FSU Foundation

FS4U—Frequently Asked Questions

Login Assistance/System Access

The roles currently available to campus users include Opportunity Administrator, Budget Approver, Reviewer, and Stewardship View Only. Opportunity Administrators are responsible for overseeing the scholarship funds and working with Foundation staff regarding setting up new opportunities, maintaining existing opportunities and issuing awards. Budget Approvers are responsible for verifying cash is available for issuing awards and approving the scholarship expenditures. Reviewers are responsible for reviewing potential applicants and providing feedback on recipients. Anyone can be granted the Reviewer role; however, individuals authorized to be an Opportunity Administrator or Budget Manager can only be assigned one of these roles. The Stewardship View Only role allows Opportunity Administrators the ability to access the thank you letter in the format sent to the donor by Foundation donor relations.

No, as employees of FSU, access will be granted as determined necessary within your academic college or unit. Please be advised that we all have a responsibility to immediately destroy or delete any and all copies of exported data used in the evaluation and selection of recipients, once the review process is complete. This policy should be conveyed and adhered to by all employees within your academic college or unit who are involved in the awarding of scholarships within FS4U. Login Instructions for FSU Employees can be found on the FS4U project site under Resources.

Yes, third party reviewers to the system are required to complete the Student Data Confidentiality Agreement found on the FS4U project site under Resources. Opportunity Administrators should distribute these forms to third party reviewers who are allowed access to the system. It is your responsibility to collect and maintain these forms on all non‐FSU employees accessing the system.

Opportunity Administrators are approved by Responsible Parties or DDDHC. Budget Approvers have to already have either the DDDHC, Budget Manager, or Authorized Signer role in OMNI, as established by the Budget Office.

Applying for Scholarships

Check with your student to see which internet browser they are using. Internet Explorer (IE) is not a supported browser of the platform and as such is not recommended for use. Students who choose to use IE will get a banner message at the top of their screen indicating it is not a supported browser. The message will remain until they dismiss it; however, there are reported functionality issues with IE, including students not being able to submit their general application. As such, it is recommended you direct them to an alternate browser like Chrome or Firefox. If they are using the correct browser, please refer to the Students Missing Emails or Data document found on the FS4U project site under Resources which provides more details on why students may be experiencing issues applying for scholarships.

Most of the Foundation scholarships are set up as Auto-Match opportunities within the system. This means students are not recommended for them and do not apply to them in order to be considered. They are automatically qualified based on data pulled from their record in Student Central. These funds will still be visible to students who search for them, if an academic college or unit has indicated that the specific Opportunity should be visible. Students will only be recommended for scholarships that require they answer questions or provide additional information, which cannot be obtained from submitted applications or the student’s record, in order to determine their eligibility.

Students are recommended to scholarships based on qualifiers set up on each Opportunity. FS4U matches these qualifiers to data on a student’s record in Student Central to determine whether or not they qualify. In the case of an undergraduate student who will be a graduate student in the Fall, they will not show as a graduate student in the Student Central data file until some point in May. As a result, if your application process ends prior to this time, there are a few options for allowing a student to apply:

  1. Work with Foundation staff to ensure the qualifiers either allow for undergraduate and graduate students or remove this qualifier entirely. Your applicant pools will increase by allowing all students to apply so it will be important for you, as Opportunity Administrators, to ensure that students receiving the award meet the graduate requirement as stipulated in the criteria for the semester they are given the award.
  2. For academic colleges or units who require a conditional application, add a question to the application asking students something like, “Will you be a graduate student during the upcoming academic year”. This question can then be used as a qualifier on opportunities specific to graduate students so you can easily identify these students on your application grid.
  3. For academic colleges or units who do not require a conditional application, add a question to the Opportunity asking students something like, “Will you be a graduate student during the upcoming academic year”. This question can then be used as a qualifier on opportunities specific to graduate students so you can easily identify these students on your application grid. This could potentially change an Opportunity from Auto-Match to Apply-To so please keep this in mind.
  4. If you have flexibility in when you end your application periods, submit an email to the FS4U help desk to request to change the end dates on your opportunities to later in May.

As soon as the student has been issued an EMPLID and FSUID upon acceptance.

