Case Study: Gwinnett Technical College

Case Study
Gwinnett Technical College
 
Gwinnett Technical College Extends the Personal Touch and Meets Goals with Student Outreach Program

Gwinnett Tech’s motto is, “Teach every individual; serve every business.” As part of the Technical College System of Georgia, is a public two-year college that serves the communities of Gwinnett and North Fulton by offering campus and distance learning for associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in credit programs as well as for adult and continuing education training.

 
Time Well-Spent, If You Have It

An enrollment manager at Gwinnett Technical College (GTC) had a great idea: follow up the admitted student email with a personal phone call. There were prospective students that weren’t responding to emails and only acknowledging texts, with no follow through, but they were answering their phones. “There was something so interesting about it, just good old-fashioned phone calls, and talking with somebody to direct those students to the appropriate resources,” said Dr. Kohle Paul, Vice President, Student Affairs.

 

All of the information was in the emails and texts, but the team found it really resonated with students when they were called. What the GTC team didn’t realize was that the impact and response rate would be so high from those contacts.

 
Right Place, Right Time

“The weeks the team facilitated the welcome to GTC calls were great, but with summer volume picking up, the team was unable to continue,” said Paul.

 

“So, we started searching for other ways to continue the campaigns as we felt it added a personal touch to new students, welcoming them to the college and next steps, as well as returning students and welcoming them back.”

 

The timing was right when Paul was attending a monthly meeting for the System and Inceptia was speaking. “I knew some of my system cohorts had been working with Inceptia and the experience of their contact team with managing student concerns and processing made me think this would be a great opportunity to extend our team’s reach with Inceptia’s expertise to deliver the same level of student understanding we would with more time.”

 
Extending the Team Helps Meet Enrollment Goals

Inceptia got to work on connecting with the students on the list GTC provided – a little over 800 admitted students. Each member of the Inceptia student advocate counseling team goes through extensive initial training, including assessments and quality assurance checks. In addition, the team participates in monthly internal and external training to keep their skills current along with soft skills practices to thoughtfully manage their student conversations for a successful outcome.

 

Through a strategically planned contact campaign, 181 students actually enrolled and, even better, some have signed up for the next term – early. Paul said, “This outreach campaign was extremely helpful to promote our fall enrollment and actually allowed us to reach our first time freshmen goal. So we were excited about the work!”

 

Paul added, “It’s a valuable return on our partnership investment. That’s 181 more people that are enriching their lives through education and that’s really our goal.” All students that Inceptia interacted with also got a follow-up email, so even if they haven’t enrolled yet, the door is open and they have the information they need to move forward when they are ready.

 
Talk to Us

To learn more about Student Outreach Programs, contact your Business Development representative or visit inceptia.org.

 
Gwinnett Technical CC Case Study  
THE CHALLENGE

The Gwinnett Technical College team had been following up with admitted students by phone, resulting in positive responses. But, when the volume picked up they were unable to keep up the pace. They needed to find a way to continue the personal-touch momentum.

 
THE SOLUTION

GTC leveraged the Inceptia Student Outreach Programs team to extend the personal outreach to admitted students to welcome them, answer questions, provide next steps and offer encouragement.

 
THE RESULTS
  • Over 850 students contacted
  • 181 new students enrolled
  • 21% enrollment return
  • More than $225,000 in tuition income
 
PARTNER PROFILE

Gwinnett Tech, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, is a public two-year college that serves the communities of Gwinnett and North Fulton by offering campus and distance learning for associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in credit programs as well as for adult and continuing education training.

 
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Case Study: Delgado Community College

Case Study
Delgado Community College
 
Delgado Moves Students from Applied to Enrolled through Student Outreach Program

Delgado Community College is a public community college with campuses throughout the New Orleans, Louisiana metropolitan area. Delgado serves more than 15,000 students with degrees and training focused on today’s in-demand jobs to drive the local and regional economy.

 
Looking Beyond Enrollment

One of Delgado’s mottos is “Be in that number!” meaning be one of us, be successful, and be well-employed. A motto that more fully speaks to the benefits of enrollment – breaking the barriers of education to challenged populations, increasing the number of graduates, and getting graduates into better-paying jobs. With those ideas in mind Michelle Greco, Director of Enrollment Management, was looking at their potential to enrollment numbers and needed to find a way to decrease the gap. “With seven campuses serving the New Orleans area, we can extend workforce development and continuing education even further, but only if we can get those potential students from applied to enrolled.” says Greco.

