Giving students the simple, accessible financial aid service they deserve
How Brookdale Community College uses Ellucian Colleague® Self-Service Financial Aid to reduce paperwork, speed award processing, and keep students in the loop and on track
- Students have real-time access to their financial aid status
- Staff saves time and resources by offering a self-service system
- Faster financial aid systems mean faster award processing
Maureen Lawrence, vice president of finance and operations at Brookdale Community College
The number one priority has to be student success, student retention, student completion. It has to be. About four years ago, our president came and spoke to me about trying to simplify our technology at the institution. One of the largest discoveries we found was that one of the biggest stumbling blocks for our students was financial aid.
Students weren't able to see in real-time their financial aid, student accounting, and some of those deadlines for paperwork and other requirements. And that can result in errors with regard to student completion because without that financial aid, many of our students, especially in community colleges, cannot complete their degree in a timely fashion.
So, once we moved over to Colleague in the self-serve financial aid, we noticed that a lot of the back and forth paperwork that our staff typically had to process during the day was no longer necessary. That helped on the employee side of the house. For our students, they could see in real-time their financial aid awards. They could see that piece of paper that they were missing for verification. They could see whether or not they were eligible for aid in the next semester.
Really, it improved the overall student experience with financial aid, simply because the student was able to take responsibility for themselves as opposed to our staff making a lot of phone calls trying to follow up. This absolutely was a commitment at the institution to simplify this process. And they got our students their financial aid money much quicker.