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MADISON, WI – Being able to rapidly respond to new business requirements has been a critical advantage for GT eForms customers over the past year. When the new HEERF II (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund) bill passed earlier this year to provide emergency funds for college students, the University of Wisconsin-Madison jumped on the opportunity to flex their new GT eForms software to quickly deploy a solution that could enable students to apply for the new funding.

The final requirements of the HEERF II Act were issued in February 2021. Within one week, Chris Lopac, a Senior Business Analyst at the University, with some support from Eric Gentz, UW-Madison Senior Developer, had designed, created, tested, and deployed a dynamic PeopleSoft-based Fluid form that featured:

  • Easy accessibility via the University’s student center portal
  • Auto-population of student data
  • A series of questions that displayed conditionally based on the student’s eligibility and responses
  • Automated scoring based on responses to questions
  • Calculation of the amount of aid that could be granted

Since almost all of the form is configuration-based, updating and editing the form is primarily a functional effort which can be a critical advantage when it comes to forms designed to meet government requirements that can change over time.

The form has cut the processing time for HEERF II requests in half as compared with manual forms the University has used in the past, significantly reducing the time a student needs to wait for critical funds. Over 3,000 forms were submitted the first month that the form was available.

With the form up-and-running, the UW team was already making plans to enhance the form as “Phase 2” to add the workflow and add the component interface to enable the form to automatically update PeopleSoft and disburse funds.

Based on the response and the results, the University’s Financial Aid office has been working on building out a whole suite of new eForms including a Professional Judgment form that combines five current forms into one intelligent, easy-to-use eForm. In Chris’ words, GT eForms “is exactly as advertised!”

Watch an excerpt of Chris’ overview and demonstration of the HEERF II Emergency Fund eForm for the Alliance 2021 Virtual Conference here:

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