Monitoring Scholarship Status

The category of an award will provide a great deal of information on the status of the award. Below is a list of the categories currently being used:

  • Drafted—Applicant imported from student data file
  • Submitted—Applicant who has completed the general, conditional and/or apply-to application(s)
  • Ready for Approval—Applicant has been selected to receive a scholarship
  • Not Selected—Applicant has not been selected for the scholarship
  • Budget Approved—Budget Manager, DDDHC or other authorized signer verifies OMNI project has sufficient funds to issue the scholarship disbursement
  • Budget Pending—Foundation staff has determined that there is insufficient funds to issue the scholarship disbursement and will release the request once notified and balance is sufficient
  • Offered—Foundation staff has verified applicant meets donor criteria and approves the scholarship
  • Validation Pending—Foundation staff requires additional information on applicant from department to approve the scholarship
  • Foundation Declined—Foundation staff has determined applicant does not meet donor criteria and rejects the scholarship or does so at department’s request
  • Accepted—Applicant who has accepted the scholarship offer
  • Applicant Declined—Applicant who has declined the scholarship offer
  • In Process—Applicant is placed in this category when an Opportunity Administrator moved them to “Ready for Approval” which encumbers the funds
  • Pending—Applicant is placed in this category when an Opportunity Administrator moved them to “Ready for Approval” which encumbers the funds
  • Requested—Applicant has accepted the offer and has been presented the post-acceptance application
  • Drafted—Applicant has started but not yet submitted the post-acceptance application
  • Submitted—Applicant has completed and submitted the post-acceptance application. Donor Relations will review the application to make sure the thank you letter is appropriate and sufficient
  • Stewardship Pending—Applicant’s post-acceptance application requires additional information to be approved by Donor Relations
  • Awarded—Applicant’s post-acceptance application has been approved by Donor Relations
  • Pending Payroll Review—Applicant information has been sent to FSU Payroll to verify non-resident alien (NRA) status
  • Uploaded to FSU—Scholarship information was sent to University for disbursement

There are essentially three stages in the scholarship disbursement process: issuance and acceptance, post-acceptance and disbursement. The issuance and acceptance stage involves a department issuing and approving a scholarship, Foundation staff verifying the student meets the donor criteria of each fund, and a student accepting a scholarship offer. The post-acceptance stage involves a student submitting the post-acceptance requirements and Foundation donor relations staff approving the application. The disbursement stage involves payroll verifying non-resident alien tax status of students, Foundation staff batching scholarships for processing, processing of scholarships by the Office of Financial Aid or Student Business Services and disbursement.

The Foundation has a Pending FS4U Scholarship report available in the Campus Users – Scholarships folder of the reports website.  In addition, the categorization of a scholarship in the FS4U system provides a great deal of information on the status of an award. Before a student accepts a scholarship offer, the Applications grid of the opportunity should be used to determine the status of the award. See the FAQ above regarding each category and what it means. Once the category on this grid shows “Accepted”, the student has accepted the offer which moves the award into the post-acceptance stage of the process. If this is the case, you will want to refer to the Post-Acceptance grid of the opportunity to determine status. Once the category in the Post-Acceptance grid shows “Uploaded to FSU”, Foundation staff has sent the scholarship to the University for disbursement, and you would need to contact the Office of Financial Aid for further assistance.

Once a scholarship is categorized to “Uploaded to FSU” on the Post-Acceptance grid, opportunity administrators should contact the Office of Financial Aid to check on disbursement status. In order to check on status, you must have the student name, EMPL ID and batch transmittal number. A query has been created in OMNI Financials (FSU_CTRL_FDN_SCH_EXP_DTL) where you can obtain the batch transmittal number. Once you have this information, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Awarding Scholarships

The steps to finalize a scholarship before it can be sent to the University for disbursement are below:

  • Students complete General, Conditional and/or Apply-To Applications (Submitted)
  • Reviewers score applicants, if applicable
  • Opportunity Administrators select applicants (Ready for Approval)
  • Budget Approvers authorize expense (Budget Approved) OR reject expense (Not Selected)
  • Foundation staff approves and issues offers (Offered) OR rejects offers (System Admin Declined)
  • Applicants accept Offers (Accepted) OR reject offers (Applicant Declined)

From the general application grid, select the student(s) you want to receive the award. At the bottom of the grid, select “Act on Selected” and choose the option “Categorize”. From there, select the Opportunity that you want to force apply the applicant to and click “Apply”. This will populate the student into your application grid within the specific Opportunity so that you can make an offer. Keep in mind that if the Opportunity is tied to a conditional application, you will need to force apply from the conditional application grid, not the general application grid. Opportunity Administrators should make sure that applicants submit the required general and/or conditional application before issuing an award. Please refer to the job aid titled How to Force-Apply an Applicant on the FS4U project site under Job Aids for more guidance.

