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Articles: Student Services

For most colleges and universities, having students live on campus can provide a number of benefits, both in revenue and in classroom performance. So how can an institution maximize the benefits while creating an atmosphere that not only attracts a growing number of students, but also ensures that their experience is mutually beneficial? A comprehensive approach that emanates from the concept of providing improved value for the on-campus resident can have far reaching benefits for both student and school.

As rising tuition and the uncertain job market pressure families to spend their college savings wisely—and to even question the value of such spending—colleges and universities are more likely to be evaluated based on their return on investment. It is not just academic quality and prestige that today’s prospective students look for. They also demand a proven track record of graduate school admissions, job placements, and earning potential in relation to the overall cost of enrollment.

When the entire city of Boston was on lockdown during the April 19 manhunt for the marathon bombing suspects, institutions such as Boston College and Boston University were posting on Facebook to let admitted students know the status’ of open houses scheduled to occur that weekend.

As student loan debt levels and default rates in the United States continue to climb, consumers remain concerned about the accessibility and affordability of higher education. The average overall loan debt for bachelor’s degree recipients is fairly manageable (about $26,500 for the class of 2011, according to The Institute for College Access and Success). Still, students and families are shouldering a greater portion of the cost of college through loans than they ever have before.

  1. Unbiased student choice of where to bank. The bank account students begin at school may continue with them for decades. Such an important choice shouldn’t be skewed by which bank gave the school the most money. For financial aid disbursements, campuses should provide students a diverse set of disbursement options that clearly include the ability to use their own existing bank account and ability to choose to receive a check.

Until a few years ago, a visitor to a college campus might have thought credit card vendors operated branch offices there, so pervasive was their marketing. For many students, getting their first credit card was a step toward adulthood. In the best of circumstances, students began lifelong associations with a particular bank or financial institution, and established their all-important credit history.

Perhaps more than any other market segment, the higher education industry has led the charge in payments cards with its multiple, campuswide applications and rapid adoption of innovative technologies.

Unpredictable high winds and rip currents catalyze rogue waves, sinking ships like the Andrea Gail inspiring the book and film The Perfect Storm. As the east coast now rebuilds from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, many institutions are heading into another rogue wave that threatens the economic sustainability of higher ed.

webcam doctor

At Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (Pa.), seeing a doctor is now just a click away. Using Rapid Remedy, an online service that allows students to video chat with board-certified physicians, Harrisburg students can skip unneeded office visits while saving the school money, shares Harrisburg’s President Eric Darr.

Feedback from private student loan borrowers reveals they hold a host of common misconceptions about their loans. In comments and complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), borrowers demonstrate a lack of knowledge about the difference between private and federal student loans, how bankruptcy can impact their loans, who holds and services their loans, what repayment options they have, and more. The consequences of these misunderstandings include unexpected default, forbearance fees, and ineligibility for repayment incentives.

While community colleges are supposed to be two-year institutions, many students take longer than that to graduate. Some four-year institutions, meanwhile, allow ambitious students to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years. Pima Community College (Ariz.) has come up with a new twist to the accelerated degree trend, giving East Campus students enrolling in the Sprint Schedule pilot program the chance to be done in just one. 

Simpler for graduating students, the new process is also a moneysaver.

After doubling its number of graduates, Polk needed to automate its graduation applications process. A customized Access database was created with built-in reporting capabilities. An automated download capability was added to link graduate information with the reporting database. The result: Advising hours have been reduced by 1,600 per year and the additional clerical help is no longer needed.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, with students and teachers behind him, gestures during a news conference after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Oakland, Calif. The governor talked about his support for Proposition 30 that will increase funding for schools and public safety. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

While voters across the nation were glued to their screens last night counting electoral votes, the higher education community was holding its breath awaiting the answers on a number of important ballot initiatives, proving this year’s election was truly about more than blue and red for higher ed.

NMU's Foundation Scholarship application and selection process was inefficient and labor intensive. A web application was designed that matched selection criteria to the student's academic and biographical profile. The new system reduced data entry, paper, timing, and labor costs, while increasing data accuracy and providing more information to selection committees.

Successful business incubation at universities is about much more than a capable technology transfer office (TTO) and strong commercialization policies. New businesses are born at universities because faculty and students have the freedom to develop innovative ideas and pursue new lines of inquiry. To emerge from the university successfully, these pioneering ideas must be accompanied by prototype development, market research, commercialization strategy, and effective fundraising.