Tag Archive for: Enrollment Management
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Blog-image-designs-01.jpg 1312 2500 Julia Francis https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Julia Francis2023-04-11 14:46:152023-04-12 12:40:03Is Financial Aid a Process or an Experience?
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Techie_Speed-2.png 396 938 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2023-02-08 08:14:522023-02-08 08:17:02The Need for Speed
By: Robert Heil, CEO
Students expect a combination of personalization with the speed that they experience from Amazon or DoorDash. Without that speed, students are less likely to stay engaged with you, and less engagement leads to recruitment and retention challenges. This can be especially challenging for financial aid and student accounts offices where speed + quality + accuracy must be delivered at scale.
Whether it be wait times, responding to their initial inquiry, offering admission first, or processing aid faster and sending an offer notice first–students reward speed.
If students love speed, what does speed love? Efficiency.
Providing a more efficient enrollment experience for students and parents must be a critical element in your comprehensive enrollment management strategy. No amount of marketing can offset an inefficient process. This is the pitfall too many campuses fall in. You can spend (or waste) hundreds of thousands of dollars on enrollment marketing, yet your greatest competitive advantage may be uncovering the efficiency and organizational capability needed to deliver customization and speed at scale.
You may not consider your financial aid and student accounts offices as major brand influencers, but you should. Mistakes and complications damage your brand. Your brand is not driven by US News & World Report rankings. Your brand is shaped by the student experience you deliver. When students and parents receive a streamlined, accurate experience, you strengthen your brand every time.
Websites that do not load in less than 6 seconds are usually abandoned. In the same vein, dissatisfied students will go elsewhere. Outside of academics, no other two offices on campus shape the student experience more than the financial aid and student accounts offices. Do your strategic investments in recruitment and retention reflect that?
Without speed + accuracy + quality, you are operating at a disadvantage.
Here are two ways we are helping our clients:
At FAS, we’ve spent 32 years mastering a model connecting the best people, processes, and systems to help our clients gain a competitive advantage. Our Outsourced Processing service combines our consultants, analysts, industry-leading practices, lean process methodology, and meticulous quality controls. These coupled with our technology platform provides the speed, accuracy, and quality your students expect. Using this service, your financial aid office can process aid exponentially faster with accuracy giving you a major competitive advantage with recruitment and retention.
Want to know where you stand? Our Organizational Capability Reviews for financial aid and student accounts offices can measure your business processes against best practices to discover where the major efficiency gains can be found. How well are you optimizing technology? How do your staffing levels stack up against benchmarks from peer institutions? Where can you improve the student experience? Don’t think of it as an audit. The goal is not to point out mistakes. The purpose is to find opportunities. We are “peer educators”. Our consultants come alongside to teach, coach, and roll up their sleeves to help.
To learn more, contact FAS to uncover how you can strengthen your financial operations, optimize enrollment, and enhance the student experience.
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Communication-Forms.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-11-28 08:49:122022-11-28 08:49:12Tips and Hacks for Effective Student Communication
By: David Glezerman, Executive Consultant
As we approach the new year and start thinking about personal and professional New Year’s resolutions, it’s a good time to think about how to optimize how we communicate and interact with our students, families, and other institutional stakeholders.
Too often, institutions have relied on a single contact method to deliver information to their students—usually a school-provided email address. But students report being overwhelmed with emails from the “.edu” address coming from multiple institutional offices with a variety of news and information. The result is that students tune out and ignore all school emails, regardless of the value or urgency of the message.
Thoughtful communicators have found that schools can coordinate their efforts through increased collaboration across departments to reduce and simplify information requests and messaging via email channels. Student service offices should regularly review the types and content of their written communications to students, both electronic and U.S. Mail, to simplify and improve how and what is being delivered and when. Seeking out options for sending fewer, but more focused, correspondence can improve mail opening rates and lead to more timely bill payment and responses to information requests.
