Have you been dragging your feet about adding a electronic signature option to your college or university’s financial aid process? Or are you having difficulty convincing your Financial Aid Director or VP that it’s a good idea?
Well it’s time to put an end to that. There were people who resisted using email in financial aid also. Now you don’t know where you’d be without the convenience of email, including your financial aid listservs, interoffice communication and the glory of email blasts to student populations. [Tweet “Once, people resisted using email in #FinAid. Now they’re obsolete. Stay modern. Get eSign.”]
Still don’t believe me? Here are 7 reasons you should add e-signature capabilities to your financial aid tool belt right away.
1. Tech to Impress
Millennials have never known a world without computers. What would impress a Millennial and their parents more: pushing a piece of paper across the desk or sending them a link to click that they can access from a smartphone, tablet or computer? I think we can asnwer that musing with a fact: 99% of FAFSAs are completed online.
The fact is, your competing schools are likely offering e-signature. If they’re not, all the more reason to be the first one. Technology is there to make our lives easier, but right now you can also use it to appear modern and fancy. Adopt e-signature capability when it’s appreciated, before it’s simply expected.
2. Convenience Factor
Would your students rather sign documents from the comfort of your own couch or by driving to the school, paying for parking and finding the right building on campus? The answer is pretty obvious. Your students and their parents are busy. I’m sure you’ve noticed, but so is your staff. Make the process of completing important financial aid paperwork convenient for everyone with a e-signature capability that can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
3. Prioritize Safety and Security
How much of your student population is from out of state? If you’re like Arizona State University, you could expect as much as 1/4 of your undergrad population to be from outside Arizona. With a paper driven system, thousands of students and their parents could be sending important personally identifiable information (PII) through the mail, where it could be stolen or lost.
There’s a more secure way. E-signature products are secured by data encryption, which means your students’ information stays safe.[Tweet “Keep your #students’ documents safe. eSign > Snail mail”]
4. Be Faster and More Agile
With e-signature, there is no more printing documents, taking appointments to receive parents to sign the documents or, worse, mailing them out and waiting for their return. Students and their parents simply log into the system, sign right from their device and submit. Plus, a great e-signature system will provide updates to all parties who need to sign, alleviating your staff of the pesky task of following up…and following up…and following up again. You know, for those really rare students who don’t submit paperwork in a timely fashion.
5. Save Space
You know what takes up space? Paper. You know what takes up no space at all? Megabytes. Rid your office of the need for more filing cabinets by allowing students and their parents to complete and sign documents entirely online. This necessitates a more thorough digital portal than just e-signature feature (such as StudentDocuments), but e-signature will still be a vital part of that.
6. Reduce Risk
Often, the delays in awarding and delivering financial aid come from the student himself (or parents). Yet, some students choose not to attend college due to not receiving aid early enough. You must shorten the time it takes for students to get their aid and reduce the risk that they might attend another school or opt to not attend at all that semester. Help students help themselves by making it as easy as possible to submit and sign financial aid documents and watch your enrollments increase.
7. Cut Costs
What is the result of time and space savings, better security, speed and happier students? Reduced costs and increased enrollment, that’s what. In short, more money in your budget.
To learn more about how to choose an e-signature provider, stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog: How to Choose an E-Signature Vendor for Your Financial Aid Office
Interested in learning more about how CampusLogic’s product StudentVerification includes e-signature for free within the platform? Schedule a demo today by clicking the button below.