On this page:
- Most Common Questions
- Departmental defaults, settings and notifications
- Level of Effort
- Issues related to Payroll
- Student Assessments
- Student Status (Eligibility, Registration Status, Holds, Medical Leave)
- Historical Awards
- Technical Issues
- Reasonable Compensation
Reasons why the student may not be displaying include:
- The student moved to a different department
- The student is on the degree list
- System error
- You may be entering partial search terms in the wrong format. Note that wildcards are not recognized.
There are several reasons a distribution line may appear automatically when you are creating a new appointment:
- It's set up as your department default.
- The type of appointment being created has an automatic split with the provost account.
- An RA salary cost object was added, which automatically carries down to the Tuition.
- It is delimited because of eSDS.
Please ensure that you have the most recent browser version installed, and that you have popups enabled.
See the Approvals Workflow page for list of the conditions that require approval.
If you have not already authenticated via Touchstone/Duo on GAP, clicking a direct link for an appointment will bring you to My Appointments, requiring you to login/authenticate. Once you have done so, clicking the link a second time will take you directly to the appointment.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a new user's department and kerberos ID. Indicate if they need view access only or create access. Keiko Tanaka from OGE will review and approve the request. Keiko also must approve changes, or removals of access. Access is often limited to graduate administrators, AOs, FOs and other department employees. Students are not allowed to access GAP.
What determines who is on the Notifications list for a new appointment (under "Notify These People")?
When creating an appointment in GAP, the following people will display on the Notify These People:
- the graduate administrator creating the appointment
- the student
- the cost object supervisor
- student's research advisor
- other departmental defaults
If you don't want someone to receive a notification, uncheck the box next to their name. You may also add people to the notification list manually.
Yes. Please email email@example.com. Provide your course number and the applicable changes.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with preference updates at any time.
Yes, appointment emails will indicate off-campus (Y/N) under the Appointment Details section.
The default salary for RA appointments is not correct. Can I change my departmental salary default rates?
Yes. Contact GAP Support email@example.com to modify the default rates. Please provide rates for each appointment type (RA/TA/Fellowships/IG/External) and by degree level (MA/DOC).
The My Appointments tab only shows appointments created or modified in the last 30 days. If you need to see an appointment that is no longer displayed in My Appointments, go to the Search tab, where you can look up any appointment as far back as Aid Year 2010.
Be sure you have selected Search by Cost Object before entering your search criteria. See Searching in GAP for details.
While the standard Create functionality excludes ineligible students, ineligible students are part of search. This is by design, so that grad admins can see the full list of students for that course and term.
Appointments can be created in GAP once students are eligible to register for that term.
While GAP allows you to enter a stipend for the full-term amount (4.5 months for fall and spring, 3 months in summer), SAP Payroll stores a monthly value. Sometimes when the full-term value does not divide evenly into monthly values, we have rounding issues.
Example: Let’s say you award $12,000 for a full-term fall appointment (4.5 months).
$12,000 / 4.5 = $2,666.67
The total for this appointment is $2,666.67 * 4.5 = $12,000.02 (rounded)
So instead of the total salary awarded being $12,000 as entered, it is an additional two pennies. This matches the student pay.
Why can’t I enter an exact amount for distributions between multiple cost objects? I can’t use a percentage that displays the right monetary value.
GAP uses standard SAP cost distributions which are done through percentage, not dollar values. You can only enter percentage, up to 2 decimal places. GAP has a calculator feature (next to the Distribution label in the header) that will assist you in calculating what percentage will round closest to the dollar amount.
My fellowship distribution must be an exact amount and cannot be off by pennies. Is there a work around?
We encourage Grad Admins to have conversations with their AO/FOs to determine the best course of action for this issue:
(1) Use the percentage to get as close as possible
(2) Create a second appointment, with distribution equal to 100%
For example, to distribute $7,000 of tuition: Create two appointments, one for $6,000 and one for $1,000 with tuition distribution on each set to 100% so exact amounts are distributed.