From the application grid on the Opportunity that you want to make an award on, select the student(s) you want to approve the awards for. At the bottom of the grid, select “Act on Selected” and choose the option “Categorize”. From there, select “Ready for Approval”. It is at this point that the funds are encumbered in the system, and the award must be approved by the Budget Approver. Once this has occurred, the Foundation’s Scholarship Coordinator will verify the applicant meets donor intent and move them to an “Offered” category to initiate the offer. Please refer to the job aid titled How to Select Applicants for an Award on the FS4U project site under Job Aids for more guidance.

As long as the scholarship is categorized to “Ready for Approval”, Opportunity Administrators can cancel the scholarship. Once a Budget Approver categorizes an award to a “Budget Pending” or “Budget Approved” category, a Budget Approver must cancel the scholarship. If the award is categorized to “Offered”, email the FS4U help desk so that Foundation staff can cancel the scholarship. Once the offer has been accepted by the student, there is no way to cancel the scholarship in the FS4U system. To cancel a scholarship, select the student(s) you do not want to consider. At the bottom of the grid, select “Act on Selected” and choose the option “Categorize”. From there, choose “Drafted” or “Submitted”. Students are not notified that they have not been selected so opportunity administrators will need to communicate this to them, if necessary. A scholarship can also be moved to a Category of “Not Selected”, but this will show up on a student’s dashboard that they have not been selected. For an apply-to opportunity, this may not be an issue because the student directly applied to the scholarship; however, on an auto-match opportunity, keep in mind that a student does not know they are being considered so seeing that they were not selected could prompt them to ask about it.

Once a student has populated in the application grid on the Opportunity, you cannot remove them. You can move their Category to “Not Selected” so that you can filter by students you want to consider for the scholarship. To do this, select the student(s) you do not want to consider. At the bottom of the grid, select “Act on Selected” and choose the option “Categorize”. From there, select “Not Selected”. This will show on a student’s dashboard that they have not been selected so make sure you are firm in your decision.

If this is known in advance of the award being approved by the Budget Approver, you need to make sure the “Fall” term is selected, not the “Fall/Spring” term which splits the award between both semesters. If this is known after the scholarship has been awarded, the process does not change; however, you will need to email the Financial Aid Office and copy the Foundation Scholarship Coordinator so that both parties can verify if this is feasible.

The answer is yes; however, we recommend hiding these scholarships from public view. Since apply-to opportunities are typically open and visible, other applicants can apply to them so there is nothing that will prevent them from showing up in your applicant grid. Once you have identified the students who received a nomination and are eligible, you would need to send them an email providing the link to complete the application. This link is https://fsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/opportunity ID/applications/new; however, you MUST make sure to update the Opportunity ID with the number that applies to your Opportunity so it routes to the correct application for them to apply. If interested, students can click on this link, and once they log in, will be directed to the scholarship questions to apply.

A new award period has been created for these types of scholarships so you will need to be sure to select it for those you want processed in this manner. For scholarships issued during an academic year which are intended to be awarded evenly over Fall and Spring semesters, you will need to select the award period titled Fall/Spring for that academic year. Please note that Financial Aid will split the amount evenly across both semesters. For example, to issue a $1,000 scholarship which will be paid out $500 during the Fall 2021 semester and $500 during the Spring 2022 semester, you would select the Fall 2021/Spring 2022 award period and enter an amount of $1,000.

Unfortunately not. This would need to be included in the offer letter. There are always enhancements being made to the system so should a future enhancement become available, it would be offered to Florida State University.

Communications can be updated on the Communications tab of any Opportunity. The In-System Offer is the official notification that will be sent to a student to make the offer. Should the In-System Offer on your Opportunity be the same for all scholarships, you can submit an email to the FS4U help desk to have them globally updated. Opportunity Administrators can edit and control the delivery of messages except for the In-System Offer which acts as the official offer letter and remains in the system should the student ever want to log back in to view the details. Changes to Post-Acceptance communications are handled by Foundation donor relations and should not be modified without their approval.

