Our last release (about a week ago) included a number of improvements to student financials that we incorporated after taking in some good feedback from our customers. True to form, our customers had a lot to say about the new statements, and we're releasing some improvements to our improvements tonight. It's all in an effort to make a tricky lump of information easier to understand—for your staff and your students.
Here are the improvements we have slated for tonight's release:
We collapsed Pending Charges and Invoiced Charges into one concise panel on Student > Financial > By Term:
Invoice pages are even more detailed, now showing Pending Aid and a new invoice summary showing everything that affects the Amount Due:
You can manually apply Pending Financial Aid to invoices before you disburse it; when you do disburse the Aid, it hits invoices according to your selections:
Pending Aid now factors into the Amount Due shown on Student Financial > Dashboard and By Term:
The Unpaid Invoices export now includes a column with Pending Aid for each invoice:
We added the ability to auto-apply Unapplied Payments & Credits when you issue a new invoice (and a Yes/No setting to enable or disable this behavior):
The net effect of these updates is to mitigate the confusion caused by having differing Amounts Due for the same student—which we acknowledge has been a real headache for some of our customers. We've been looking for a good way to show what a student needs to pay your school given the wrinkles caused by Term-specific charges, Term-agnostic charges, pending Financial Aid, Payment Plans, and so on. And we think we've found it; we're certainly happier with this arrangement than we've been with our past handling of this information.
So now the Amounts Due that you see will be the same numbers your students see when they go to pay with a credit card (oh, yeah, "Pay Now" will now also say "Amount Due" everywhere except when recording a payment). Here's an example:
You issue invoice #99 to Joe Adams in Fall 2010 for a $500 Auditor Fee, which he doesn't pay. You issue #100 to him in Spring 2011 for $1000 in tuition. He has a $500 scholarship pending in Spring, and you've put #100 on the "50/50" Payment Plan, which splits his invoice into two payments for 50% of the invoice—one due mid-term, the other due at the end of the term. Joe, who has a habit of parking his monster truck in the Faculty parking lot, has also accrued $1000 in parking tickets—for which you've invoiced him on his Financial Dashboard (Inv. #101). Joe logs in mid-term to settle up what he owes you at that point and sees:
- A Fall By Term Amount Due of $500 from unpaid invoice #99
- A Spring By Term Amount Due of $250 from unpaid invoice #100 ($1000 - $500 in pending aid - $250 to pay later)
- A Dashboard Amount Due of $1750 (#99-$500 + #100-$250 + #101-$1000)
- When he clicks to pay with his dad's credit card, his Pay Now says $1750 and he also sees he'll need to pay another $250 later