The end of the 2016-2017 school year is here. Now come the caps and gowns and celebrations of a job well done—at least for the students. For financial aid directors and bursars, this can be a stressful time as they start sending out repayment notices for their campus-based charges and loans. With national student debt hitting $1.3 trillion and growing, help decrease your students’ debt footprints with these proactive tips.
Communicate More Frequently with Current Students
Your recovery process should begin as soon as loans are disbursed. Communication about loans and repayment while a student is in school encourages them to ask questions before they take out additional loans and empowers them to take ownership and responsibility sooner for their accounts.
Pro Tip: Get student permission to use text and email to communicate. These electronic methods are the most immediate ways to share information and are much harder to ignore than snail mail.
Invest in a One-Stop Student Contact Center
Contact centers enable long-term student success by providing the resources to assist early on with concerns like returning enrollment paperwork on time or explaining the penalties of dropping a class too late. Left unaddressed, these common problems can become new charges that snowball into delinquency just because of a lack of information.
Sound like a lot of overhead and staff time? Consider outsourcing. For a fraction of the cost of self-operation, a good partner for inbound calling can mirror your school’s culture and assist with FAQ callers, leaving your staff to focus on matters that demand more specialized attention and time.
Identify Root Causes of Delinquency and Common Pain Points
Talk to your staff members and identify where in your process your students are struggling and why. Are notifications with action items sent in a timely manner? Are directions for submitting financial aid paperwork confusing? The best plans of action are informed ones created from hard data, not conjecture. You could even host a town hall style forum or suggestion drive to hear directly from students what changes would help them.
Update Your Student Financial Agreement
Student financial agreements are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. Like tip #1, student financial agreements allow schools to be proactive in informing students early on about what they are responsible for financially. They outline potential penalties and fees in the case an account goes delinquent.
By harnessing these strategies, you can eliminate some of the most common and easily avoidable delinquency issues, and become a leader in proactive campus-based account receivable management.