Communications can be updated on the Communications tab of any Opportunity. The Offer Email is the notification email that the student receives once an Offer is made. Making changes to this communication cannot be updated globally and automatically detaches it from the Email Offer system template. It is recommended that you use the In-System Offer for your official offer to the student.

Unfortunately not. We can send sample communications from the main template; however, we cannot send sample communications directly from the Opportunity.

ACADEMIC LOAD and ENROLLMENT student data fields refer to a student’s enrolled credit hours. The various enrollment data fields provide the exact credit hours a student is enrolled for, and the academic load field is the translation of those hours into what the University considers full-time, half-time, etc. Depending on the time of year and the term that CURRENT refers to in the data file, it is possible that enrollment figures will be “0” and the academic load description will be “No Unit Load” until the enrollment window opens and students begin registering for classes. For specific information regarding the student data transition dates, please see the FAQ that covers this. It is also possible that some students will wait until the drop/add window to register for classes. Opportunities that have an academic load or enrollment requirement will exclude these students until they register for the appropriate credit hours. Another way to solve this issue is to push back the open period on the Opportunity to accommodate these students.

At certain times of the year, the student data file will transition between each term consistent with internal schedules set by the Registrar’s Office. The dates vary year-to-year, but it can be estimated that from around October 1st through February 28th the import file will provide Spring enrollment data. On March 1st, the import file will transition to Summer enrollment data and stay that way until May 15th. The import file transitions again on May 15th with Fall enrollment data until September 30th before the cycle restarts and returns to Spring enrollment data on October 1st. Again, these dates do vary, so if you are planning your opportunity end dates be sure to include a generous buffer so that you are not altering end dates each year. You can also check to see what data is importing throughout the year by using the general applicant pool and locating the Current Term column.

The Foundation’s policy has always been that the responsibility of tracking and administering expenditures (such as a scholarship) for each earmark falls within the department. While there was a field available in the old system for providing this information, it was an open-ended field. The Foundation has never had a means to track or verify this information so for this reason, it has always been recommended that separate funds be established, whenever possible. FS4U does not offer a field for identifying earmarked scholarships, and separate opportunities should not be created for these. Opportunity administrators should contact the Foundation donor relations team at donorrelations@foundation.fsu.edu for additional assistance with administering earmarked scholarships.

The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) regularly reviews student award data and makes adjustments to ensure that any new awards do not cause hardship to the student by putting them in an over-award situation (awarded more than their eligibility). In order to ensure this, OFA recommends that all scholarships be awarded to students at least three weeks before the start of the Fall term. When over-awards occur, OFA is required to review each student’s financial aid eligibility and may have to adjust, reduce, or eliminate financial aid awarded to ensure that the total received is within federal/state guidelines. This may result in an overpayment that the student is responsible for repaying. To help prevent over-awards, we strongly recommend that departments notify the OFA of any Foundation scholarships not already listed on the student’s financial aid award summary. Please note that all scholarships awarded after the drop/add period for the term will cause delays in payment as a review of the student’s file will be made before any disbursements will occur.

The Financial Aid student data fields are based on the most recent Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on record for that given aid year and for that particular student; however, each student’s situation is unique, and this data may change throughout the year. If a student does not have any values in the Financial Aid student data fields, it is likely that a FAFSA has not yet been completed and it is recommended that the student complete this to prevent any delays in receiving a Foundation scholarship.

Review the qualifications setup on the Opportunity to make sure it is accurate and that the award is visible to applicants (if applicable). You would be amazed at how one qualifier can make a huge difference in the size of an applicant pool. If the Opportunity is not setup correctly, you will need to work with Foundation staff and possibly search through the list of applicants in the General Application and/or Conditional Application pools to force-apply that student to the Opportunity. If the Opportunity is set up correctly, understand that advertising scholarships is the key to finding applicants. Often times this is accomplished through listserv communications within the college or department; however, it may also be necessary to reach out to other resources such as faculty, the admission’s office or financial aid to help in identifying applicants. Lastly, it is possible that a student has not yet completed his or her enrollment registration, which can delay the transfer of student data into FS4U and prevent the student from matching into opportunities. If all efforts have been exhausted and this seems to be an ongoing concern semester after semester, consider contacting your development officer. They can speak with the donor regarding the challenges you are having in making the awards and work with them to modify the restrictions.

