The learner of today likely wouldn’t recognize the college experience 10, let alone 20, years ago (and vice-versa). To meet the needs of increasingly diverse student populations, schools spend billions every year on learning management systems, digital content, mobile applications, and business intelligence products. The goal: promote academic success by creating a personalized student experience.
Despite those investments, more than 3 million students drop out of higher education every year. 36 million people in the U.S. left school without earning a credential—many took student debt as a legacy. Why?
“One-size-fits-all” models don’t work for today’s learners—they expect experiences as unique as they are. The rest of the world adapts to students real-time: Netflix and Spotify morph to individual preferences; Amazon suggests next purchases based on past behavior. Academic nudges and career alerts keep pace.
Schools have the information and digital pathways to create a 1:You financial aid experience. To present clear, tailored instructions that help students better understand all their options—financial aid, scholarships—and the true impact of debt. We need to do more, today.
There’s nothing routine when it comes to advising students about financial aid—it’s personal, emotional, and intimidating. And students today expect more from the advising experience: more information, guidance, and access. They expect Siri’s data-driven, instant, reliable answers, in their hands, wherever and whenever they are. Waiting in lines or through phone queues isn’t an option for students juggling work and family, obligations. Automating administrative tasks and empowering self-service discovery of basic answers means more time can be spent advising high needs students.
Data is power—for everyone. It’s at the heart of the experience students want, one that constantly adapts based on their unique behaviors. Harnessing financial aid and scholarship data powers better student experiences, streamlines processes that trigger early warnings about struggling students, and drives continual improvements that impact attainment of institutional strategic plans.
When schools invest in automation that simplifies the funding process, advising that extends outside of the four walls of the financial aid office, and analytics that create a real-time feedback loop—making student financial success as fundamental a part of strategic planning as investments in academic and career success—things will change. Institutions will more easily attract, retain, and graduate underserved populations, driving upward mobility and success for generations.