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Get the Most from Allocating and Communicating Financial Aid

Whether your institution is seeking to improve access, headcount, tuition revenue, or student success, you must be sure you are getting the most from your allocation of financial aid. There are four areas where universities must excel: allocation of institutional grant aid, strategic use of endowed scholarships, clear communication of pricing and aid, and the use of aid to support student success.

Decision Support

Assess your current financial aid performance to identify gaps and opportunities

Do university stakeholders conceptualize aid as a discount (rather than an expense)? Do you spend close to all of available endowed scholarships? Do you effectively communicate pricing and aid to prospective students? Complete this self-assessment to diagnose where your university has the most room for improvement with respect to financial aid.

Stakeholder Education

Ensure you’re getting the most from your institutional grant aid

Whether your institution is a small private college that began working with aid optimization consultants decades ago or a large regional public university that only recently felt the need for more strategic use of aid, all institutions must be sure they are getting the most from their allocation of financial aid.

The challenge is that financial aid optimization is complex. It’s hard to know what strategic use of institutional funds looks like and whether or not your institution is getting the most out of preciously scarce financial resources.

Action Support

Use endowed scholarships strategically

In an era of tight budgets, fierce competition for prospective students, and ever-increasing concern about student debt, endowed scholarships can provide additional leverage to recruit and retain students but are not typically used for that purpose.

Many institutions treat endowed scholarships as supplemental rewards rather than inducements to attend. Others struggle to award endowed funds at all, leaving millions of dollars unspent. The stakes of “leaving money on the table” are high and go beyond the obvious cost of not awarding the aid; no administrator wants to respond to a donor inquiry with the news that the fund has not been awarded for years.

Action Support

Communicate price and aid clearly to prospective students and families

Financial aid is a complicated topic for even the most financially savvy prospective students. High list prices mean that students and families expect aid, but they don’t know how much to expect.

Universities need to communicate clearly about pricing throughout the college search process or risk getting eliminated from the consideration set in favor of universities where students understand the cost. Discover all the ways to clearly communicate pricing and aid.

Action Support

Minimize the risk of student financial attrition

In addition to being one of the major factors in whether or not a student enrolls, cost is also a major retention issue. Colleges and universities must be aware of which students are at risk of dropping out due to financial concerns and target interventions to provide assistance.

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