Money Matters

Don't Get Distracted: Top Audit Issues in Financial Aid

How to avoid common pitfalls with regulatory compliance issues.

Financial Aid and the Business Office

Building an effective relationship between these two departments depends on five key factors.

AS COLLEGE TUITIONS rise, strong and effective links between Financial Aid and student billing processes and staffs become increasingly important. Financial Aid must also partner well with Admissions in support of achieving new student enrollment goals.

Understanding the Value of Transfers

It's more important than ever for colleges and universities to pay attention to transfers-and for two- and four-year schools to work together.

ACROSS THE COUNTRY, enrollments at community colleges are growing rapidly. According to 2004 data (the most recent) from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), almost 40 percent of all students enrolled in higher education institutions are enrolled at two-year institutions. There are many reasons for this growth, but two are most significant.

Financial Aid Appeal Pitfalls

Here are five common mistakes made by Admissions and Financial Aid offices during the appeals process-and why they should be avoided.

Admissions, Athletics, and Financial Aid

How to build a strong partnership among each of these areas.

Is Affordability Really the Issue?

Analyzing the role of financial aid in retention helps paint a true picture of why students may choose to leave.

In exit interviews with students planning to transfer, the issue of affordability almost always tops the list of stated reasons for leaving.Institutions whose leaders take such responses at face value, however, could end up spending additional financial aid on upperclassmen without seeing any improvement in retention.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Financial Aid Consultant

These 10 principles outline a productive institution/consultant relationship.

With enrollments and net tuition revenue at stake, more and more colleges and universities are seeking help from outside consultants in reviewing financial aid strategies. Here are 10 principles to follow to ensure that the consulting relationship is as productive as possible:

Building a Financial Fundraising Case

A successful fundraising plan involves sharing data, tying donors' values to the cause, and then careful stewardship of funds.

It's not uncommon for a capital campaign or annual fund drive to focus on scholarships or need-based grants. Here's how financial aid officers can help advancement staff make their fundraising case-and avoid pitfalls in establishing endowed scholarship programs.

An excellent place to start is factually demonstrating the need for funds. An aid officer should provide data to show:

Evidence of the growing gap between tuition charges and the typical enrollee's ability to pay.

Just One Stop, But Many Potential Pitfalls

Ensuring a strategic student service initiative doesn't result in worse service.

More and more institutions are strategically bringing together interconnected offices such as Financial Aid, Bursar, Registrar, and Advising under a "one-stop shop" with the intention of improving customer service. However, if not planned and executed properly, the action could deteriorate rather than enhance service. The following real examples represent typical pitfalls to avoid in moving forward on your own campus.

Bond Rating: Beyond the Balance

An institution's financial stability is determined by many factors. Understanding the process is key to earning a better rating.

Ask an admissions, financial aid, or enrollment management officer about their institution's "ratings." The conversation will likely turn to how the school stacks up in college guidebooks or U.S. News rankings.