Financial Aid Services (FAS) introduces its brand refresh connecting its rich history and legacy with its exciting and innovative future. Below is a behind-the-scenes look at our refreshed makeover and what it means for our client experience.
Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft, describes this concept best in his book Hit Refresh when he writes about leading culture change at Microsoft. The refresh function on your browser is quite sophisticated. We’ve all encountered this at the least opportune times. Your web browser locks and the screen freezes, unable to render the content you were searching for. You hit the refresh icon on your browser. This is where the sophistication occurs. Contrary to popular belief, the refresh function does not completely overhaul the page. Its functionality quickly determines everything that is working well on the page and knows to keep that functionality in play. It identifies the 2-3 components that need to be updated and addresses those components only so the page renders correctly. (You can now impress your IT colleagues with that bit of knowledge.) We thought about our brand refresh through the same lens. We didn’t want a major departure from our previous brand and logo. There are so many strengths and a rich history associated with the brand. We didn’t want to lose that. We simply identified the 1-2 components that we wanted to update, and make more relevant, namely the navigational icon.
Providing Guidance and Direction
Since our founding, FAS is deeply committed to guiding colleges and universities through the higher education landscape. To represent that vision, the compass rose has been a component of the FAS brand and logo. Today, most of us rarely use a compass. Instead, we depend on GPS navigation for our guidance and direction. As a result, we refreshed our brand and logo from the compass rose to a familiar GPS navigation icon you might see on your Apple or Android device. The arrow points up and to the right which is the direction our eyes travel when we recall something factual, trusted, and familiar. The upper right quadrant is often the desired location when consultants categorize data elements in a strategic quadrant. As consultants, we really enjoy that symbolism. The logo is not a major departure from our past. The meaning remains the same. The new logo is a natural evolution of how we represent our commitment to helping guide our clients through today’s challenging landscape.
Colors convey meaning. Navy blue has been a constant component of the FAS brand and logo. Blue evokes emotions of trust, responsibility, and loyalty. Blue is also associated with honesty, commitment, clarity, positivity, and creating order. With this meaning, it’s no wonder why statistically blue is most people’s favorite color. These adjectives align so well with our mission and values too. We wanted to accentuate our brand and logo with more shades of blue. Blue sneakers. Blue jeans. A clear blue sky. Crystal blue ocean. We’re pretty big fans of the color.
How This All Began
The brand refresh was a culmination of two events that have been months in the works. The first was refreshing our mission and core values once our new CEO, Robert Heil arrived at FAS this spring. This was one of Robert’s first priorities. While remaining closely aligned to our founding mission, the new mission statement was updated to reflect today’s higher education landscape and the expanding strength and capabilities at FAS. This was an energizing process for our company. The second was a website redesign project. As we began updating content and wireframes for the new website, it sparked consideration to refreshing the brand and logo. After months of internal discussions with team members across FAS and focus groups with key stakeholders, we chose to start the makeover with a very thoughtful and inclusive process. Literally each team and every team member inside FAS had input, feedback and involvement in the process which added tremendous value to the project.
Connecting our Past with our Future
In 1991, FAS was founded around the dining room table of David and Gay Gray. In short time, colleges and universities around the country were lining up to tap the services provided by FAS. Over the span of the next 31 years, FAS has become a highly respected and trusted partner to over 1,800 colleges and universities. Higher education looks a lot different than it did when we started in 1991. Managing financial operations, enrolling students, and meeting student expectations is not getting any easier. Every day we are motivated to keep finding innovative ways to bring our incredible culture and values to life in ways that will benefit our clients and the students you serve. We are making important investments in people, technology and systems that will enhance your experience with us as clients and most importantly generate the outcomes that we all want for your students. Higher ed faces fierce headwinds right now. Digital transformation is occurring at a pace we’ve never seen before. However, our consultants and thought leaders are uniquely positioned to make a profound impact for our clients and your students. And we start every day with a very strong and clear sense of that mission, vision, and purpose.
Our Mission and Values
While the look of our website has changed, the strong commitment to our mission and core values remains unchanged. Those ultimately define who we are and what we do.
Our mission is to empower colleges and universities to strengthen financial operations, optimize enrollment and enhance the student experience.
Achieving our mission starts with our culture and values. These values define who we are today and who we aspire to be. They are the core operating principles for our company and guide how we make decisions and work together to achieve our
- Relationships Matter
- Diversity & Belonging
We see these 5 core values represented in our logo with a bold simplicity and sophistication that inspires our team and reminds us daily that our work makes a significant impact on our clients and the students they serve.
Your Brand Matters Most To US
At FAS, we believe your financial aid office and student business services should be activated as your top advantage – generating greater enrollment, easier operations, and elevating your brand. We are grateful to the over 1800 clients and partners who have traveled this journey with us. We look forward to the next three decades together.
Thank you for your continued partnership. We highly value the trust and confidence you place in FAS.
Financial Aid Services (FAS) has served higher education for over 31 years. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, FAS provides consulting, staffing, outsourced processing services to assist institutions with improving operational efficiency, student satisfaction, and regulatory compliance in financial aid and student business services. FAS’ accomplished team averages 28 years of experience and has a combined 1,600 years of higher education experience. With clients in 49 states, FAS has successfully served over 1,800 institutions nationwide. The Company’s extensive experience combined with industry leading expertise and focus on superior client outcomes, enables FAS to deliver lasting results to its clients and the students they serve. Visit www.FinancialAidServices.org for more information.
Executive Vice President