Power Up

7 Productivity Power Ups for the Financial Aid Office

Ever feel like your job is to be Mario running along on this incredible mission but complex problems and time-consuming processes keep popping up like Fire Flowers and those awful little turtle guys? Okay, maybe you don’t view your life through the lens of a late ’80s video game, but when you’re on a tight time schedule, roadblocks can really throw you off your path and feel like they’re derailing your mission. Too much to do, not enough time to do it is a common refrain we hear in financial aid offices across the country.

That’s why CampusLogic compiled 7 tools to save your most precious asset: time. In the financial aid office, especially during peak season, you may think nothing short of cloning can help you get it all done. But we searched high and low and came up with 7 tools that we know will save you enough time to not only take a breath, but maybe even follow it up with a mini desk yoga sesh. Or a latte. Whichever you have missed the most.

Without further ado, here are 7 tools that will save time in the FA office:

1. AutoReconciliation

Are you tired of staring at Excel spreadsheets to manually compare your COD and SIS data? Heck, I’m getting tired just talking about it. AutoReconciliation handles the whole process for you…in a few seconds. You just upload your SIS data and the corresponding Department of Education data, and AutoReconciliation identifies any discrepancies.

 2. Evernote

If you’re like me, you’ll write down an important tidbit of information in a meeting or at a conference and then forget to add it to your mental and electronic catalogue. Introducing Evernote: a cloud-based workspace software that allows you to keep notes and access them from anywhere, on any device. Additionally, you can easily save an online article into the app to reference later, set alarms and reminders, create checklists and more.

3. Toolkit

The Financial Aid Toolkit provides the information necessary to help financial aid counselors guide students and parents to prepare for college or career school. It includes valuable and actionable federal student aid information and outreach tools.

4. Snacks

Low blood sugar will quickly blur those lines of data, digits and dollar signs. Keep your energy up (especially during the peak season) with frequent snacking. Instead of packing your own snacks and hauling them to the office every day, consider signing up for a NatureBox. For a small monthly fee, a box of delicious snacks crafted to your dietary needs will be sent to you at work, if you’d like. Are you vegan, sensitive to gluten, lactose intolerance or allergic to tree nuts? No worries, NatureBox will accommodate you.

5. StudentVerification

Do you enjoy spending hours on the phone returning students’ calls to remind them of the information they must give to complete verification, re-explaining how they may submit it and reiterating the importance of timeliness? I didn’t think so. StudentVerification simplifies and automates that process, providing a secure, self-service portal where students may easily see what information they owe and may safely submit the necessary documents. On the other end, FA counselors can see what students have uploaded in real-time.

6. Back Attack

Do you find yourself missing work each semester due to back pain? Or does back pain affect your concentration and thus, your productivity? The Society for Human Resource Management says back issues cost employers money every year due to lost work time and underperformance. If you can’t use that to convince your employer to invest in better chairs, consider the following tips to alleviate back pain: Sit on a medicine ball, get up and walk around once an hour, breathe and be sure to rest both feet evenly on the ground. I’ve also heard good things about rolling this gadget across your back.

7. FAA Access

This useful tool helps financial aid counselors calculate the amount of Title IV funds that need to be returned to the federal government when a student leaves school. This amount is calculated based on how much of the semester the student completed.