By: Lisa Seals, Senior Consultant
Ready for the New Academic Year?
Getting ready for a new academic year can be a time of reflection or pulling your hair out. It’s a time to determine what has worked well, what could be improved, and what must totally be re-evaluated or reinvented.
Where to Start?
All Student Services, or Enrollment Management, departments are crucial to the new academic year setup. Using the right information from each area in the setup process not only streamlines operations but also maintains compliance measures and ultimately gives students a better experience. Each department has specific requests and requirements of the Financial Aid Office. Mapping out everything that is needed, why it is needed, and the timelines to be met is a great starting point.
What’s Needed and From Whom?
Gathering data, from certain departments, helps to set reasonable timelines to get these steps set up in your ERP systems and to produce actual or estimated offers to all students, but specifically the first-time, first-year incoming students.
- Admissions Requirements
- Admissions application acceptance
- Admissions approval timelines/codes
- Merit scholarship model and award amounts
- Need based grant (scholarship) model for incoming students
- When are students given school email and portal access?
- Academic calendar (Start/End dates)
- Official break of 5 or more days
- Term and Module census dates
- Is the calendar approved and are all dates in the registrar module?
- Tuition and Fee rates
- Billing statement dates
- Will estimated aid be listed on the bill?
- Will actual housing costs be available or will estimates be used?
- When will the new academic year release of the software be installed?
- Will there be an opportunity for testing the new release in a development (i.e., sandbox) environment?
What would you ask for?
What is a reasonable timeline? Meeting with the various student services departments will be helpful during this process. Generally, the Admissions Office and Senior Leadership have a target date for first-year, incoming students to receive offers from the institution. With that in mind, make sure that you have the new academic calendar as well as updated tuition and fee rates, and housing costs. Also, confirm the IT Department’s timeframe for importing the new award year’s data into your ERP system.
We know that we can use estimated data for this information. Most institutions want to now use actual tuition and fee rates while establishing a cost of attendance. The goal is to have finalized information to complete the setup processes, and not have to redo anything. What do you use?
Let’s set up the system! We’ll get into that soon!