Awarding information will be sent to Financial Aid and Student Business Services beginning in July. Disbursements will not occur until Financial Aid’s early disbursement date, which is available on the Fall academic calendar.

Budget approvers should be verifying there is sufficient cash in the fund before approving an award. Once a scholarship has been issued in FS4U and the information submitted to Financial Aid for disbursement, there is no way to change the information. The opportunity administrator would need to contact the Office of Financial Aid and request they issue a refund to the Foundation and then process a new scholarship offer in FS4U on the new opportunity for the student. This requires that the scholarship go through the entire workflow again and that the student complete the post-acceptance application so that we have a thank you letter on the correct fund for donor stewardship purposes. In some instances, it may be best to transfer cash from another fund to cover the deficit, if this is an option.

Yes, any student that has a Drafted application on a Conditional Application can be force-applied to any opportunity sourced to that Conditional Application. This includes both Auto-Match and Apply-To opportunities, although we do not advise force-applying to Apply-To opportunities. Drafted applications do not get added to Auto-Match applicant pools as they are not complete. Once complete, that application will show as Submitted and be added to any Auto-Match applicant pool based on what qualification groups have been met.

All awards are audited prior to being offered to a student to ensure that the award adheres to the intent of the restrictions on the respective fund. By that point, an award has been reviewed by an Opportunity Administrator and Budget Approver at the college level as well as an FS4U System Administrator.

In the event that a student ceases to qualify for an award they were offered prior to an award period in which they initially qualified, an award can be rescinded. If the funds have already been disbursed to that student, they may need to be placed on accounts receivable with the University in which they would have to reimburse the University for that amount.

Depending on if the award has been uploaded to the Office of Financial Aid or Student Business Services, the amount or the award period can be easily adjusted if the award has yet to be disbursed. Generally, Financial Aid will make FS4U System Administrators aware of the need to adjust and will do so after making the adjustment on their side.

If the award is encumbered across 2 award periods and the 2nd period has not yet disbursed, the award can be adjusted and cancel the remittance of funds from the Foundation to the University or facilitate the need to return the unused portion of the funds to the Foundation.

The student must be enrolled in order to be eligible for financial aid. Please verify with the Office of Financial Aid whether the student can receive an award for a prior semester. They will assess the student's remaining financial aid eligibility and advise on whether the student can accept the intended amount of the award.

FS4U System Admins assess requested changes on a case-by-case basis. Some opportunities are able to be changed in the middle of the current academic cycle or even during the application window if they were configured as Auto-Match and Always Hidden.

Approving Scholarships

There is no automated workflow built into the system for customized roles. Budget Approvers should routinely log in to FS4U to check for scholarships requiring their approval. Opportunity Administrators can also email Budget Approvers to notify them there are scholarships awaiting their approval if there is a need to expedite the process.

Yes. Scholarships can be approved by Opportunity or all at once. To approve multiple awards for one Opportunity, select the student(s) you want to approve the awards for from the application grid on the Opportunity. At the bottom of the grid, select “Act on Selected” and choose the option “Categorize”. From there, select “Budget Approved”. To approve multiple awards for numerous opportunities, access the “Application Counts by Category” section at the bottom of the Dashboard. Make sure to filter the Category column by “Ready for Approval”. Please refer to the job aid titled How to Approve an Award on the FS4U project site under Job Aids for more guidance. It is recommended that you create a Dashboard Card from this filtered view so that you can quickly access the same grid by clicking on the Dashboard Card that is now at the top of the Dashboard. You will no longer need to scroll to the bottom or filter the grid. You should do this for both your Auto-match and Apply-to applications. Please refer to the job aid titled How to Create a Dashboard Card on the FS4U project site site under Job Aids for more guidance. Once the budget is approved, the Foundation’s Scholarship Coordinator will verify that the applicant meets donor intent and move them to an “Offered” category. This will initiate the In-System Offer to the student within the system so please make sure you have the In-System Offer set up on the Communications tab before completing this step.

Unfortunately not. The awarding and funding of scholarships through FS4U is no different than it was under the old system. Cash must be available within the Foundation fund in order to award a scholarship from it. Opportunity Administrators and Budget Approvers are responsible for ensuring there is sufficient cash prior to moving an award to “Ready for Approval” or “Budget Approved”.