Distribution items may be off by several pennies on an apparent clean split because we pay salary (and distribute costs) on a monthly basis, not once per award.
Let's consider two simple examples. In both, we'll assume the award spans exactly 4 months (from Sept. 1 to Dec 31) and each is distributed 50% to cost object 1111111 and 50% to cost object 2222222.
In the first example, we'll use a fellowship amount of exactly $4,000 (i.e. $1,000 per month). You would expect that, ultimately, $2,000 would be distributed to cost object 1111111 and the other $2,000 would be distributed to cost object 2222222. And that would be correct.
But in the second example, let's increase the total fellowship amount by four cents to $4,000.04 (i.e. $1,000.01 per month). You might expect that, ultimately, $2,000.02 would be distributed to each of the two cost objects, 1111111 and 2222222. But because we pay and distribute monthly, that's not what happens. Because the monthly amount is odd ($1,000.01), we can't exactly split it 50/50, so the cost breakdown ends up like this:
GAP shows a student’s primary advisor as set up in MITSIS. If you need to change this, contact your academic administrator.
Yes. Following appointment deletion, a JV will post to move the funds back to the funding cost objects.
In GAP, click Actions, Delete in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Do not zero out values or change dates.
If the student was paid, Payroll will request the student to pay it back or if the student has an additional appointment, Payroll will withhold pay on the next pay run.
Yes. When creating a TA appointment, after entering distribution information and clicking Continue, there will be a field where you can enter the TA subject number, as well as academic advisor and supervisor information.
The total stipend amount for the appointment will remain the same. GAP will display a message showing what you could change the total stipend amount to, if you want to maintain the same monthly stipend amount. This is just a suggestion; the grad admin must manually change the stipend amount if applicable.
In GAP, you can award students with insurance-only fellowships. NOTE: If the assessed amount for insurance is $0.00 you will be unable to submit the appointment. As Medical assesses student summer insurance, the assessment values will change (if applicable) on a rolling basis.
I was trying to enter a Summer appointment but selected the wrong aid year. I am getting an error message and the end date is outlined in red.
If you change the Aid Year after you enter the dates, sometimes the error message/red outline gets “stuck” and you need to reselect the Aid Year and Period again to get the dates to reset.
They are not sorted by date order. It depends on the sequence of entry and if cost objects have overlapping dates.
After changing appointments, I am getting emails asking what changes I did. Can appointment emails include changes?
Appointment changes are not included in award emails. You can deselect users from being notified or review the changelog on the appointment in GAP.
I’m trying to change a cost object and I see a link for the online late change form. Is a special authorization required to submit this form?
There is no authorization for using the Late Salary change form, except for a certificate.
No. GAP and eSDS have overlapping functionality. You can change distribution dates and percentages in GAP and you will see the same change in eSDS. Note, the eSDS date deadlines apply to GAP for appointment changes.
Yes. Changes in eSDS flow to GAP. Changes to distribution dates and percentages made in eSDS will be reflected in GAP. Note that appointment dates cannot be changed in eSDS – only the distribution dates can be changed, which have to match to the GAP appointment start and end date.
Yes. As long as you are on the list for summary emails, you will receive weekly emails that include a section listing changes made outside of GAP. You can also review changes on an appointment change log if you display the appointment in GAP.
When you are creating an appointment, even if a default displays, the cost object can be changed and the percentage can be edited.
For RA appointments, a department specific RA tuition/insurance subsidy cost object will default for 50% for tuition and 100% for insurance. For more information on GAP, see the in-application training and knowledge base FAQs. You can get to this in the footer of GAP.
No. Draft appointments do not impact other systems.
I am trying to create an appointment with a cost object that has an expiration date. Can I still use it?
Yes. For the distribution with the cost object that expires, you can end date the distribution line with the expiration date. Then, add another distribution line with a valid cost object for the remainder of the appointment.
