3 Ways to Expand California Financial Aid Communications

April 30, 2019 Chris Jordan

You’re always thinking about better ways to drive student understanding and engagement with your institution’s financial aid offer—and dozens of other communications within the student financial success universe. Right now you might be drafting, editing, personalizing and sending all of those communications manually, using disparate systems. It can be exhausting—for you and your team. Managing them separately can also cause a disjointed student experience. Ready to bring all of the below annual, situational, and mandated communications together, seamlessly? 

  • Situational: Incomplete FAFSA communication  
  • Annual: Initial welcome to new first-year enrollees 
  • Annual: Melt letters 
  • Annual: Debt letter 
  • Situational: Scholarship notification  
  • Situational: Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal notifications/decisions
  • Annual: College Financing Plan (Shopping Sheet) 
  • Situational: Cal Grant Requirement 
  • Situational: Selected for Verification 
  • Situational: Grace Period Before Loan Payments Begin Communications  
  • Situational: Delinquency Notification 

Picture the above in a matrix of all the possible notifications you could potentially send to one student. Then multiply that matrix by your student base. Students expect the best experience possible—and react more promptly to communications that are personalized and relevant—so factor in the time and effort it will take for you to personalize everything with your current process. It can feel overwhelming, so you put it off because your office is constantly running at max capacity with the process you have in place. Until new legislation causes you to rethink it all, forcing you into reactive rather than proactive mode. Getting ahead of California legislation AB-2248: Cal Grant Program, prepping for AB-1858—sending Financial Aid Shopping Sheets as part of your award package by 2020—and helping Dreamers navigate AB540 and the Cal Grant B Service Incentive Grant Program are perfect examples.  

3 Ways AwardLetter Makes the Complicated Simple—For Everyone

When AwardLetter by CampusLogic is managing all of those communications for you, you’ll have more time to focus on strategic initiatives like driving success for at-risk California students, AwardLetter is changing the game for more than 25 California institutions. Here’s why:

  1. Mobile-First Trumps Mobile-Friendly. Most people reach for their device within the first 30 seconds of waking up in the morning. A mobile-first, student-centric approach drives all of our design. The average person scrolls through (at minimum) 300 feet of social content per day—that’s pretty much the size of the Statue of Liberty (half the height of the Golden Gate Bridge). They pause for video content, for engaging experiences, for things that resonate on a personal level. Static communications fall flat—our AwardLetter product doesn’t.
  2. Interactivity Rules—and Drives Students Engagement. Dynamic content functionality means your MBA students will see images of successful business professionals, and your nursing students will see nurses in action—all without you having to lift a finger. We’ll help you take it a step further by personalizing content in communications based on Satisfactory Academic Progress status, geographic region, etc.
  3. Video Content Improves Financial Wellness. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. Financial aid award notifications and follow-up communications are often filled with confusing terminology, financial jargon, and lack of clarity around payment—considering the complexity of Financial Aid topics, that earlier noted 10% comprehension may be even lower for first-generation students and for students where English is not the native language. The last thing you have time for is to create video content—and you don’t have to. CampusLogic’s built-in video library make it easy to embed informative videos into award letters, debt letters, and missing FAFSA letters to improve engagement and understanding. Choose from 24 videos that answer questions like what is cost of attendance, what is the difference between direct and indirect cost, what is a grant versus a loan, and when do I start repaying my federal student loan? Analytics underpin everything we do, and you’ll have full access to metrics to understand and refine your video usage. Mobile video consumption has been rising 100% every year.

California Financial Aid Communications: Strengthening Student Success

The Public Policy Institute of California notes that, by 2030, California will fall about 1.1 million college graduates short of economic demand if current trends persist. AwardLetter can help you improve access, drive informed borrowing and foster completion at your institution.   

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