 
You have to ask to find out why

Greco had two subsets in mind – students that were new to Delgado and some that had withdrawn in Spring 2022, but her team didn’t have time to do the kind of outreach needed. “We wanted to find out why these individuals were not moving forward to actually register for classes. They took the first step to apply, so what’s holding them back?”

 

Having past experience with the Inceptia team using Verification Gateway, Greco knew they would extend the care with the students that her office would, so she talked with her team about using Inceptia’s Student Outreach Programs targeted towards new and returning students. Within these programs, the Inceptia team engages with students to address barriers, reduce melt and student anxiety while promoting school connections and enrollment.

 

“A lot of things sort of happen at the spur of the moment, and in everybody’s world, especially right now. Inceptia was able to accommodate a quick-turn request to best meet the timing with these potential students,” says Greco. “I was able to upload my list and within a day, an Inceptia support representative called me a few times to make sure that I was successful with the uploads, that they could see the data, and I uploaded the right number of participants. I really appreciated that extra attention during that time period when there wasn’t time available for me to do this special project.”

 
Reaching Out Made the Connection

The outreach audience consisted of 2,031 students – 219 that had withdrawn from Spring 2022 and 1,812 that were new to Delgado. “With help from Inceptia, I was able to provide the students I wanted to reach out to, so they could encourage them to enroll and address whatever was holding them back. I didn’t give them an “easy” list as these prospects hadn’t demonstrated much interest in the past.”

 

Inceptia worked through the outreach candidates using a multifaceted time and delivery connection strategy. These connections resulted in 582 total enrollments for the regular term and term B combined. Of these enrollments, 524 were new students and 58 returned after having withdrawn.

 
Talk to Us

To learn more about Student Outreach Programs, contact your Business Development representative or visit inceptia.org.

 
Delgado CC Case Study  
THE CHALLENGE

Though the Delgado Financial Aid team had an outreach plan in place, they knew there were potential students that needed a few more touchpoints and a little more information to help them take the next steps to fulfilling their educational aspirations.

 
THE SOLUTION

Utilizing Student Outreach Programs multifaceted strategy for connecting with students, the Inceptia team contacted just over 2,000 students. The contacts consisted of 90% never having showed interest in Delgado and the remaining 10% had withdrawn in Spring 2022.

 
THE RESULTS
  • Just over 2,000 students contacted
  • 524 new students enrolled
  • 58 stop-out students enrolled
  • 28% enrollment return
  • Nearly $790,000 in tuition income
 
PARTNER PROFILE

Founded in 1921, Delgado Community College is New Orleans’ largest higher education institution and Louisiana’s oldest and largest community college, providing the most comprehensive array of education, training, and additional services available in the region. Delgado Community College offers programs through the Associate degree.

 
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Case Study: CSCU

Case Study
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
 
Verification Gateway Provides a Reliable Verification Portal to Enable Steady Enrollment

There’s a good reason 85,000 students call Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) their home. Students can choose from CSCU’s 12 community colleges, four universities, or its online college to earn an academic credential. Plus, CSCU has the lowest tuition cost in the state, making it an affordable option for students and families. More than 300,000 degrees and certificates have been awarded since CSCU’s inception in 1983 from all discipline studies, ranging from liberal arts, manufacturing, and nursing degrees.

 
Enabling Steady Enrollment

Higher education continues to face enrollment obstacles. To further the issue, COVID-19 has created an increase in financial burdens resulting in a downward spiral in student enrollment, especially among incoming freshmen who are uncertain on how to adjust their plans or unwilling to pay a higher tuition for online classes.

 

Despite the challenges, CSCU’s 12 community colleges remain diligent in keeping enrollment steady. Using Verification Gateway (VG) to complete verifications sooner so students can plan accordingly plays a role in their success. With a 29% average decrease in verifications completed 14 days prior to semester and a 38% average decrease in verifications completed 7 days prior to semester. This earlier completion of verifications resulted in a 15% average increase in packaging rate by the first day of classes. More students receiving their aid sooner equals a higher potential for enrollment.

 

“One of the biggest challenges CSCU students faced during COVID-19 was the transition to remote learning and the technological requirements that went with it,” said Steve McDowell, Associate Vice President for Financial Aid Services and Title IV Compliance. “With this challenge, we were fortunate to have VG already in place because students could safely complete verifications from home. It was one less thing they had to worry about.”

