Sponsored Case Studies & Features

10/01/2011

ith the costs of higher education continuing to soar, many colleges and universities are looking for innovative ways to lower expenses, while simultaneously pursuing their long-term sustainability goals. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is proving that both objectives are, indeed, achievable.

UNH is the largest university in that state. Its Durham campus, home to approximately 15,000 students, covers 1,100 acres, with 300 acres devoted to its campus "core." Although by all appearances a "traditional New England campus," UNH takes great pride in being among the first higher education institutions in America to pursue an environmental sustainability program.

10/01/2011

Sometimes you don’t even know you need a solution until one presents itself. At least that’s how Tegrity Lecture Capture grew from a classroom product to a tool embedded in nearly every aspect of Lawson State Community College. 

The college implemented Tegrity in 2005. With 60 percent of the Birmingham, AL, college’s students holding down full- or part-time work, the school hoped to increase engagement, improve its retention level and help working students with attendance issues, notes Academic Dean Sherri Davis. 

02/01/2011

The cost to enroll a student is averaging approximately $6,000 and this cost doubles with the replacement of every student lost. Due to the recent financial climate, most states are facing financial cutbacks, making student retention paramount. Top reasons for attrition include school preparedness, financial support, academic progress, dissatisfaction with support services, and social readiness. So how can we keep students on track for graduation?

Until last January, issuing financial aid refunds at Antelope Valley College was a long, tedious process. Instruction files were sent from the school to a remote district office, which printed checks and sent them back to the school to be stuffed into envelopes and mailed to students.

It was a time-consuming and costly procedure, explained Sherrie Padilla, director of financial aid at the community college, located in Lancaster, Calif. “We needed to investigate other ways to disburse refunds to students,” she said.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.

Charles Dickens penned the opening lines of "A Tale of Two Cities" to describe French Revolutionary times, but they could easily apply to the modern world of student refunds. Or, more specifically, to two of the primary alternatives to paper checks.

One is simple, secure and smart. The other can be convoluted, controversial and painful for students.

 

When Vincennes University introduced the Blazer OneCard on its three Indiana campuses a year ago, students and parents were skeptical. Why, they wanted to know, was the university asking students to carry a MasterCard?

But as university officials found out, a little education goes a long way, and the skepticism was quickly replaced with a high degree of satisfaction. The idea for the Blazer OneCard emerged from the university’s decision to streamline the cumbersome process of issuing financial aid refunds so students could get their money more quickly and safely, according to Vincennes University Bursar Lori Hostetler.

Blinn College has been in the business of educating students since 1883, a point of pride for its administrators. Even as it honors its pioneering roots, the college also has evolved to meet the needs of students. Founded initially to train young men for the ministry, Blinn became the first county-owned junior college in Texas and one of the largest of the state’s 50 community/junior college districts.

 

Welcome to the first Streamlined of 2009! My colleagues are proud to continue this series of publications designed to inform college and university administrators about new and innovative methods of streamlining business office operations.

 

Implementation of a laptop program was the beginning of the simplification and standardization of IT at Grove City College (PA), a common enough move these days as anywhere, anytime computing becomes the campus norm. What makes this program strikingly different from other colleges’ is that it was launched - in partnership with HP - more than a decade ago when laptops were not the sleek, ubiquitous tools they are today.

 

Greetings, and welcome to NEC Campus Report.

Technology influences all aspects of higher education, from teaching and learning to research and administration. We’ve produced NEC Campus Report to showcase some of our solutions for using technology to improve campus communications.

When it came time to mail financial aid refund checks at Des Moines Area Community College each semester, officials always worried about how many of those checks the post office would return as undeliverable. With nearly 27,000 students attending more than 3,000 classes on six campuses, it was inevitable that many of those students would have forgotten to inform the school of a new address.

As the problems with mailing checks mounted, administrators at DMACC decided it was time to go another direction. They surveyed the student body to learn more about how they would like to receive refunds.

For years, Butte College in California put up with an internal IT system that left huge gaps in the ability of administrators, faculty, staff, and students to electronically communicate with each other. Administrators were unable to send memos targeted to, say, faculty members or the public works staff. Professors were unable to communicate with specific classes. And students had to go through separate log-in procedures to access the system's Web Advisor - and Blackboard - functions, as well as their e-mail accounts.

 

If you are considering streamlining refund delivery, enhancing student services and reducing expenses, now is the time to act because the U.S. Department of Education has validated and encouraged the use of bank debit cards for refund delivery.

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