Revising your messages to provide clear and concise language can help in setting expectations and achieving desired results. If your message sounds too robotic and bureaucratic, is peppered with acronyms, and fails to clearly spell out what you need or expect, your message likely will get little or no attention. Consider enlisting your institutional marketing department or working with student advisory groups to help rewrite messages that will lead to better response rates and generate fewer questions that lead to office visits, phone calls, or emails.
Using a multi-channel communications strategy not only will be more appealing to students’ varying preferences but will also most likely increase individual reads and actions. Whether using text messaging, portal checklists, or chat features, using different communication tools, both separately and in tandem, will help your institution reach students and also demonstrate your commitment to quality service delivery.
Let us review your institution’s current business practices and related communications. Together, we can develop a comprehensive program to help manage your student accounts receivables and communicate with your students in a service-friendly and compliant manner. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation!
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Remote-Work.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-11-15 08:17:492022-11-15 09:14:53Working Well Together, Even When You’re Apart
By: Joyce Sonenberg, Senior Consultant
Monday morning, the start of a new workweek. Off goes the alarm, and off you go. Comb your hair, throw on some clothes, grab a coffee, check that all is right with the world, and head off to the office. The office? Wait a minute. Where is the office? The office may be in the corner of your bedroom, the empty spot in the basement, or the remains of what used to be the linen closet. The fact is the office can be anywhere. Because, in this world, you are a full-fledged remote worker.
If you are a remote employee, you are far from alone. If you currently are not working remotely, chances are that you may soon be. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates over 25 percent of all Americans will be working remotely by 2025, which translates to over 36 million people. That’s a whopping 87 percent increase compared to pre-pandemic figures. Other research suggests even higher increases as workplace dynamics continue to evolve. Regardless of the numbers, sooner or later you may find that your office is just down the hall—the hall in your home, that is. Working remotely can be chaotic, stressful, and frustrating. It can also be very satisfying, rewarding, and unleash a level of professional creativity that can change the trajectory of your career. Let’s aim for the latter. Here are a few tips to consider as you head to your office.
Maintain a professional workstation.
Be organized. Practice the time-honored cliché, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Run your home office just like you would your location office. Keep your stock of office supplies at an acceptable level. Have adequate amounts of printer ink, paper, notepads, pens, pencils, staples, and zip drives. Remember, you oversee the office supply department. Unnecessary trips to the office supply store are inefficient and waste time and money. Make sure you have up-to-date technology. Your home computer may be a bit less sophisticated than what you are accustomed to in the on-site office, but you should be able to come fairly close. If you need two monitors, then get two monitors. If you need a dependable audio headset, then get one. You can’t expect to work efficiently without the proper tools. Check with your internet provider to ensure your connection speed and capacity can handle your needs. Create a practical workstation or desk that provides ample elbow room for notepads, calendars, your keyboard, and your mouse. Don’t forget a comfortable office chair as you will be spending many hours in it. Choose your home office area to be in as distraction-free an environment as possible. Often easier said than done, but it will benefit both you and your family members in keeping the peace. Re-organize at the end of the day so you are ready to start fresh in the morning. You’ll thank yourself for it each day.
Present a professional image.
Okay, so you don’t have to dress like you are making a presentation to the Board of Directors. However, you are a professional, working with other professionals, from your professional office. True…a home office, but a professional one, nonetheless. So, business casual at the least? Yes. T-shirt and sweatpants? No. If you look and feel professional, you will demonstrate professional work behaviors which can directly impact your relationships with students, parents, and other staff. Remember, remote workers reside from coast-to-coast, time zone-to-time zone, and even globally. Look good and be at the top of your game.
Maintain your focus.
Treat remote work like a real job, because it is. When you are in your home office, you are at work so schedule your day appropriately. Use and pay attention to your calendar. Keep your supervisor informed of personal, sick, or vacation days. If you are a director, maintain a schedule for your staff and share it with them.