 
Financial Aid Team Pursued New Verification Solution to Tackle Volume Challenges

CSCU’s large student population equals a large number of selected verifications burdening the financial aid office with manual verification checks that often resulted in less time being available to work directly with students. Between all 17 institutions, about 40,000 students were being selected for verification annually, including more than 28,000 from the community colleges alone. McDowell and his team knew they needed to find a solution to alleviate the pressure on the team with verification so they could turn their focus to needed student counseling throughout the system. They also knew more verifications completed sooner offered the potential to increase enrollment.

 
Reduced Foot Traffic and Call Volume in Financial Aid Office

When the financial aid team implemented VG for the 2018-19 aid year, they quickly experienced some relief for the team. Verification Gateway from Inceptia is an automated online platform that streamlines federal verification processing for students and schools by offering interview-style questions, simple and secure document collection, complete reporting and personal interaction when needed.

 

The most immediate result was the significant decrease in student foot traffic and call volume. Inceptia’s team handled all verification matters, opening up the time for the financial aid staff to engage with students in different capacities.

 

“The administrative demand within higher education financial aid is complex and overwhelming at times,” McDowell said. “It was a welcomed relief for Inceptia to take over verifications so our teams could provide both a greater focus on community outreach and training activities for staff.”

 
Verification Processing Time Faster than Ever

Processing time was no longer consumed by cumbersome back-and-forth questions, paper overload, or delayed responses. Since VG’s inception, CSCU has seen significant results: a two-day turnaround time; 28% average increase in completed verifications; and 50% average decrease in the time it had been taking from first ISIR received to verified.

 
Talk to Us

To learn more about Verification Gateway, contact your Business Development representative or visit inceptia.org.

 
Case Study  
THE CHALLENGE

Steve McDowell and the financial aid team needed a verification platform that could handle CSCU’s population of 12 community colleges and higher verifications numbers. The solution needed to be efficient for students and families and provide workload relief for the financial aid staff.

 
THE SOLUTION

Selecting Verification Gateway allowed verifications to be processed more efficiently; created a user-friendly experience for students and families; reduced foot traffic and call volume in the financial aid office; and helped drive enrollment.

 
THE RESULTS
  • Reduced call volume
  • Two-day turnaround of verified records
  • 50% average decrease in time from first ISIR to verified
  • 28% average increase in completed verifications
  • 29% average decrease in verifications completed 14 days prior to semester
  • 38% average decrease in verifications completed 7 days prior to semester
  • 15% average increase in packaging rate by first day of classes
 
PARTNER PROFILE

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) is in Hartford, Connecticut and comprised of 12 community colleges, four universities, and an online college. Approximately 85,000 students call CSCU their home with more than 90 percent of students from Connecticut. The school offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs that help students achieve their personal and career goals as well as contribute to the economic growth of Connecticut.

 
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Research Brief | It Takes a Campus: Gathering Internal Support to Promote Financial Education

Research Brief
It Takes a Campus
Gathering Internal Support to Promote Financial Education

Although important to all, the execution of a financial education program is often relegated to the financial aid department. For an all hands on deck approach, such a massive and critical undertaking is daunting, but is simply system overload for one department to manage alone. Here are the reasons and data as to why financial education is everyone’s job, and how to gain buy-in for campus-wide collaborative efforts.

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Webinar | FAFSA Toolkit Express: Free Resources to Promote FAFSA Completion

Webinar
FAFSA Toolkit Express
Free Resources to Promote FAFSA Completion

Recorded on: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: FREE
Speaker: Carissa Uhlman, VP of Student Success

If you would like to request the webinar recap and supporting documentation, please complete the form on this page.

When it comes to nudging students to complete the FAFSA, you can never have enough tools to spread the message – but who has the time or resources to create a comprehensive FAFSA communication plan?

Join our half-hour express session to explore all the features of the FAFSA toolkit, including:

  • Checklists
  • Web banners
  • Postcards, emails, and posters
  • Even a verification video and more!

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Webinar | What Does the 2020-21 Financial Aid Office Look Like?

Webinar
What Does the 2020-21 Financial Aid Office Look Like?

Recorded on: Thursday, June 25, 2020
Duration: One hour
Cost: FREE
Speaker: Tami Gilbeaux

If you would like to request the webinar recap and supporting documentation, please complete the form on this page.

At one point 2020 seemed like a magical year of opportunity. However, over the last few months, our version of opportunity has certainly changed. What have we learned from the past few months? How has that changed our perspective and what should we be doing now to prepare?