Why can’t I submit an appointment with an expired cost object? The cost object will be extended soon.
GAP only accepts active cost objects. For your scenario, we recommend creating two distribution lines, in the first distribution line use the active cost object until the end date of the cost object and in the second distribution line use suspense account to cover rest of the duration. Once the cost object is extended, update the suspense account to the active cost object.
Yes. There is no need to wait. Please create additional appointments for that student at your convenience.
No. You must create separate appointments if the on campus status changes over time. Each appointment duration can either be on or off campus.
GAP appointment type is not editable. Each appointment type has rules and validations associated with it (cost object defaults, advisor fields, etc.). Instead of changing appointment type, delete and re-enter appointment details with the correct type.
Can the student life fee be charged to a sponsored research account or does it have to be charged to a discretionary account?
There is no policy that we are aware of on cost object that can be used to pay for student life fee. Please contact your AO/FO for guidance on which cost object to be used.
This depends on the sponsored research grant. If it is in the grant budget and allowable, the student life fee can be charged to the grant. Please contact the AO/FO in your department for more information.
We will open the following aid year by May 1. Users should expect an email so they know that they can begin entering summer appointments.
Level of effort is calculated based on salary and tuition.
I am trying to process an insurance-only or student life fee-only fellowship appointment. I am getting this error message “An error occurred. Level of effort cannot be zero. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org@mit.edu for assistance.” I thought the Level of Effort is tied to the tuition/stipend ratio. Please clarify if/how I can process a Student Life Fee only appointment.
GAP does require level of effort to be greater than 0%. There are two options:
1) Add the Student Life Fee to an existing appointment (via Change mode) for that student, same term.
2) Create the Student Life Fee only appointment, then manually adjust the Level of Effort to some low value like 1% or 0.1% (as a work around).
Please note making the level of effort greater than zero does not trigger payroll or tuition.
All Active, Pending and Deleted appointments have a PDF Download button at the upper right, next to the Actions button. Selecting it will open a Print window in your browser. From there, you can save the file as a PDF or print to your local printer. All information related to the appointment will appear on the PDF or printout.
Note: Draft appointments do not have a PDF Download button.
Where does the I-9 date come from? Why is the date displaying in the future if the student already has a valid I-9 on file now?
The GAP application displays the I-9 start date from SAP. Students who are paid must complete step 1 of the I-9 form. The I-9 specialist enters relevant information for step 2 including start date for students. The start date from the Fragomen I-9 interface is the I-9 start date for the record created in SAP.
GAP does not display student citizenship status at this time. It is in our list of enhancements.
Appointments require approval various reasons. Please see the approval FAQ and approval workflow rules for more information.
Approvers manually process appointments. If an appointment is not approved within a few business days, please contact the approver or email@example.com.
Emails are sent when awards become active. If an appointment is pending approval, it is not yet active. Upon submission, approvers are emailed if the appointment needs to be approved. Once they are approved and active, appointment emails will be sent.
I deleted an appointment. Why is it pending approval? I did not have a chance to add comments on why it must be deleted.
Some appointment changes, regardless of if they are new appointments or appointment deletions, must be reviewed by approvers.
There are a few student accounts that are being adjusted in GAP by department administrators, but aren't successfully transmitting over to the students billing account. Any idea why this is happening, and how to resolve it?
The appointment is not an active appointment yet. Appointment was approved by SFS but it is still waiting for HR Payroll to approve.
I got an email that said “Your award that was pending approval no longer passes data validations. The system has automatically returned the appointment to you for editing/re-submission.” What does this mean?
This means that GAP identified errors with the appointment. Something may have changed since the time you submitted it. The appointment did not pass validations today. Please correct the data and resubmit.
I was trying to create an appointment and got this message: "No valid student record (pernr) exists in SAP HR-Payroll for award duration."
