This unit is responsible for managing the University’s tax levy and non tax levy revenue and cash flow. It consists of two areas: Student Financial Aid and Cash Management.
Student Financial Aid Disbursement (SFA) is primarily concerned with the disbursement of financial aid funds from governmental and college sources to CUNY students. In fulfilling this responsibility, this office is charged with ensuring compliance with the disbursement and reconciliation requirements mandated by federal, state, and city regulations. SFA consists of three groups: Systems and Payroll (Student Financial Aid Payroll Processing); Federal Direct Loan and Pell (Student Record and Cash Reconciliations); and, Federal Perkins and Nursing Student Loans.
Systems and Payroll (Student Financial Aid Payroll Processing) oversees the production of disbursements (checks, direct deposits, deductions for tuition and fees) on behalf of the Colleges for all federal financial aid programs, including loan programs, and a number of NYS, NYC and college funded student financial aid programs. The unit also manages the disbursement of federal and institutional work-study programs, unclaimed wage reporting to New York State and preparation of the 1098T federal tax forms. The information in the SFA payroll system is used in the preparation of the University’s financial statements and the Federal Fiscal Operation Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) report. As part of the disbursement process, Systems and Payroll prepares and publishes the calendar of financial aid payroll dates.
Federal Direct Loans and Pell Programs manages system maintenance and development for processing the return of federal Title IV funds (R2T4) for students who totally withdraw from a college. In this regard, it has conducted extensive training for college staff on the R2T4 regulations in order to ensure compliance. It also reconciles the drawdown of federal Pell and Direct Loan funds with the college/University disbursements and serves as liaison Common Origination and Disbursement system (COD) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
The Pell and Direct Loan unit, along with the SFA Payroll unit, works closely with the Cash Management Office in the drawdown of Federal Financial Aid funds and with the Revenue Management Office.
Federal Perkins and Nursing Student Loans coordinates the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) programs with ED, the CUNY Colleges and third party loan servicers contracted by the University for billing and collection activities. Funding for new Perkins loans to students is from repayments and new Federal allocations, when available.
Cash Management (CM) performs a number of important functions within the University Controller’s Office. First, it oversees the centralized collection of tuition and fees. These include payments by credit cards, the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Title IV SFA tuition deductions, deferred tuition payments collected by a third party and tax offsets. After the payments are recorded and credited to the respective colleges, the funds are then transferred to the City University Construction Fund (CUCF), which in turn forwards the funds to New York City.
Cash Management handles the electronic drawdown of Title IV funds -- Pell, FWS, SEOG, Direct Loans and Perkins Loans – for student financial aid disbursements. Annually, CM draws down over $400 million of Title IV funds through the FED-wire system. The withdrawals must adhere to the Federal regulations governing the drawdown of Title IV funds for financial aid payroll disbursement.
Finally, Cash Management is responsible for University’s treasury functions. These include maintaining the central office bank accounts, custodial responsibility for non tax levy funds, maintaining banking relationships with NYC banks, issuing guidance on treasury and banking matters, liaising with the City’s Finance Department, preparing reports on cash activity for Central Office and College accounts and managing the University’s short-term investments.