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Award Letters that Don’t Suck – a 2015 NASFAA Conference Presentation

It’s Chris Chumley, CampusLogic’s Chief Operating Officer and a lucky NASFAA Presenter! In case you missed my presentation Award Letters That Don’t Suck at the 2015 NASFAA Conference this morning, below is a recap.

A Bit About CampusLogic

CampusLogic’s smart, cloud-based solutions allow schools to deliver an exceptional student experience with lower administrative costs.

Today, we’ll discuss our AwardLetter solution. But first, check out this funny video that kicked off my presentation.

 The Award Letter Challenge

There are many challenges related to the award letters most schools send.

  1. Terminology – Unfortunately much of the terminology in award letter is unfamiliar, complex and confusing to new students and their parents. Award letters need to do a better job explaining themselves, but how is that possible with paper, one-sheet award letters?

“More than two-thirds of student loan borrowers misunderstood or were surprised by some aspect of their student loans.”

                                – Young Invicibles Study by Whitsett and Allison 2015

  1. Info Overload – On the other end of the spectrum, award letters can contain too much information. Many school’s award letters are really more of an award packet with page after page for students and their parents to sift through for answers.
  2. Limited by Format – Paper format is limiting. That’s why college professors use media such as powerpoint, video and audio to teach class materials. College admin shouldn’t be any different.
  3. Inflexible SIS Options – Many schools use their student information system to send out award letters. Often, the SIS is impossible or difficult to change without IT involvement. Most award letters output by SIS are unattractive and too brief.

Award Letter is the perfect solution to these challenges.

Award letter solves the above pain points. AwardLetter also enables higher ed institutes to wow their tech-savvy students with digital and dynamic award letters that prove their school is cutting edge

  1. AwardLetter is Digital. With a digital award letter, schools can embed videos into the award letter that deliver explanations and definitions to students in a format they prefer.

Schools can also link to additional resources, allowing students to pick and choose what they need explained. No more sifting through a pile of papers looking for one definition.

  1. AwardLetter is Mobile. Where do you find Millennial students? On their phones!

We have all witnessed Millennials walking across campus, sitting in class, driving cars and spending time with friends…all while on their mobile phones. They’re a mobile generation, and their award letters should be just as mobile.

mobile

  1. AwardLetter is Dynamic. It is a flexible tool that can be viewed on any device by parents or students and easily edited by financial aid staff. It’s an interactive, living electronic tool with infinite ways to evolve as students’ or schools’ needs change – rather than a flat piece of paper.
  2. AwardLetter Allows Content Plugins. Our recent partnership with FATV allows our clients to leverage FATV’s award-winning financial aid video content in AwardLetter. FATV’s library of engaging, easy-to-understand content will help schools educate students.
  3. AwardLetter is Automatically Delivered. Once a school has chosen the format and content for their AwardLetter, they can simply upload students from their SIS. AwardLetter will import contact information and
  4. AwardLetter Educates Students. Every financial aid counselor wants students and their parents to make informed, responsible decisions about how to pay for college. But who has the time to teach young students everything they need to know to make the right decision? Let AwardLetter do the heavy lifting of educating students and their parents, and financial aid advisers can focus on counseling students.

 

To see the slides from the presentation, visit our slideshare here.

Are you looking for the recap of our other presentation Student Self-Service: The Future of Financial Aid? Find it here.