Shift from Manual to Digital FinAid Saves Time, Wins SWTC Campus Approval

For as long as Joy Kite can remember, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College’s (SWTC) busy financial aid office had used a paper-based, manual process. With an enrollment of more than 8,000 students—75% of students enrolled in aid-eligible programs received financial assistance through financial aid funding—performing more than 500 verifications a year was taking her team a lot longer than it had to.

Kite, SWTC’s Financial Aid Manager for 15 years, openly admits she wasn’t actively looking for a financial aid solution. And she most definitely didn’t want to outsource. “I didn’t even know that there was software out there that could improve the financial aid process, make it mobile, paperless, more efficient, but still keep it in-house,” she explains. “And then CampusLogic called.”

SWTC’s Biggest FinAid Challenge: Manual Verification

“Verification of student files is time-intensive, you have to look at very specific things,” says Kite. “If you’re doing it manually, you really have to pay attention.” Half of Kite’s FinAid office staff serve double-duty as business office workers, constantly being pulled away mid-verification to answer front-line questions from students.

“We had a physical copy of a tax transcript highlighted to help us because we were doing everything by hand,” Kite adds. And she means everything: as of May 2016, the SWTC team was still working on access to a document imaging system.

SWTC’s Solution: Easy, Mobline, Personalized FinAid

StudentFormsSM, part of the CampusLogic student financial services platform, simplifies FinAid processes making them 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 any device.

SWTC Staff, CFO, and IT Approval

Kite saw a demo of the CampusLogic platform and it didn’t take long for her to decide the financial services SaaS technology was a solid investment. Her staff agreed, with a resounding “Let’s do it!” Next step: gain College-wide approval.

SWTC’s Chief Financial Officer agreed it was a value-based solution. His request: ask SWTC’s IT Director if the College could build a similar solution internally. The IT Director’s response after reviewing the platform: There was no way her team could accomplish the benefits of CampusLogic in-house in a timely, cost-efficient manner. “It sounds very helpful to the staff, though,” she added.

Staff Adoption: Easy to Use, Intuitive, Paperless

SWTC’s Finaid Office staff took to CampusLogic quickly, describing it as easy to use and intuitive. Kite is thrilled with the dynamic web forms based on ISIR logic. “There are so many nuances to financial aid that can be confusing to students and their families,” she says. “CampusLogic simplifies it, only asking the relevant questions. It certainly has led to fewer errors.”

A Five-Star Customer Success Team

Kite points to CampusLogic’s ongoing, personalized support as key to SWTC’s success. “I just can’t say enough about how responsive CampusLogic is,” she says. “Without that response-level, I don’t feel we would have been so successful last year—our Customer Success Manager was just amazing.” Along with being highly responsive, Kite says CampusLogic was also proactive. In the summer, noting a gap in ISIR uploads from SWTC, CampusLogic called to see if there were any issues or problems. “We had some folks out of the office for holidays, hence the lag,” says Kite. “But how awesome it was to know CampusLogic was on watch, that they cared and were concerned.”

SWTC: Two Thumbs Up for CampusLogic

“My staff often recommend the platform to others in the industry,” says Kite. “They really love it.” A new employee has only heard of the team’s previous manual, paper-based process, notes Kite.“She honestly can’t figure out how we survived for so long doing manual verification. She just knows that back then, we were buried in paperwork.”

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