Yes. If the Budget Approver determines there is insufficient cash to make the award, it is recommended that they speak with the Opportunity Administrator first. In this situation, they should go to the application grid on the Opportunity, select “Act on Selected” and choose the option “Categorize”. From there, select “Budget Pending” which will halt the offer until they can work through any budget issues with the Opportunity Administrator. Once the budget issues have been resolved, the Budget Approver can select the student(s) you want to approve the awards for from the application grid on the Opportunity. At the bottom of the grid, select “Act on Selected” and choose the option “Categorize”. From there, select “Budget Approved”. If it is determined the amount submitted by the Opportunity Administrator is incorrect and needs to be changed, the Opportunity Administrator or Budget Approver can change the amount and term of the offer(s). For the Opportunity Administrator to do this at this point, the Budget Approver would need to identify the student(s) and push back the awards from the application grid on the Opportunity. To do this, at the bottom of the grid, select “Act on Selected” and choose the option “Categorize”. From there, select “Ready for Approval”. The Opportunity Administrator can go back in and edit the amount of the offer(s) for the Budget Approver to then approve. Budget Approvers should be aware that if they are updating the amount and approving multiple awards at once, the system will update all of them with the same information entered.

The majority of Foundation scholarships require proof of enrollment but there are exceptions, such as the Presidential Scholarships. Typically, enrollment goes hand-in-hand with financial aid eligibility so that scholarships are considered qualified tuition instead of non-qualified, which potentially creates a tax liability for a student. It is also possible to award scholarships for prior award periods if a student has financial aid eligibility. Please verify with the Office of Financial Aid whether the student can receive an award for a prior semester.

Reviewing Scholarships

If the college has a conditional application, they may choose to review at the applicant level so they are not reevaluating the same individual multiple times for different opportunities; however, they do not have to review at that level. If reviews are conducted at the applicant level, it is important to make sure the applicants meet the required criteria of each Opportunity for which they receive an award.

Please refer to the job aid titled How to Create a Reviewer Group on the FS4U project site under Job Aids for more guidance on creating reviewer groups. Modifying a reviewer group could involve adding or removing reviewers from the reviewer group or linking opportunities to a reviewer group. Please refer to the tutorials titled How to Add or Remove Reviewers to a Reviewer Group or How to Link Opportunities to a Reviewer Group on the FS4U project site under Job Aids for further assistance.

There are numerous ways to configure reviewer groups to evaluate applicants such as defining the applicant pool to be evaluated, creating reviewer questions or establishing rubrics. Please refer to the job aid titled How to Configure a Reviewer Group on the FS4U project site under Job Aids for more guidance.

Post-Acceptance/Donor Stewardship

The following information will be requested of each student who receives a scholarship with Foundation funds:

  • Upload a photo (optional)
  • If willing, provide contact information
  • Provide hometown and state
  • Answer “Why did you choose to attend FSU?”
  • Write a note of thanks/gratitude to the donor for the scholarship

Without the generous support of alumni and friends, scholarship opportunities at Florida State University would not be possible. To be good stewards of our donors’ investments, the University President requires all students to provide a thank you letter to the donor(s) who made their scholarship/award possible. Students complete their thank you letter through the online scholarship management system, FS4U, by submitting a post-acceptance application.

Currently, there is not a deadline. It is preferred that the scholarship recipient submit their post-acceptance application as soon as possible. If the post-acceptance application is not submitted three weeks after the scholarship is offered, Foundation donor relations staff will send a reminder email to the scholarship recipient. A deadline may be implemented at a later date.

The Foundation donor relations staff reviews and approves the post-acceptance applications.

Awards are not disbursed until the post-acceptance application is submitted and approved by Foundation donor relations staff. Students can view outstanding action items, such as completing the post-acceptance application, on their FS4U dashboard and it is their responsibility to complete the steps required to receive a scholarship.

No. The post-acceptance application is tied to each specific scholarship opportunity because the questions can be tailored specific to that opportunity (some could require more information than others). Students can go to My Applications on their dashboard to view the status of all of their scholarships and review previous answers to save time in answering the same questions for multiple awards.