Even though you are working from home, you may still require daycare. We love the little ones, but we do not typically bring them to the office. Household chores like laundry, shopping, lawn care, and home maintenance are distractions that are not part of a normal workday, so schedule them for your off days. Sure, you can load the dishwasher, but accomplish this task during a scheduled coffee or lunch break. It’s easy to get bumped off task when working remotely from home.
Stay connected with your staff.
Staff can’t just pop into your office and “touch base” with you like in the past. Likewise, you can’t as easily provide directives or clarification face-to-face either. It’s more important than ever to stay connected with your staff. Reach out to them often. Keep them in the loop. It isn’t difficult to achieve this, you just need to use different methods or tools. Hold regularly scheduled brief daily check-up meetings at the beginning or end of each business day. Informal individual or group end-of-the-week chats can help to build both trust and teamwork and assist staff to become more comfortable and efficient with the remote environment. There are several reliable platforms available for use in this approach. ZOOM and Microsoft Teams are commonly found in most offices. Use them to share both your and the staff’s calendars, assignments, and directives. Email and conference calls are very useful and time-tested methods. Remember, you’re not functioning as a hermit. You are still working with your team. Engage them often and encourage them to do the same.
Stay connected with your students.
Students are the reason you are there. Providing quality service to students while working remotely often requires extra effort. Make sure you reach out to the students often and assure them they will receive the same level of attention as if they were standing at the front counter of the campus FA office. Develop staff schedules that clearly identify email and telephone response responsibilities, both for receiving and returning student and parent inquiries. It may be particularly important to monitor staff performance in this regard. Take the time to review the financial aid office portion of the school website and clarify any confusing instructions, confirm contact phone numbers, and email addresses, and important dates on the calendar.
Final Considerations. Whether you’ve elected, or have been directed, to work remotely, it doesn’t appear to be a work style that is on the decline. Regardless of which resource is cited, most indicate a steady growth in U.S and international remote workers. Is it right for you? Of course, only you can decide. There are many areas to consider when contemplating a remote employment position.
Control of your work schedule is a strong attraction for those considering a remote position. While it is convenient in some respects, that flexibility does not mean the remote workforce is made up of slackers. Remote workers say they often average 45 – 55+ hours on the clock per week. A significant number of remote workers reported they felt obliged to work more than 8 hours a day and often worked 10 to 12 hours a day, frequently putting extra time in on weekends. Many workers acknowledged that knowing when to shut down and disengage was one of the biggest challenges they encountered while working remotely. Scheduling breaks, taking a walk, eating properly, and prioritizing time with family are important considerations. On the flip side, workers generally stated they felt more focused on their responsibilities, experienced less job-related stress, and are 35 to 47 percent more productive. Remote workers often reported an increased sense of self-esteem and professionalism.
Would you like some help navigating the new realities of work? Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate how your staff and office are structured. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/College-Transcript-1.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-11-02 08:16:062022-11-02 08:16:06CFPB Weighs In on Withholding Academic Transcripts
Withholding academic transcripts for outstanding student account or loan balances has been a primary debt collection tool for many years. Though recently under fire as harming many students (see our March 2022 Tip), this issue is drawing attention both from state regulators and legislators and, now, from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). While 16 states have enacted laws or are proposing legislation to halt or reduce the campus practice, which is seen as inhibiting students’ academic careers or employment opportunities, the federal agency’s recent Supervisory Highlights report cites the “blanket” usage of the transcript sanction as unlawful.
The recent report came on the heels of an announcement earlier this year that the agency would examine operations of colleges that act as lenders. In this case, the CFPB has interpreted student accounts as a form of lending or credit offered to students by schools. While definitions may be subtle or subject to various interpretations, the CFPB report links transcript withholding to provisions under the Dodd-Frank Act, which prohibits unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP) because of potential financial injury to consumers.
Though the CFPB cannot enact laws, it has rulemaking and enforcement authority to deal with any consumer financial product or service. The agency also partners with other federal departments on many financial initiatives, and could work with the U.S. Department of Education to potentially promulgate new rules or guidelines.
