SWTC Saves Time With StudentForms

Shift from Manual to Digital FinAid Saves Time, Wins SWTC Campus Approval

For as long as Joy Kite can remember, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College’s (SWTC) busy financial aid office had used a paper-based, manual process. With a total enrollment of 8,000+ students—75% of students enrolled in aid-eligible programs received financial assistance through financial aid funding—performing more than 500+ verifications a year was taking her team a lot longer that it had to.

“Verification of student files is time-intensive, you have to look at very specific things,” says Kite, SWTC’s Financial Aid Manager for 14 years. “If you’re doing it manually, you really have to pay attention.” Half of Kite’s FinAid office staff serve double-duty as business office workers, constantly being pulled away mid-verification to answer front-line questions from students. “We had a physical copy of a tax transcript highlighted to help us because we were doing everything by hand.” And she means everything: As of May 2016, the SWTC team was still working on access to a document imaging system.

A Solution She Didn’t Know Existed: StudentForms

Kite openly admits she wasn’t actively looking for a financial aid solution, and she most definitely didn’t want to outsource. “I didn’t even know that there was software out there that could improve the financial aid process, make it mobile, paperless, more efficient, but still keep it in-house,” she explains. “And then CampusLogic called.”

StudentFormsSM from CampusLogic simplifies FinAid processes (verification, professional judgments, SAP appeals) by making FinAid forms easy, mobile and personalized. StudentForms offers a digital portal to manage tasks, workflow-driven file review, auto-indexed documents, automated student communications via text and email, and secure doc upload from any phone.

To Win Over Kite, a New Solution Would Need to:

  • Reduce her verification processing time
  • Alleviate staff burden
  • Offer easy adoption so her busy team could hit the ground running

SWTC Staff, CFO, and IT Approval

Kite saw a demo of the CampusLogic platform and it didn’t take long for her to decide the financial aid software was a solid investment. Her staff agreed, with a resounding “Let’s do it!” Next step: gain college-wide approval.

SWTC’s Chief Financial Officer agreed it was a value-based solution. His request: ask SWTC’s IT Director if the college could build this solution internally. The IT Director’s response after reviewing the platform: There was no way her team could accomplish the benefits of CampusLogic in-house in a timely, cost-efficient manner. “It sounds very helpful to the staff, though,” she added.

Staff Adoption: Easy to Use, Intuitive, Paperless

SWTC’s FinAid Office staff took to CampusLogic quickly, describing it as easy to use and intuitive. Kite is thrilled with the dynamic web forms based on ISIR logic. “There are so many nuances to financial aid that can be confusing to students and their families. CampusLogic simplifies it, only asking the relevant questions. It certainly has led to fewer errors.”

Student Adoption: Great Success

“Students took to the new process quickly as well,” Kite explains. “They like how simple it is to upload and complete documentation via their phones.” Some highlights of SWTC student usage since January 1, 2015:

  • Average turnaround for parents’ e-signature: 23 hours, 28 min, 46 sec
  • Student accounts created: 478
  • Verifications completed: 400

A Five-Star Customer Success Team

Kite points to CampusLogic’s ongoing, personalized support as key to SWTC’s success. “I just can’t say enough about how responsive CampusLogic is,” she says. “Without that response-level, I don’t feel we would have been so successful last year—our Customer Success Manager Heather was just amazing.”

Along with being highly responsive, Kite says CampusLogic was also proactive. In the summer, noting a gap in ISIR uploads from SWTC, CampusLogic called to see if there were any issues or problems. “We had some folks out of the office for holidays, hence the lag,” says Kite. “But how awesome it was to know CampusLogic was on watch, that they cared and they were concerned.”

SWTC: Two Thumbs Up for CampusLogic

“My staff often recommend the platform to others in the industry,” says Kite. “They really love it.” A new team member has only heard of the team’s previous manual, paper-based process. “She honestly can’t figure out how we survived for so long doing manual verification,” says Kite. “She just knows that back then, we were buried in paperwork.”

What Does SWTC Love Most About CampusLogic?

  • Amazingly responsive customer support
  • Software’s ease of use
  • Improved efficiencies realized

SWTC’s CampusLogic Experience in Three Words:

  • Successful
  • Easy
  • Time-saving

About Southwest Wisconsin Technical College:

  • Founded: 1967
  • Modalities: Ground-based and online
  • Enrollment: 8000+
  • Students receiving financial aid: 75% of those enrolled in aid-eligible programs
  • Verifications per year: 500
  • Student Information System: CAMS
  • Challenge: Small office seeking to streamline verification processing time
  •  Solution: CampusLogic’s StudentForms
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