If an opportunity administrator has access to CRM, the Foundation’s donor database, thank you letters can be viewed on the Documentation and Interactions tab (on the Interactions subtab) within the scholarship recipient record or donor’s record. If the administrator does not have access to CRM, please request access to the Stewardship View Only Role in FS4U. Access can be requested through Foundation donor relations by emailing donorrelations@foundation.fsu.edu. Once access has been granted, refer to the How to View Thank You Letters on the FS4U project site under Job Aids for more guidance.

Reporting

To create and download saved views, Opportunity Administrators must first go to the Complete View of the Opportunities page, create a report the way you want it to look, and then save it as a Dashboard Card. From your Dashboard, double-click the card which will take you to the saved report to download. Please refer to the job aid titled How to Create a Dashboard Card on the FS4U project site under Job Aids for more guidance.

Blackbaud Award Management does not currently offer RSS feeds. There are always enhancements being made to the system so should a future enhancement become available, it would be offered to Florida State University.

The FS4U system currently accepts a multitude of file types up to 10 MB in size. (The average upload speed for the U.S. is 384 Kb/s, which would result in a 10MB file taking 3.5 minutes to upload.) If a file is over 10 MB in size, it will be rejected. Please note that Google Docs are NOT acceptable file types.

With the transition to FS4U, scholarship web reports will not provide information on Foundation scholarships issued beginning with the fall 2019 semester. Foundation staff have worked with the University to ensure the batch number is included in the journal transactions in OMNI, along with the student number and other relevant scholarship details. Scholarship web reports will still be available as a reference for all Foundation scholarships issued prior to the fall 2019 semester. Opportunity administrators can also monitor the category of the award which will provide some information on its status.

Job Aids

Blackbaud offers numerous videos on various aspects of the scholarship award process via the Blackbaud YouTube channel. In addition, there are help desk articles available via their Knowledgebase. Keep in mind that the Foundation has made a few customizations to the software to best suit our process so please refer to the FS4U project site under Resources or Job Aids to view job aids or other materials created specific to our system. There are also videos of the Summer 2020 and Spring 2021 training sessions available for viewing.

The Foundation is working on providing job aids for some of the most frequently performed processes; however, keep in mind that Florida State University has over 30 academic units administering in excess of 1,700 funds, all of which are handled differently. For example, some are openly advertised while others are not and some require review groups while others do not. For this reason, it makes it extremely difficult to provide one set of tutorials that work for everyone. Please refer to the FS4U project site under Job Aids to view job aids specific to FS4U.

Cycle Management

Cycle management is a process where we officially close the current scholarship cycle and start a new one. This process includes archiving the general application and any conditional applications which will allow for fresh applications to be received for the next scholarship cycle.

Cycle management will be scheduled once per year in FS4U during October/November.

Below is the tentative timeline for cycle management for 2021:

Action Items

Deadlines

Cycle management questionnaires are sent to Opportunity Administrators

9/17

Cycle management questionnaires are due/Awards should be finalized

10/4

Follow up and clarify opportunity data/Ensure awards are finalized

10/4–10/7

Prepare aggregate system information and prepare to close down FS4U

10/8

Close down FS4U for current cycle

10/11

Submit case to Blackbaud support team to initiate cycle management process

10/11

Complete cycle management survey for system

10/12

Blackbaud support team completes cycle management process

10/14–10/22

Perform updates to applications and/or opportunities

10/25–11/5

Reopen FS4U for new cycle

11/8

Review your conditional application, if applicable, and existing opportunities to determine if any changes need to be made. An FS4U team member will be assigned to you who will work with you to make sure the system is set up appropriately for your department for the next award cycle. Each opportunity administrator will be expected to complete a questionnaire and workbook for those opportunities they are responsible for administering. This allows you to advise Foundation staff of which opportunities to archive or clone as well as any other changes that may need to be made.

To request changes to an opportunity, please complete the Request to Add or Update an Opportunity form found on the FS4U project site under Resources and submit it to the FS4U help desk. Changes can be made at any time during the year for auto-match opportunities; however, changing an apply-to opportunity where you intend to create a new question for applicants to answer, must be done before the opportunity is open for accepting applications.

Once students have applied and a question is added, there is no way previous students who applied will know that their application is now incomplete since they have not answered the new question. Students may notice it on their dashboard when logging in, but there is nothing they will receive from the system to inform them of this. Also, if the order of the questions are changed, it is possible that some of the answers provided by previous applicants could be moved so that an answer was provided for a question that they did not answer. As such, this is strongly discouraged. Please work with an FS4U team member should you identify an issue with one of your opportunities.