PERNR is the SAP (Payroll) personal record. When you see this message it usually means one of two things happened:
1. The nightly feed from MITSIS to SAP failed for this particular student and a PERNR was not created for them.
2. A PERNR exists for the student, but may be set to start on a later date than your award start date.
HR-Payroll can handle both of these situations, they are fairly routine. Once HR payroll fixes the student data issue and approves, you will be notified of the approval and the appointment will become Active.
Payroll takes 2-3 days to fix the data issue in SAP and they can only approve the appointment once the data is fixed in SAP.
If I made a change to a student’s appointment and SFS rejected the change, will it feed at the end of the day?
If you make a change to an appointment that gets routed to SFS (or any other approver group like OGE or Payroll) and they reject it, the change will not take effect.
In the My Appointments view, you can filter on the Status field to show "Action required" appointments. Edit the draft and resubmit, or just delete it.
I need to correct an oversight and process an insurance appointment. Can I add insurance to an existing appointment or should I create a new, insurance-only appointment?
You can add insurance to an existing appointment. If it is routed to approval (ex. for high salary), you may want to indicate in the comments that you are only adding insurance and not adjusting other values.
If you make an insurance-only appointment, level of effort cannot be zero. You will have to manually adjust the Level of Effort at least 0.1% to get the appointment to go through.
I am trying to change an appointment but do not see the Change option under actions. I only see Copy.
Appointments that are pending approval cannot be edited. You can call the approver and request that they delete the appointment so you can make edits again. Once the appointment is rejected or approved, it can be edited as a rejected draft or changed after it is an active appointment.
"An error occurred. Monthly Payroll is running. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org@mit.edu for assistance." What does that mean?
GAP is talking to SAP real time. All the appointment data entered through GAP gets ultimately stored in SAP Payroll related master data linked with Employee (Student) payroll record.
When HR payroll executes monthly payroll for all the eligible employees during the end of the month, SAP locks changes to Payroll master data. It is because any changes made to the payroll master data during the payroll run impacts the monthly payment to the employee.
As soon as the payroll run is complete you can enter/change appointments in GAP. It usually is done by early afternoon.
Yes, it follows the monthly payroll cut off schedule. There is a payroll cutoff date for changes to be applied in time to monthly payroll. Manual changes done after that day may be processed in time but not guaranteed.
Note: If an appointment requires approval, the change may not make it in time. GAP approvers are encouraged to process any pending Inbox items on a daily basis, especially close to the cutoff period. This way, if an appointment is sent back (rejected) to a submitter and should be re-submitted and approved before the cut off, there is time.
Check the following link for HR Payroll monthly payroll closing schedule:https://vpf.mit.edu/monthly-payroll-closing-schedule
In GAP, the Appointment Data Summary section lists assessed values for each award component (Salary/Stipend, Tuition, Insurance, and Student Life Fee).
- Calculated based on department salary rates
- To change this value, contact GAP support (values are specific to department, based on aid year, degree, degree level, and term).
Tuition and Student Life Fee
- Stored in Student Financial system, Banner
- Determined by the Registrar
- Stored in Student Financial system, Banner (the standard individual student extended insurance code)
- Determined by Medical
No. If you change GAP appointment dates, assessed values remain the same. The assessed amount should never change based on the appointment dates. It is the assessment value for the full term. The way BANNER assesses Tuition/Insurance/Student Life Fee on the student account is per term.
If you see (est.) next to the *Assessment values *for Tuition, Insurance, and Student Life Fee it means these are estimated values and not actual numbers from the Banner Student Financial System.
(Est.) next to Salary in the *Remaining amount *line, means that this is an estimated remaining amount based on the salary value from your departmental default.
See Student Assessments & Eligibility for details.
SFS runs this program. It normally begins the second week of June and runs daily.
Summer subsidy is applied by Student Financial Services department. The assessed value in GAP has taken the summer subsidy into account. For example, if tuition is fully covered by a summer subsidy, the assessed tuition in GAP displays as zero.
