The parents of dependent students or the student, if independent, are ineligible for unemployment compensation and have no current income from employment.

  2. Non-traditional student status criteria.

    1. The student is a member of one of the minority groups defined in s. 39.44 (1) (a), Stats.

    2. The student is or will be enrolled in a special academic support program due to insufficient academic preparation.

    3. The student is a first-generation post-secondary student, neither of whose parents graduated from a 4 year college or university.

    4. The student is handicapped according to Department of Workforce Development, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation records.

    5. The student is currently or was formerly incarcerated in a correctional institution.

    6. The student's environmental and academic background are such that they deter the pursuit of educational plans.

HEA 5.05 Continued Talent Incentive Grant Eligibility.

  1. To continue to receive a grant after the freshman year, the student shall maintain half-time status per academic term and academic progress towards a degree, diploma or certificate as determined by the institution the student is attending. The minimum award shall be set annually by the board for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

  2. The student shall maintain continuous enrollment from semester to semester, or quarter to quarter, to remain eligible for a grant award for the sophomore, junior and senior years. Exceptions to this requirement shall be made by the executive secretary and will be for illnesses or disabilities which prevent attendance. All such exceptions will be certified by a doctor. No more than 12 months exception from the continuous enrollment requirement will be authorized by the executive secretary.

HEA 5.06 Criteria for Handicapped Students Attending Private or Public Institutions in Other States. To be eligible for a grant under s. 39.435 (5),Stats., a student may be enrolled in a nonprofit public or private college, technical college or conservatory of music located in Wisconsin; or in a nonprofit public or private college, technical college or conservatory of music located outside Wisconsin if:

  1. The institution specializes in the training of deaf or hard of hearing or visually handicapped students;

  2. The institution offers the student a course of study not offered by an institution located in Wisconsin; or

  3. An appropriately recognized third party (doctor, psychologist, etc.) recommends such training for physical, psychological or emotional reasons; and that this determination be confirmed by the exceptional education mission team of the Department of Public Instruction.


October 2000 Board Meeting Agenda

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