For those Plattsburgh State students that receive financial aid, a word of advice: Get your refund now.

From March 18 to April 15, the New York state financial management system is going to be locked due to a software upgrade. This shutdown will put a hold on any financial aid payments.

NYS will be upgrading from Peoplesoft 9 to Peoplesoft 9.2, a step-up in the system that will enhance the Statewide Financial System. Every state agency’s financial management program will be affected by this in that they will not be able to take out funds needed to pay bills or fulfill purchase orders, travel orders or procurement card.

“We won’t be able to process anything,” said Diane Wright of the PSUC Maintenance and Operations Center. “But students will still receive their paychecks if their are employed by the school.”

The SFS cuts checks to everyone employed by the state, including Plattsburgh State student employees. However, even though they will be shut down, those students will still be receiving their paychecks during this time. Wright said the office will be making sure that everything is taken care of before the system lock begins. She will prepare to have orders paid for before the shutdown. All vendors who are delivering orders during this duration will be notified their payments will arrive post-shutdown. She also said she wants to make sure PSUC prepays its utilities until the end of April for the sake of keeping the school up and running.

Wright said she processes all of the payments that go into PSUC and puts them into a system that aggregates all of the information, which handles all agencies in New York state, such as the SUNY system.

The software upgrade will not be noticeable to students as most of the changes will be internal or “behind the scenes.”

“After it’s all over, the processing will be quicker and provide more information that it does now,” Wright said.

For students, this means they need to get their financial aid refund days or even weeks in advanced to that time period. Otherwise, they will not get it until the end of April.

“There is pretty much nothing we can do during that time,” said Todd Moravec, director of Student Financial Services at PSUC. “We can’t disperse aid and give it to the students, so they have to wait until everything is over.”

Senior Stephen Murphy said he is glad it is being done in March, rather than in January.

“Basically, the faculty and administration will be the only ones affected by this because most students don’t use procurement cards,” Murphy said. “It is something that needs to be done every once and a while so we aren’t living in the stone age.”

Moravec said the last time there was a software upgrade was in 2012, and it took longer than expected to get back to their normal routine.

“Hopefully, it goes smoother this time,” he said.

“The misnomer is that it’s a SUNY shutdown, but it’s really a state shutdown,” Wright said. “It’s just a way of doing business.”

Email Lisa Scivolette at lisa.scivolette@cardinalpointsonline.com

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