Please wait until summer tuition is assessed to enter the appointment. Summer tuition is assessed as students register. For the summer, the students have no confirmation of their tuition fellowship from the GAP system until tuition is assessed. They may get a tuition bill before the appointment is processed.
Why am I seeing the following error: "The total Insurance/Tuition/Student Life Fee amount for this appointment exceeds the max award amount for this term." I can’t submit the appointment.
In GAP, students cannot be over-awarded funding for assessed amounts (Tuition, Insurance, or Student Life Fee).
For more information on assessed values, reach out to SFS.
To modify insurance amount please contact Medical
To modify tuition or student life fee amount, please contact the Registrar
There could be a waiver for insurance posted onto student account for the term. In this case, the assessed amount is $0 and the department does not need to pay for student insurance. Please contact email@example.com if you have any further questions or concerns.
GAP display the assessed values in real-time from Banner. You cannot edit them in GAP. Please contact the Registrar to change tuition or student life fee assessed values.
Yes. Non-Resident Tuition charges appear on the student account (Detail Code RTNR) instead of Resident. If you are seeing the wrong value, contact the Registrar.
Note for the first three semesters of nonresident status, a student may receive fellowship support from MIT for an amount up to 5 percent of tuition per semester. After the third semester, nonresident students can no longer receive tuition or stipend fellowship support from MIT.
Student Eligibility (Eligible to Register) is updated different times throughout the year.
- During the first week of September, students are made eligible for the following Spring and January
- During the first week of February, students are made eligible for Summer and Fall
- The eligibility job runs every day during the Summer to update student registration status on a rolling basis
The GAP system does not prevent users from processing appointments for students on hold. This is on our enhancement list of items to review.
Note: A student may be on hold by the registrar in MITSIS or from Banner. Examples why include late fees or a degree hold due to outstanding tuition bill.
In GAP, would we be able to make an appointment for someone who is on medical leave? What about if someone goes on medical leave during the middle of the term? Will their appointment be terminated or will we need to terminate it? If the registrar records him as on medical leave, what happens to his assessed tuition?
Here is how GAP works for the situations you were asking about:
GAP reads the eligibility status of students in MITSIS which is supplied by the registrar. If a student is "registered" or "eligible to register", the grad admin can create an appointment in GAP for the current and one term forward but only within the current Aid Year.
GAP will not allow appointments to be created for a student on medical leave. Eligible to register status is set to No.
If a student goes out on medical leave mid term, the Grad admin will have to perform a Change appointment in GAP, supply the dates and reason for early termination. GAP will suggest an adjusted salary and tuition for the modified termination but the Grad admin can choose whether to enter those values or some other amounts.
If a student goes out on medical leave, their assessments in Banner are most often adjusted but not always all charges. Medical may stay on as part of the agreement if they don't have other coverage but tuition is usually reversed.
If a student goes out on medical leave, their assessments in Banner are most often adjusted but not always all charges. Medical may stay on as part of the agreement if they don't have other coverage but tuition is usually reversed.
I am unable to find this student in GAP so that I may enter their fellowship for the fall term. Any idea why they do not show up?
Students who do not appear in GAP may be non-degree students. GAP does not allow appointment creation if the student is a non-degree student. Additional special cases are special students and cross registered students. These students cannot be paid through GAP. Contact Office of Graduate Education for more information and instructions for processing these appointments.
I cannot continue the selected student is not in the specified course. The student is not found in MITSIS. What do I do?
In GAP you can only enter appointments for the terms students is eligible for. If a student is not showing up for a specified course, please contact the registrar’s office.
How can I change the end date for an appointment for a student who is no longer registered? I see an error that the student is not in the course.
The current business process is to contact the registrar so student status can be temporarily changed and appointment change can be processed.
Historical awards in GAP begin prior to 6/1/2017.
