Self-Service Financial Aid - General Notes

Deployment of Self-Service Financial Aid

Self-Service Financial Aid was initially configured at Cedarville in 2019 and used during the 2019-20 recruiting season.  MyFinancialAid remained the award action portal for students through academic year 2018-19, with that functionality migrating to Self-Service Financial Aid for the 2019-20 academic year.  There remains a version of the legacy MyFinancialAid page available through the Helpful Links side bar in SS FA, and also in Slate and the myCU portal, primarily for formatting that is used in the display of Cost of Attendance (COA) information. To provide a user access to this form, in addition to other settings needed for Self-Service, include the user in one of these LDAP groups: FA, FA_Info_Lookup, or CASHIERS. Users with administrative access (group Auth_Admin) can also access this page.  Updates are made periodically to control which academic years are visible to users via Self-Service and Slate.  To adjust the URL for this or other of the Helpful Links, or to add new links, use Colleague form FSSL, in test and/or live.

Access To Self-Service Financial Aid

When a new staff member arrives and requires access to student financial aid information in Colleague Self-Service (e.g. someone new to Admissions, Financial Aid, or possibly other departments), they do not necessarily have to be set up for Colleague access per se, although an entry for the person must be made in the AROR screen in Colleague (using Colleague ID to access their record).  In addition to the "Employee" role, which normally they should already have, the "Financial Aid Counselor" role must be assigned to them.  Apparently it is also necessary for the person to be included in the LDAP group Auth_CUCMS in order for access to be available.  When these conditions are not in place, the user will typically receive an error message in Self-Service, such as, "You are not authorized to view the requested page."

Note that even staff who are student workers may already have Colleague access set up for them, based on their duties, and in those cases, access to Self-Service via the FSCV form should also be set up.  (Those people included in the INFO.USERS file currently have a Colleague account.)  Following here are directions on setting up access to FSCV for staff (with additional detail available in another KB article, "Colleague Permission System").  First, open Colleague form SOD (which displays content in file UT.OPERS), entering the person's user name (not the ID number), to find out if the employee already has a Security Class which could (or does) include access to FSCV.  For non-student workers, adding a Security Class that includes the FSCV form is all that has to be done.  For student workers, you may find they already have a Security Class which starts with "ST" and then includes some or all of their user name, or their ID number.  If a student worker does not already have such a record, one will have to be set up.  It appears that rather than building these student records from scratch, a copy in file ST.SECLASS is typically made and customized via the Redwood command prompt, using a record from another student having similar job responsibilities as the source.  Student records will often have to be updated to include form FSCV in the "Do Only These" list.  This list is maintained for each Security Class by going to Colleague form SCD, entering the name of the Security Class as noted above.  The Application you will want to specify in SCD is the student application, i.e. code "ST".

When needing to add a Security Class to an employee's record, note that it may not be possible to do this via the SOD form.  Apparently, classes not in the UT.SECLASS file cannot be directly added via this form.  When the class has been defined in another related file, such as ST.SECLASS, it may be necessary to edit the corresponding UT.OPERS record at the Redwood command prompt, in order to put the additional Security Class as an entry in field 4 (SYS.USER.CLASSES).  When updating the ST.SECLASS records for full-time staff, the form ID (i.e. FSCV) can be placed in the Limited to Process List (field 9).

As noted above, the individual must also have the "Financial Aid Counselor" role assigned to them in AROR, and be included in the LDAP group Auth_CUCMS, in order to use FSCV.

It is not necessary for staff members to access Self Service Financial Aid by using the Colleague form FSCV (or be limited to related forms, like AWSU).  However, as noted above, they can use the forms if they have access to Colleague, and have the appropriate permissions for the forms.  As an alternative, there is a Self Service home page link in the myCU portal that can be used, and the URL can also be entered in the browser address bar to access this system.  One important distinction is that to view student information, the Financial Aid Counseling button is used to begin, and then the staff person is prompted to enter a student ID.  If the Financial Aid button is also present, it should only be used to view that person's own Cedarville financial aid information (or information for their family member).

Customizing Text in Self-Service

For the heading bands in Self-Service in the Financial Aid area, there are "boxes" which can be customized by the institution.  These can be modified by Financial Aid Office staff via the FSOP form (Alert Notification Text field) in Colleague, which allows entry of a record name from the MISC.TEXT file and editing of the record.  The same edits can be performed by authorized staff via the MTXT form in Colleague.  HTML tags can be used in these records, such as FAINFO.  However, there seems to be limitations as to the level of detail in which the HTML can be used, e.g. some attempts to nest unordered lists (ULs) have not worked as expected.  Changes to the MISC.TEXT records do not appear in Self-Service until the application pools have either automatically (nightly) or manually been recycled.

