The financial aid awarding cycle is a set of recurrent operations used as institutions process and manage student data to evaluate, award, and disburse federal, state, institutional, and private funding. The typical financial aid processing cycle may encompass multiple academic years. Institutions process continuing students for the current aid year and, at the same time, process applications for the upcoming aid year.


The actual awarding process takes place when your institution receives the first Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs), PROFILE, Need Access, or institutional application. The ISIR is the need analysis form administered by the Department of Education to establish a student's need for financial aid. PROFILE and Need Access are two other types of need analysis forms that establish a student's need for financial aid that institutions may also use. Institutional applications are institution-specific need analysis forms. For new students, awards are made and notifications are sent on an ongoing basis up to the beginning and sometimes well into the award year for which the students are admitted. For continuing students, the goal is to mail notifications before the close of the academic year. The financial aid process of awarding entails need analysis, and, for continuing students, checking academic progress.


Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to:

• Activate an aid year for a student.

• Add your institution to a student's ISIR.

• Change FM need analysis calculations.

• View NSLDS data.

• View Federal EFC summary detail.

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