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AWARDS & RECOGNITION

2010 Awards: Cross-Boundary Collaboration and Partnerships


RECIPIENT:
Arkansas - Arkansas Universal Financial Aid Management System

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education worked with Governor Mike Beebe and the General Assembly to improve the financial aid process for students looking to attend college for the first time or continue with their education.

Millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarship funds went unused in Arkansas due to a cumbersome paper process and more than 21 different programs requiring individual processes and documentation. Students, parents, and counselors were not always aware of various programs or how best to gain access and apply.

In a matter of minutes, students answer a few basic questions and the “YOUniversal” Financial Aid System determines aid for which they may be eligible across all 21 programs. Students may then submit one application, simplifying the process into one easy step.

The financial aid, scholarship, and loan awarding process is managed through the system which electronically notifies the student. Students manage their financial aid profile throughout their higher education experience within a secure student module.

Finally, the Department of Higher Education personnel manage the eligibility and award process for all aid programs within the administrative components of the system that replaces outdated disparate databases and systems previously used. Integration with third-party sources is a key success factor and includes federal level FAFSA (family income) data, state level TRIAND high school transcript data, higher education institution enrollment verification data, and state financial integration for automated disbursement of funds. Data integration eliminates manual processing and errors, and also expedites the review and award process.

This year, 125,000 applications were received through the system, an increase of more than 441 percent over the previous year. $150 million in aid was awarded to over 50,000 college freshman, traditional, and non-traditional college students due in part to recent passage of the Arkansas lottery, and legislative changes that expanded many of the financial aid programs. In the first year of operation, every eligible high school graduate applying for aid received an award through the system.

"The Universal Financial Aid System has transformed how students apply for the financial aid they need to complete their college degrees. The system provides streamlined access to all financial aid programs in which a student may be eligible."
Governor Mike Beebe, State of Arkansas

FINALISTS:
Click on the title to download program submission.

Michigan
Michigan Public Safety Communications System

New York
The Psychiatric Services & Clinical Knowledge Enhancement System (PSYCKES)


OTHER NOMINATIONS:
Click on the title to download program submission.

California
California Child Support Automated System

Colorado
Colorado First Responder Authentication Credentialing Program

Kentucky
KYVC Services and Virtual Campus Navigator

North Carolina
Electronic Commerce Task Force Study and Enterprise Implementation

Oklahoma
Administrative Rules State Online Filing System

Oregon
Common Registration

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Early Learning Network (ELN)

Utah
Utah's Public Meeting Notice Website and System

Virginia
Virginia Traffic Records Electronic Data System (TREDS)

West Virginia
West Virginia Office of Technology Local E-Government Implementation & Adoption

Return to 2010 Awards Main Page

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