Senior leadership at colleges and universities should have this issue on their radar from both a service delivery and compliance perspective. Presidents, chief financial officers, registrars and enrollment management leaders need to understand and weigh their existing policies and procedures on withholding academic transcripts and other services. A joint statement signed this month by 22 higher education associations urges college leaders to “have a clear understanding of institutional policies regarding transcript and enrollment holds, and be prepared to explain how they determined these policies to be effective and fair.”
In states where no restrictions currently exist, government relations staff should be monitoring legislative activities since constituent complaints have often led to proposed laws. In other cases, complaints to state attorneys general may trigger new rules or legislation.
Institutions also should engage their general counsel or an outside attorney to help interpret these laws and requirements and adjust their business practices and policies to become and/or remain in compliance. Bringing institutional resources together to review and update policies and procedures can have a positive outcome for students and finances with minimal impact on institutional resources. The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) provided guidelines for schools to consider in an April 2022 statement.
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Outsourcing27.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-10-12 08:09:292022-10-12 08:09:29Outsourcing Financial Aid: A Better Economic, Strategic, and Student-Centered Model
Processing financial aid records is one the most important yet complex steps for many financial aid offices. When not administered correctly or efficiently, it can create compliance risk or delays in students receiving their awards which has real enrollment and financial consequences. The recent staffing shortages throughout the industry have only magnified these challenges.
Many university presidents and CFO’s are exploring a new model – outsourcing their financial aid processing services. Those university leaders are discovering outsourcing is a better model for 4 reasons.
- It is a better economic model. University leaders can better control their costs in an outsourced model rather than carrying high costs associated with large staffs with frequent turnover. In addition to the cost savings, an outsourced processing model creates greater ROI. When financial aid is administered sooner, students receive their awards earlier which creates a real recruiting and retention advantage. Even a 2% gain in admit yield or a 2% increase in retention equates to noticeable gains in headcount and significant gains in net tuition revenue. The cost savings combined with greater ROI is why university leaders are discovering the outsourced partnership is a better economic model.
- It is a better strategic model. When the back office processing work is outsourced, financial aid staff are unconstrained to do what they do best – counsel students and parents. Key financial aid staff can focus on higher priority strategic initiatives that achieve operational, enrollment, and student experience goals. Those strategic priorities make a significant impact on the university.
- Students are better served. When financial aid files are processed sooner, students receive their financial aid awards earlier increasing their propensity to enroll as new students or return as current students. Parents and family members are more engaged and satisfied in the process. Student experience is directly correlated to recruitment and retention. Most financial aid leaders entered the profession, in the first place, to help make college affordable and accessible and to serve students. This model supports that goal.
- Peace of mind that the university is always in compliance. Besides the benefits of timely and accurate financial aid administration, university leaders who find a trusted strategic partner can rest assured their financial aid is administered in full compliance with the Department of Education.
Important factors to consider
- As a best practice, have the outsourced processing work completed in your student information and financial aid management system. Select a partner that is experienced and proficient in your technology system.
- Find a partner with deep industry experience and a long-standing track record of success with their clients and who is fortified by highly experienced consultants and team members. These are the strategic partners you want.
- Ask potential partners about their audit history. Those companies are audited each year just like universities.
- Ask potential partners about their quality control measures and processes. The best companies will quickly respond, providing the detailed quality control measures they have in place to ensure full compliance.
- Inquire whether the outsourced partner will just replicate your current processes or will they listen and work with you to make your current processes more efficient. Will they merge their best practices with your client-specific needs? If so, that is a good partnership.
At FAS, these are a few of the tenets and best practices we built our model on.
Financial aid processing is one of the most important steps in a financial aid operation. The current staffing struggles in most financial aid offices only makes this more challenging. Those staffing challenges show no signs of lessening anytime soon. But there is an alternative. It’s a better model too. From the initial application until the last dollar is disbursed, the right outsourced partner will make a significant impact on your financial, operational, and student experience goals.
