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F-S-P-T: Find Out What It Means to Me

A few years ago, in 2019 when I was a graduate advisor in Engineering, I attended one of the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA, then Graduate Division) updates meetings. This is where I first learned that the Financial Support Unit (FSU) was planning to change the Financial Support Request Tool (FSRT). 

The FSU team introduced us to the ProSAM Institutional Awards Module (IAM), which was originally intended to (though ultimately did not) replace the FSRT. They connected it to the campus’ Dr. Seuss history. The room, full of graduate coordinator staff and GEPA staff, giggled at the ProSAM IAM connection to the beloved book, “I Am Sam-I-Am”. 

There has been a need for a replacement for the FSRT application for a few years now, even as far back as that 2019 meeting. If you, too, were at that meeting, you may be aware of the need to change the FSRT application that is currently used to process graduate student fee remissions, fee payments and stipends. You can read more about ProSAM IAM and why ProSAM IAM didn’t happen at GEPA’s Collab website

Now, as part of the Enterprise Systems Renewal (ESR) Student Information System (SIS) Project, we are creating a replacement for the FSRT application.

Tool Name Change

The Financial Support Request Tool (FSRT) will be replaced by the Financial Support and Payments Tool (FSPT) as part of the project. Note the name change from FSRT to FSPT (we are going to remove the “leg” from the ‘R’!). We aren’t changing the name just to change it–the change reflects a shift in the tool from being a request tool to a payments tool, mirroring a streamlined workflow that will reduce processing time.

The current FSRT application is cumbersome, lacking front-end validation and batch load functionality. It also often requires that users export data sets into Excel for reporting and analysis, which is a tedious and time consuming process. The new FSPT application will give graduate coordinators better tools and access to the information they need, ensuring their students are packaged with appropriate financial support. 

While the new application will bring with it changes to processes, all of the changes have been made with the ultimate goal of ensuring that UC San Diego's graduate students are funded consistently and accurately. For example, the FSPT application will be integrated with UCPath to pull in the active and future appointment data for graduate students. Additionally, it will display tuition and fee charges/outstanding balances on graduate students’ billing accounts in our current student information system, ISIS.

Project Timeline

The GEPA FSU team has been working on the FSPT project with Information Technology Services (IT Services) since September 2021. Tiffany Swiderski, Director of Graduate Student Financial Support shares, “The team is currently working through design specifications for tuition remission payments, building the key systems integrations and identifying necessary data points required from Employee, Student and Financial Activity Hubs to automatically apply remission for eligible graduate student employees. In parallel, IT Services developers are in the early stages of creating the web user interface graduate program staff will use to access the tool.” 

The process to replace the FSRT with the FSPT includes the following important phases: 

  • Requirements and Design
  • Application Development
  • User Acceptance Testing 
  • End User Training/Pilot

Go-live for the FSPT project is planned for Summer 2024. This change will primarily impact people who work in academic departments that are responsible for managing financial support for graduate students, including staff in both student affairs and financial roles. 

As a former graduate advisor who used the FSRT, I’ve seen the need for a new application that is adaptable to all of the changes like the Oracle Financial Cloud (OFC) chart strings and Graduate Student Reform policies. I can empathize with the time it takes everyone to enter and process the entries to ensure that our graduate students are paid correctly and on time. 

More information on the FSPT project will be provided as we move through the timeline. You can view the FSPT project webpage at any time.

Category: Student & Faculty, News