Customizing Other Self-Service Text

There are numerous areas in Self-Service (Financial Aid module and others) where text can be customized as the institution would like to have it.  One example is the language related to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), which can be accessed in Colleague form FSDP (first via form FSOP, and then FOSP).  There is also a spreadsheet available via the Ellucian hub which shows many additional areas where customization can be done.  Search in the Ellucian Support Center for "resourcefiles.xlsx", or navigate to the following page:

For Financial Aid Self Service, some of the most significant resource files for customizations are FinancialAidShared.resx, SatisfactoryAcademicProgress.resx, MyAwards.resx, and Checklist.resx.  Some of the entries in these files have a similar or same name; for example, two of these files have an entry called "UnsatisfactoryAcademicProgressMessage" which we have customized, along with other entries.  In addition, there are Explanation entries in Colleague form FSSS for each type of SAP status, which can be customized for use in Self Service.

To make textual changes, follow these steps:

1) Log in to the Self-Service portal at

2) Click on your user name near the upper right corner of the window, then click on the "Site Administration" option.

3) Under the "Settings and Tools" section on the left side, click the "Resource File Editor" link.

4) Select a Resource File from the dropdown list which appears.

5) Modify text entries as necessary.

6) Click the Save button when edits are complete.

7) If the changes made do not take effect right away, consider refreshing the Application Pools.  (Only do this for "live" Self-Service with approval from IT director(s).)

Steps to Refresh the Application Pools

1) Log in to Thycotic (

2) Search for the windows\coll-api server ( and open the details for that server.

3) Launch a Remote Desktop Connection to this server, using the option in the upper right corner of the server window.

4) Open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager on this Windows 2012 server.

5) Click on the Application Pools option in the Connections navigation window in IIS.

6) Select (by clicking on) the Application Pool which is to be refreshed, for example "test_api", when working with the Self-Service test instance.

7) Under Application Pool Tasks in the Actions window in IIS, click the "Recycle..." option.  (Completes quickly, but no feedback is given.)

8) This remote desktop session can be closed at this point.

9) Back in Thycotic, search for the windows\coll-selfserv server ( and open the details for that server.

10) Launch a Remote Desktop Connection to this server, using the option in the upper right corner of the server window.

11) On the server, open program Manage.msc on this Windows 2016 server.  (Link may be on the server Desktop.)

12) Select (by clicking on) the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, under Console Root in the navigation tree.

13) In the Connections window in IIS Manager, select the Application Pools entry.

14) In the Application Pools window, select test_selfservice, when working with the Self-Service test instance.

15) In the Application Pool Tasks section of the Actions window, click on the "Recycle..." option.  (Completes quickly, but no feedback is given.)

16) This remote desktop session can be closed at this point.

17) Log out of Thycotic when completed.

For additional related information, see the KB article, "How to restart the Self-Service sites and recycle the application pools".

Options to Set Default Messaging for Correspondence

Staff in the Financial Aid Office were attempting to set default text for instances where there was no status to be reported regarding incoming correspondence.  There are two options where this setting can be made, but as it turns out, only one of these will provide the desired text on the missing documents page in FA SS.  One option is on form MDWP, which is reached via form CCWP to enter web parameter information for various types of correspondence.  The other is on form FOYP, reached via form FSOP for setting up FA SS parameters - this is the option that controls display of default text on the missing documents page.

Ellucian hub reference: Display Text for Blank Status not displayed in Fin Aid Self-Service

Activating Award Letters In Self Service For Students

There has been a need to have award letters available for students to download on their own in Self Service, in order to include the information in applications for scholarships. This capability can be provided by running the Colleague form ALTR for students who request (or may request) this option. ALTR can be run with individual student IDs or with a saved list of student IDs.

The ALTR process creates an entry that can be viewed in the IHS screen for a student, which will show the communication code and status that was used when ALTR was run, and can also serve as verification that the award letter record was generated in the AWARD.LETTER.HISTORY file (which is what Self Service uses to pull in the information).  For each new academic year, a communication code should be created, similar to existing codes FA22OAL and FA23OAL for 2022 and 2023, respectively.  To omit or reprocess a student after ALTR is run, the record in AWARD.LETTER.HISTORY can be deleted, and the communication entry that appears in the IHS screen has to be deleted.

Further information on this is available here.


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Article ID: 70240
Wed 1/16/19 9:39 AM
Wed 5/8/24 10:39 AM