Financial Aid Decisions

All Financial Aid letters can be uploaded as a single PDF file using a standard source format. The source format can separate the letters for each applicant, and can assign a provisional Financial Aid decision with the uploaded letter. Financial Aid decisions can be released just as other decisions are released with the decision release module. 

Add Financial Aid Decision

In the Database module, add a new financial aid decision code:

  1. Select Database on the top navigation bar and select Decision Codes.
  2. Select Insert.
  3. Enter the following configurations:
    • Status: Set to Active.
    • Name: Name this decision code "Financial Aid."
    • Code: Important: The code must be FA.
    • Export Key 1-3: Leave blank at this time.
    • Decision Label (optional): Leave blank at this time.
    • Priority (optional): Will Financial Aid decisions be released at exactly the same time as other decisions (for example, an Admit decision and a Financial Aid decision)? If so, set the order for the decisions to appear. Priority 1 appears first, priority 2 is next, and so on. Typically, the Financial Aid decision should not be the first decision an applicant views.
    • Prerequisite #1 - #3: List any prerequisite decisions for Financial Aid decisions here. Generally, an Admit decision is listed as a prerequisite, since most partners do not wish to send out Financial Aid decisions to applicants who have not yet been admitted. 
    • Opt Out: Leave blank at this time.
    • Type: Important: Set to Correspondence/Letter.
    • Admitted Student SSO: Leave at the default setting.
    • Printable: Leave at the default setting.
    • Hide Checklist: Leave at the default setting.
    • Hide Forms: Leave at the default setting.

Click the Slate Scholar Lightbulb    in the top left corner for a complete listing of all setting descriptions.


Financial Aid decisions should be configured with a Type of Correspondence/Letter because Financial aid letters are not actual decisions. They are included as such just to provide the ability to display this information on the applicant’s status page.

By setting this decision type, it will prevent the decision from acting as a normal decision. For example, this decision will never be considered as the application’s first or most recent decision.

Add Financial Aid Letter Source Format

From the Source Format Library, add the Financial Aid Letter PDF Batch source format:

  1. Select Database on the top navigation bar and select Source Format Library.
  2. Locate the section on Source Formats.
  3. Expand the section, locate Financial Aid Letter PDF Batch and select the Add link.
Generating Financial Aid Letters

Financial Aid departments should include the student’s 9-digit Slate ID in the header when generating PDF versions of Financial Aid letters:

Make it Invisible!

Include the Slate ID number within the header of Financial Aid letters. Slate uses this number to parse letters and assign them to the Rank 1 application of the person when the PDFs are uploaded.

If the applicant should not see their Slate ID number, it may be included as white text. Slate is still able to use this "invisible" Slate ID to match onto the most recent application for that record. 

  Can’t Use the Slate ID?

The Financial Aid Letter PDF Batch source format must be customized to include a unique ID. Submit a Service Desk request to assigned to Data Import and indicate the field ID that should be used instead. Additionally, include the minimum and maximum length of the field and if it is alphanumeric or only numbers in the request.

Note about Application Slate ID: By request, the source format can also be customized to match on Application Slate ID, which enables imported PDFs to match specifically on particular application records. This is especially useful if your process involves students with multiple applications in a single cycle.

Upload Financial Aid Letters

Once the Financial Aid department has generated a PDF with all of the Financial Aid letters (including the merged Slate ID for each applicant), upload the file to Slate using the Upload Dataset module. 


Be sure to select the Financial Aid Letter PDF Batch format for the upload.

After selecting Upload, Slate matches Financial Aid letters with application records in Slate based on the Slate ID number included in the header. A new provisional Financial Aid decision is added to the decision table for these records:

In this example, the Financial Aid decision was added by the source format Financial Aid Letter PDF Batch.

Select the decision to view the PDF letter associated with this decision (Note: The Financial Aid letter appears in the preview window).

Release Financial Aid Decisions

Release Financial Aid decisions and letters using the Release Decisions module described in Release Decisions.

Awaiting Confirmation --> Awaiting Release!

Since Financial Aid decisions already have assigned letters from the source format (uploaded PDFs were assigned as letters), Financial Aid decision groups skip the Awaiting Assignment step in the Release Decisions module. Once these decisions are confirmed, the last step is to schedule their release. 
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