Log in to FS4U and clear up any outstanding awards that you are responsible for in a “Ready for Approval” or “Budget Pending” category.

The process of archival locks down the Opportunities and applications into a ‘read-only’ state and preserves them in your archives. Opportunity Administrators will still be able to access your archived Opportunities; however, you will not be able to make any modifications to them or issue awards from them after they are archived. As such, if you are not done reviewing, awarding and/or collecting post-acceptance on a specific opportunity, it should not be archived.

Cloning opportunities is the process in which a copy of your existing Opportunity is made in order to accept new applications. Applicants from the prior Opportunity are cleared out; however, all descriptions, qualifications criteria, apply-to and post-acceptance questions remain intact.

Generally, reference providers are not prevented from submitting references even after an opportunity end date has passed. However, they are prevented in the event that the opportunity is archived or the general and conditional applications are archived during cycle management. These requests will display as expired to the reference provider. If one of your reference providers contacts you and is experiencing this issue with an opportunity, it is recommended that you change the start and end dates to provide a buffer before or after cycle management. Alternatively, you can request that students upload letters on their own through Apply-To questions in lieu of using the automated feature in the system for this or ask that the reference provider email the reference letters directly to you as a workaround, if they prefer the students not see their letters.

Other Questions

The University made one campus-wide announcement shortly after go-live to inform faculty and staff about the new system. Since that time, Foundation staff had a link created under the Student Financials section of the FSU student portal titled “FS4U Foundation Scholarships” to make it easier for students to access the system. In addition, Foundation staff are utilizing features available on the FSU student portal (post-it notes, banners, etc.) to notify students of important dates or other announcements such as the start of a new scholarship cycle which would prompt them to complete a new general application. The Foundation Office of Advancement Relations intends to roll out a communications plan to more widely publicize FS4U, including a tool kit that would be helpful for our academic units. Aside from that, most communication occurs at the college or department level since scholarships open and close at various times throughout the year.

The general application is used campus-wide and intended to be based on general information obtained across all academic units. For this reason, changes which are approved can only be made at the start of a new scholarship cycle. If you do not have a conditional application and need to collect additional data, email the FS4U help desk so a Foundation staff member can work with you to see how this can be accomplished.

Yes, as long as the conditional application has not opened for accepting applications. Once it has opened and collected applications, changes would need to wait until cycle management because making changes would impact the existing applications submitted.

Quarterly workgroup meetings have been created for this purpose. The group started with UBA contacts and has been expanded to include many departments who are not part of the UBA group. If you would like to be a part of this workgroup, email the FS4U help desk. Foundation staff will also be holding bi-annual scholarship meetings and will send out routine listserv announcements to keep Opportunity Administrators and Budget Approvers informed.

Many questions can be answered from the FS4U project site. For additional guidance, please contact the FS4U help desk, and a Foundation staff member will assist you.

Foundation Accounting periodically review duplicate accounts and updates the original so that the user can utilize the single sign-on feature. This will occasionally prevent a reference provider from submitting a letter since the account that the student created when entering the reference has been deleted. Steps have been added to our procedures to replace the deleted account with the original, but in the event this issue is discovered, please submit a request to FS4U@foundation.fsu.edu so that one of our team members can update the reference account. If this opportunity has already been archived, we are unable to fix the issue and must reactivate the deleted account temporarily.

Yes, as long as both programs have their own Conditional Application and both of the responsible Units have set up the qualification group to allow for any student with Current All College equal to that Unit. This includes Minors as well if the Unit includes Current All Colleges as opposed to the Current Primary College field, which is specific to Majors.

Depending on the type of opportunity, the qualification group may be able to be edited in the middle of the academic cycle to appropriately match the FE description. Opportunity Administrators have some discretion in adding additional qualifications such that a fund's purpose is to award based on academic merit and they may wish to define that as a certain GPA minimum.

If the student is a recent admission, depending on what term they are enrolling for the first time and what term is currently active on the student data imports, FS4U may not recognize their College, Department, and other enrollment data until the data file transitions to that term.

The student will have access to the more generic Alumni Seminole Club and, if they are an incoming freshman, the Alumni Incoming Freshman Conditional Application. Otherwise, they will gain access to the Conditional Application upon declaring their major.