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Consulting-Corner-team.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-09-30 14:13:352022-09-30 14:24:51Welcome to FAS’ Consulting Corner
Welcome to FAS’ Consulting Corner! In conjunction with launching our new website, we want to use this space to share relevant information with financial aid and student business services practitioners. It’s a safe and reliable place to get the latest news on what’s happening in financial aid and student finance all around the country. We’ll tackle issues from maintaining rigorous compliance standards and leveraging technology, to giving your students the best possible experience. Our consultants are thought leaders with a combined 1,600 years of experience in their respective fields. Higher Education is an industry that’s always in motion. There is always something new to talk about, so check back often. We’re adding fresh content all the time. Whether you’re considering services, need guidance or resources, or just want to connect with FAS, we’ve got something for you.
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/front-counter-interaction.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-08-22 09:12:482022-09-30 09:23:05Win-Win Approach to Dealing with Difficult Students
One size does not fit all when it comes to working with students and their needs surrounding how to finance and pay for their education. Every student interaction brings unique circumstances, capabilities, and concerns to the table. While in many cases questions are easily answered and issues resolved, other times students or parents are not able to meet institutional requirements or are dissatisfied with the answers they’ve received.
Dealing with difficult customers is not unexpected particularly at the start of a new academic year. Whether it’s financial aid packages that don’t meet expectations, not being allowed to register for classes because of an outstanding balance, getting conflicting information from different offices, or just not being able to reach institutional staff by phone or email, this stressful time of year can impact student retention, outstanding receivables, or just engender bad feelings about the institution.
At a time when quality service is more than an expectation, staff and supervisors face the wrath and ire of many customers. Depending on the time of year and institutional deadlines or organizational structures, these customers are not only students and their parents, but may extend to prospective students, alumni, faculty members, or even colleagues in other institutional offices. With enrollment, financial and workforce pressures on colleges and universities, maintaining service delivery standards and satisfaction can challenge both staff and senior leadership.
To maintain quality service standards, institutions now must also factor in needs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) that have moved into the forefront of the higher education experience. Treating your students and constituents with a consistent approach should not mean that every experience and interaction is similar. At the same time, it’s important to respect and note how differences in culture, knowledge, and experiences may require different styles and techniques in service delivery and counseling.
That’s why it is important that we “listen to hear” what our customers are saying and how we subsequently respond to their needs. Not only is it critical to be timely and accurate in responding, but it’s also vital that someone owns the customer’s issues and concerns. Too often, failures to listen, understand, and answer these concerns creates escalated conflicts and complaints.
Using every customer interaction to anticipate other questions/concerns and educate students on what to do (and how to do it) can lead to more on-time payments, higher satisfaction levels, reduced complaints, and increased student success.
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/financial-education-puzzle-pieces.png 670 934 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-07-22 12:40:192022-09-30 14:26:37Financial Literacy – An Essential Part of Student Success
Providing students and their families with the skills and tools to understand personal finance and money management has largely fallen to colleges and universities. While fourteen states have enacted legislation mandating personal finance training in high school, more than two-thirds of the country still lacks any formal training or education programs for students or parents.
Many people don’t know where to turn for guidance or direction when they need assistance in completing a FAFSA to apply for financial aid, how to save for college or use payment plans to help finance an education, or even how to create a budget. Both traditional students and older adults returning to school often seek out resources to figure out how to pay for college and, later, to repay their student loans.
By default, colleges have become the last resort for acquiring this knowledge. Identifying and managing financial issues has become a key element in the recruitment and retention of students. Admissions recruiters, financial aid counselors, and student account representatives often are thrust into roles as financial counselors, even if their own knowledge is lacking. With a glut of available information on how to pay for a college education and limited resources to digest and disseminate the data, staff may be ill-equipped to offer time-consuming counseling to students and families while trying to deal with the other aspects of onboarding and maintaining enrollments.
