Initiatives in this area focus on improving the technology environment for students.

In Progress

Student Financial Aid Upgrade (project number PJ0105)

The legacy financial aid system is the mainframe-based vended product Student Aid Management (SAM) from Sigma Systems (Sigma), which has been in service at MSU since 1992. SAM is used to calculate financial needs and produce the financial aid packages offered to students. Classic SAM is used by only a handful of institutions, and only one other institution apart from MSU uses the IDMS version. Sigma has migrated their remaining client base to their current offering, ProSAM. The student financial needs analysis process requires annual Department of Education (DOE) approval, meaning MSU has relied on SAM in the past and requires a vended solution in the future for at least this portion of financial aid processing to be compliant with Title IV regulations.

On December 16, 2015, the SIS Executive Committee approved a plan to upgrade from Sigma’s Classic SAM to ProSAM client-server version. This approval includes the replacement of the in-house Disbursement Module of SIS, as well as the replacement of in-house scholarship management applications with vended product and necessary integrations to the new financial aid package. MSU will implement Sigma’s ProSAM on client server technology to replace the Sigma Classic SAM operation on a mainframe and integrated with the SIS Landscape.  Additionally, MSU will implement for a new scholarship administration solution. The Go Live date for ProSAM is 10/1/2017 in order to implement new federal financial aid regulations for the 2018-19 aid year in the new system. This allows MSU to run the new system in production in advance of the vendor’s announced deprecation of Classic SAM by January 31, 2018.

Project Dates: January 2016 to January 2018

Status as of November 15, 2017

Project Impact: Sigma Software’s ProSAM will be implemented in the MSU environment by October 1, 2017 so that the 2018-2019 Aid Year can be administered within a new system.

Project Milestones:

  • December 2015: Project approved (Completed)
  • February 2016: Project kick-off (Completed)
  • May 2016: Initial development environment established (Completed)
  • August 2016: First ProSAM module (ISIR) implemented in development environment (Completed)
  • September 2016: Second ProSAM module (Verification Tracking / Memoranda) implemented in development environment (Completed)
  • November 2016: Third ProSAM module (Budgeting) implemented in development environment (Completed)
  • March 2017: Fourth ProSAM module (Automated Packaging) implemented in development environment
  • June 2017: Fifth ProSAM module (Transfer Monitoring) implemented in development environment
  • July 2017: Sixth ProSAM module (COD processing) implemented in development environment
  • August 2017: Seventh ProSAM module (Disbursement and Funds Reconciliation) implemented in development environment
  • September 2017: Eighth ProSAM module (Federal R2T4) implemented in development environment
  • October 2017: Go Live with ProSAM

Scholarship & Endowment Administration Solution (project number PJ1095)

The Scholarship & Endowment project is a strategic initiative with a phased approach to replace existing MSU scholarship and endowment systems and spreadsheets with a single, web-hosted application (AcademicWorks). Today MSU receives various types of gifts (e.g., expendable/nonexpendable, restricted/unrestricted, scholarship/non-scholarship) from many donor sources (faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, foundations, businesses). MSU’s administrative units that manage the expenditure of these gifts (or the income from endowed gifts) operate independently in the sense that each one uses a different tool or spreadsheet to track and disburse the funds received. This provides no visibility at the university level for all gifts without manual compilation of the disparate data systems. Since many units use spreadsheets to track their information, it is also not guaranteed that the information is secure or part of a regular backup procedure.

There is a need to provide a secure, central location for all gift and other sources of student financial aid information for each unit, which integrates into Admissions and Financial Aid offices. This will provide units with better visibility into their information, along with reporting capabilities which may not exist today. One central repository will also provide the university with one location for all gifts to better service students, faculty, and MSU’s unit administrators when looking for scholarship, endowment, or other financial aid opportunities.

Project Dates: July 2016 to December 2017

Status as of November 15, 2017

Project Impact: This project aims to create one central place for students to search and apply to all MSU scholarships that they may be eligible for, starting with a phased approach of pilot partner units. Currently, students are forced to identify and contact all schools and/or units they may have interest in to inquire about scholarships they can apply for. As student debt grows rapidly, not having a streamlined process for scholarship location and administration puts more burden on students. AcademicWorks, once fully implemented across campus, aims to correct this.

The project also aims to create one place for faculty to search for available endowments. Additionally, the AcademicWorks tool will help units (starting with 10 pilot units) manage their scholarship and endowment data by integrating with the MSU Student Information System (SIS) and Kuali Financial Systems (KFS).

Project Milestones:

  • July 2016: Project approved (Completed)
  • August 2016: Project kick-off (Completed)
  • October 2016: Vendor accessibility and assessments finalized (Completed)
  • March 2017: Pilot units selected (Completed)
  • May 2017: Scholarship and Endowment inventory for 10 pilot units (Completed)
  • June 2017: Initial SIS data loaded to AcademicWorks (Completed)
  • July 2017: Unit scholarship discovery and business requirements approved
  • August 2017: MSU general application finalized in AcademicWorks
  • September 2017: Unit conditional applications and unit opportunity applications finalized in AcademicWorks
  • October 2017: AcademicWorks user-acceptance testing
  • November 2017:  Go Live with AcademicWorks for the 10 pilot units


  • Expand and Upgrade Wireless Network
  • Just In Time Medicine Enhancement
  • Residence Hall Wi-Fi Planning