Is it possible to edit an appointment in GAP that was originally created in WGA? If so, how do I go about doing so?
Yes, it is possible to edit an appointment in GAP that was originally created in WGA. You may edit appointments from up to two years in the past. Once you have found the appointment in GAP via Search, click on the appointment number which should open the appointment in Display mode. From there, click on the Action button in the upper right corner of the screen, where you should see options to Copy, Change, Delete. Select Change and you should be able to make your change. Depending on the type of change you are performing, it may route to SFS, Payroll, or OGE for approval.
I receive this error: SyntaxError: JSON.parse: unexpected character at line 1 column 1 of the JSON data
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you see this issue again. Please send a screenshot and steps to reproduce.
That message indicates that another administrative user is currently updating the record in SAP. Please try again in a few minutes.
For some reason it seems that I am locked out of GAP. I am using this link, as I always have: https://gap.hcp.mit.edu/index.html#/my-appointments
And all of a sudden it’s telling me that a secure connection can’t be established. Could you please help? I’m not having issues with any other MIT website and have recently updated my certificates.
The best place to start is to remove cookies and clear your browser cache. Also, try using another browser and see if you get the same error.
I am getting an error message when trying to process an appointment (Cannot continue. Please correct the highlighted fields and try again). The cost object that seems to be causing the problem is actually showing that it’s in the system and active for the relevant period, so I’m not sure how to address the problem. *error message may also show "The form is not complete."
There is an issue with this cost object, it does not have a fund center.
OSP fixes issues with WBS elements and missing master data. You can contact the contract administrator for that agreement, or email KCemail@example.com or KCfirstname.lastname@example.org, and ask them to address the missing Fund Center for 2748043.
GAP has banners at the top of the page or in the footer to indicate system status when there is a problem. You can also check 3DOWN. https://3down.mit.edu/
See the Reasonable Compensation KB for more information http://kb.mit.edu/confluence/x/1QdhCQ.
It depends on the termination reason. See the following for guidelines:
We have a student who will need an RA set up to cover his tuition & insurance for the Spring term. There is to be no stipend paid to the student.
Tuition- (and/or insurance-) only RA appointments are not allowed based on the reasonable compensation rule, which is the policy incorporated into the GAP system. Reasonable compensation rules apply in GAP beginning Aid Year 2018.
EAPS/Course 12 has three graduate students receiving NDSEG Fellowship awards. This fellowship is paid directly to the student and provides full tuition, a stipend of $3200/month, and $500 towards health insurance. The students’ advisors will fund the insurance shortfall of $750.
I created a RA appointment to supplement the NDSEG Fellowship and cover the $750 insurance shortfall but I got an error message indicating that a RA appointment must include stipend. Do you have a work-around for this?
You cannot pay Insurance only through RA/TA/IG. You can use FE appointment type which should not show any error messages. Let us know if you encounter any issues.
As the student is paid directly by NDSEG, It is recommended to create an external appointment in GAP with the dollar amounts you provided. In that way we can keep track of the student awards and avoid any over award situation in future. External award does not generate any financial postings in SAP.
I need to make a non-salary appointment but the Reasonable Compensation feature displays. Even with reasonable compensation removed, salary is still required for an RA. What should I do?
Reasonable compensation override still requires a salary component. RA, TA, and IG always require a salary component, even if Reasonable Comp is waived. Please submit a fellowship appointment instead.
Yes. You should be able to get this from Search, by selecting the Appointment Details tab and entering your course and aid year/period. Once you get the list results, click on ‘export results’ to download to Excel.
Yes. All Graduate appointment data goes to Data Warehouse, and resides in the following tables:
If you area familiar with Brio, you may use existing Brio reports. Information on this can be found here.
If existing Brio reports do not meet your needs, please work with the Data Warehouse team email@example.com and let them know what data you are looking for, e.g. Appointment Type, MIT ID, Amount, Cost Object, etc.
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