Changes to Outside Scholarships and Pitzer College Loan
(July 31, 2015) The beginning of the academic year is just around the corner, and our office is in the process of finalizing financial aid award letters. We would like to update you on some changes to how we will be processing Outside Scholarships and Pitzer College Loans this year. Beginning the 2015-16 academic year, all outside scholarships and Pitzer College Loans will be reported to Student Accounts as pending aid on the student bill. As students you will no longer have to wait until our office receives funds for Student Accounts to reflect your outside scholarship or Pitzer College Loan. If we do not receive the funds for your outside scholarship or if your Pitzer College Loan documents have not been submitted by October 15, 2015 (fall semester) or March 15, 2016 (for spring semester), we will remove the expected credit from your student account, and you will owe that money to the College.
Financial Aid Application Process Update: IDOC, an electronic documentation service
(February 18, 2015) The spring semester is underway, and it will soon be time for our current students to reapply for financial aid of the 2015-16 school year. We are excited to announce the adoption of IDOC, an electronic documentation service provided by the College Board. This new tool will allow the Financial Aid Office at Pitzer to eliminate much of the paper from tax returns and verification worksheets, making the financial aid application process easier for our students.
IDOC is a service that works with the CSS PROFILE application. Once our returning students submit the PROFILE application, an email with IDOC instructions will be emailed to the student, and for dependent students, to the parent email address entered on the PROFILE application. The email will direct students to login to the IDOC site, where they can view the required documents, print a cover sheet to submit with their tax documents, and most importantly, will be the place where students can upload all of their application materials. Students may elect to mail a packet of tax documents to IDOC, but the file upload process is a new enhancement that we believe will make the application process simpler for students and their families.
The IDOC website is a safe a secure site that will allow students to upload, at one time, all of their financial aid materials: 2014 Federal Tax Returns, schedules, W-2 forms, Nonfiling statements and Verification worksheets. The confidentiality of your personal financial information is very important to us, and to the College Board. To ensure the highest level of data integrity, privacy and security, the College Board has implemented systems that include multiple firewalls with unique security zones, data encryption, intrusion detection systems, data and system backups and data integrity checks. We recognize that families are entrusting us with their sensitive financial information to determine the level of financial aid eligibility for their child here at Pitzer, and the implementation of IDOC will enable our families to know that their documents are being uploaded and stored safely and securely.
In addition, we anticipate the processing time will be much shorter with the implementation of IDOC. Once IDOC receives student tax documents, we receive an electronic file that will automatically update the student financial aid portal so our students will know what documents have been received and when. Financial aid counseling staff will then be able to begin reviewing applications and processing financial aid awards. This year we are committed to proving financial aid awards by June 30, 2015 to all students who file on time.
Last year we rolled out the latest enhancement of the financial aid student portal, allowing students to view their financial aid award online, 24/7 and print out a copy of their financial aid award. We will continue to use the portal in this fashion, and again we will send notifications to the student’s Pitzer email address when the 2015-16 financial aid award is ready to view.
The other change we are working on has been to convert the Scholarship Information Sheet into an online application that students will complete at the time of their financial aid application. This will enable us to have a completely online financial aid application for students, with the addition of the IDOC upload process.
The Financial Aid Office will be mailing current students and parents additional information about the adoption of IDOC in February. In addition, we have posted many frequently asked questions about all stages of the IDOC process that you may find useful. If you have any questions about the IDOC process, or anything related to financial aid, be sure to let us know.
New Financial Aid Service: IDOC
(November 13, 2014) While it seems the academic year has just begun, the winter holidays will be here before we know it, and it will soon be time to reapply for financial aid for the 2015-2016 school year. The Financial Aid Office will be sending out a postcard reminder to parents and students this winter, but we wanted to provide a sneak peak about application changes. This year, Pitzer College will be using IDOC to collect supplemental financial aid materials, including 2014 Federal Tax Returns, schedules, W-2 forms and Nonfiling statements. IDOC is a service of the College Board, so all returning students who complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE will receive instructions on how to use IDOC once they submit the PROFILE application.
IDOC is an electronic documentation service that we will be using to reduce the amount of paper we collect and store as part of the financial aid process. Students and parents will collect all tax documents that need to be submitted as part of the financial aid application, complete the IDOC cover sheet and mail the packet to the IDOC processing center. Once the packet is received by IDOC, all the documents are scanned and turned into electronic files that are made available to the Pitzer Financial Aid Office. This process is very secure, and all tax documents are processed with the utmost concern for confidentiality and the highest concern for data integrity. All information that is submitted to IDOC is stored in a secure environment, and paper documents are destroyed once the electronic records have been transmitted to Pitzer College.
We anticipate that the IDOC process will simplify the financial aid renewal process for our families, and also reduce the amount of paper and resources that are needed to collect and store the tax information that we need to determine each student’s financial aid eligibility. As we approach the financial aid renewal deadlines, we will be sending out additional information regarding IDOC. Stay tuned!