When an employee unexpectedly left, Denise Sebastian, Director of Financial Aid at Mineral Area College (MAC), knew it was time for a change. “It prompted us to evaluate our overall situation,” she explains.
One employee was managing the Missouri-based school’s financial aid verification process—more than 1,500 verifications a year. Sebastian needed a more efficient solution. Alternatives before her included adding more people to her team, or outsourcing—neither was ideal.
“We were looking for ways to save money but we also wanted to keep the verification process in-house,” she explains. “In-house meant we could control the process and still perform the actual verification.”
Mineral Area’s Biggest FinAid Hurdle: Paper Forms
MAC’s paper-based, snail-mailed student verification forms caused general frustrations for financial aid staff and prospective students alike. “Mail was going back and forth four or five times—meaning we were document imaging four or five times,” Sebastian says. “And if out-of-state parents couldn’t come in to sign, it further complicated the process.”
To Win Over MAC, CampusLogic Had to:
- Help MAC improve upon its 65% verification completion rate
- Reduce inefficiencies for staff and students
- Provide a better student experience
Mineral Area’s Solution: Easy, Mobile, Personalized FinAid
StudentForms—part of the CampusLogic student financial services platform—simplifies financial aid processes (verification, professional judgements, SAP appeals, and more) by making FinAid easy, mobile, and personalized. Driven by ISIR logic, StudentForms offers a digital portal to manage tasks, workflow-driven file review, auto-indexed documents, automated student communications via text and email, and secure document upload from my device. And because CampusLogic is cloud-based, MAC was up and running—and staff fully trained—in less than two weeks.
Improved Financial Aid Efficiency Results
Previously, Sebastian’s team was averaging three to six weeks on document collection, per vereification. Today it’s down to one week or less. Financial aid processing time was, on average, eight to ten days—that’s been reduced to within 24 hours. Automatic document imaging means no more indexing or scanning, and regulatory changes are handled automatically. At minimum, Sebastian estimates CampusLogic has helped her team save 40 hours a week, translating into 2,080 hours a year.
Text Messaging Nudges Save MAC’s At-Risk Students
MAC students have been fast adopters of the new technology. “Roughly 250 students were at-risk of dropping for non-payment. We were able to save 242 of them thanks to CampusLogic’s text-alert system,” says Sebastian. “Students are responding so much better to text messaging. In fact, it’s been so successful, we’re looking to include text in more initiatives across the school.”