Best practice institutions have developed separate offices to assist students with financial wellness education or have partnered with firms that provide web-based programs and knowledge-driven modules to help them learn the various aspects of personal finance, from student loans and credit cards to budgeting and credit scores.
Institutions need to have an executive sponsor for these programs and place ownership under a single office or group of individuals who will prioritize providing access to personal finance programs and resources.
If an institution does not want to create a separate department, financial wellness programs could be hosted by numerous departments, including but are not limited to financial aid, bursar or student financial services, enrollment management, career services, housing, new student orientation, and dean of students. Admissions, alumni relations and development offices help maximize program exposure and provide a value-added service for prospective and former students and interested parties.
Because students often are more comfortable talking with their peers, a program that incorporates trained student employees to share financial information can help build trust and confidence while also building a triage process to determine when counselors or other full-time staff need to handle more complex issues.
Providing a well-rounded education for today’s students requires a holistic approach to helping them achieve personal success, both now and tomorrow. Offering financial wellness resources will not only help students reach their personal goals – it also may give them the tools to pay their bills in full and on time!
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/College-Transcript-1.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-03-30 08:15:562022-09-30 12:44:31Have Administrative Holds Become a Hot Button Issue?
Institutions of higher education have traditionally used sanctions such as preventing future class registrations and withholding academic transcripts when students owe delinquent account balances. Depending on the schools’ policies, or sometimes state law or regulations, such sanctions may be triggered for any amount due or at a higher dollar threshold that is formula-driven or set arbitrarily.
Short of referring these debts to an outside collection agency or other entity to recover outstanding balances, these holds have provided colleges and universities with a low-cost and easy-to-implement remedy to force students to pay in full or reach out for assistance.
However, recent coverage in the media (for instance, Hechinger Report and Inside Higher Ed) focusing on the large number of students whose financial problems have forced them to delay completion of their educations has raised attention to use of these types of sanctions. A 2020 study by Ithaka S+R on impacted students with “stranded credits” portrayed a scenario where financially-challenged students had little, if any, opportunity to receive their degrees. They could not continue their educations or transfer credits because of outstanding student debt which, in some cases, amounted to only a few dollars.
The issues raised by transcript withholding led the California legislature to enact a law in 2020 prohibiting all institutions from blocking transcript requests because of outstanding balances owed. Washington and Louisiana have since enacted comparable legislation and a number of other states are considering doing so. At the same time a bill was proposed recently in New York, both the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) systems stopped sanctions using transcripts.
In addition to complaints from current and former students, schools now may be subject to complying with new laws and regulations governing their internal operations. So, what should colleges and universities be doing today to mitigate the impact?
Some ideas to consider include:
- Review existing policies and procedures governing use of holds and restricting student services. Are you restricting transcripts or registration for any amount or reason (i.e., tuition vs. parking or library fines) that money is owed? Consider your current dollar threshold for service restrictions and determine how, or if, it has been reviewed or changed in recent years (besides pandemic management).
- Involve your institution’s attorney in the review process. Having counsel look at or help create an appeal process that is consistently managed can ensure a transparent and fair practice. Creating differing rules or interpretations for every student situation not only can lead to criticism, but could create the perception of a UDAAP, which refers to unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices by those offering financial services (including higher education), which is illegal under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
- Weigh whether your state or district has implemented or is considering legislation or new rules. Work with your government affairs office or lobbyist to take the temperature on how institutional restrictions are viewed by legislators and regulators. Educate officials on what the impact of eliminating holds might be on the institution.
- Investigate opportunities to create and use debt reduction or forgiveness programs. Resolving small balance debts can be a “win-win,” eliminating minor amounts owed, while creating a positive experience for a student whose continued attendance results in additional revenues earned. Student success stories not only can breed positive press for an institution, but may even result in additional enrollments and donations.
At a time when colleges and universities are questioned as to whether they are sufficiently accessible or affordable, using service restrictions that block students from continuing or using their educations will remain under close scrutiny. How a school deals with this issue will not only impact collections but could also influence future revenue streams and enrollments.