Join us as we discuss these questions and more with our financial aid expert panel as we take a forward-looking approach to what might be ahead for the many duties of financial aid including verification, appeals, enrollment, and loan repayment.

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Webinar | Managing Verification While Everything is Changing Around It

Webinar
Managing Verification While Everything is Changing Around It

Recorded on: Thursday, June 18, 2020
Duration: One hour
Cost: FREE
Speaker: Matt Nettleton

If you would like to request the webinar recap and supporting documentation, please complete the form on this page.

Verification continues to change as we manage the new normal of today and work toward the uncertain normal of tomorrow. We all know the intent of verification is to get the right amount of aid to those that need it most and the process can be challenging. Managing it will likely get even harder when you consider a possible flood of PJs. The challenges along the way can make or break the decision process for students and their families, impacting them for years to come and wreak havoc on your office.

In this session we will be joined by a panel of financial aid experts to talk through how the verification challenges are changing and actions we can take to mitigate them.

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Webinar | Using Soft Skills to Excel in Hard Times

Webinar
Using Soft Skills to Excel in Hard Times

Recorded on: Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Duration: One hour
Cost: FREE
Speaker: Efrain, Quality Assurance and Training Supervisor, Inceptia

If you would like to request the webinar recap and supporting documentation, please complete the form on this page.

Even in the best of times, the ability to assist students can rely greatly on communicating effectively. Now, as campus closures necessitate a shift away from in-person contact, developing or honing phone skills can make a huge difference in the quality of our student interactions.

Students are making critical choices right now about starting or continuing their studies, and providing exceptional support is key for your school to excel. Whether you’re settling into your role or you’re a seasoned higher ed pro, we can all benefit from examining and sharpening our soft skills in stressful situations … amidst change … and on the phone.

Hear from our customer support experts on the tips and techniques they use to manage student interactions every day including:

  • Using effective language
  • Employing emotional intelligence
  • Taking control of the call
  • And physical or mental tweaks you can make to improve your communication

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2020 Marks Seventh Consecutive Year of “Great Advice for Grads”, Addition of “The More You Know for Grad and Pro”

Press Release
2020 Marks Seventh Consecutive Year of “Great Advice for Grads”, Addition of “The More You Know for Grad and Pro”

Lincoln, Neb. (March 31, 2020) – Continuing with a tradition dating back to 2014, Inceptia has published their seventh edition of "Great Advice for Grads," a free e-guide designed to help the Class of 2020 get started on the path to financial empowerment during uncertain times.

 

We are also pleased to publish our first companion guide for graduate and professional students, "The More You Know: Great Advice for Grad and Pro."

 

“Great Advice” is the product of a collaborative relationship with the personal finance site NerdWallet, featuring content from the site’s expert money authors regarding student loans, managing debt, improving credit, and general finances. “The More You Know” also includes content that is tailor-made for the post-grad set, with resources from AccessLex Institute.

 

With each year, the content of the e-guide becomes more and more shaped by the self-reported financial hurdles of students across the country. 2020 is no different, despite our current financial climate and worldwide challenges.

 

“We always strive to deliver relevant content that students are seeking,” says Carissa Uhlman, vice president of student success at Inceptia. “We know that right now, students are looking for sound advice that can be used to help them make the best-informed choices. We are happy to provide that and be a trusted source during turbulent times.”

 

Included in the 2020 e-guides are articles that speak to those student inquiries, including:

  • Don’t Freak Out About an Emergency Fund — Just Start One
  • Can’t Bear to Check Your Finances? Here’s Help
  • The Best Financial Advice at Every Age
  • How to Choose the Right Health Plan

 

As part of its non-profit philanthropic mission, Inceptia makes “Great Advice” and “The More You Know” available as a free download for students, parents, educators and all others who advocate for student financial education. “Great Advice for Grads 2020” is available for download at Inceptia.org/gradadvice20 and “The More You Know: Great Advice for Grad and Pro” can be accessed at Inceptia.org/gradproadvice20.

 

ABOUT INCEPTIA
Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program (NSLP), is a nonprofit organization committed to offering effective and uncomplicated solutions in verification, financial aid management, financial education, and repayment wellness. Our mission is to support schools as they launch brilliant futures for students, armed with the knowledge to become financially responsible citizens. Since 1986, we have helped more than two million students at 5,500 schools reach their higher education dreams. Each year we help nearly 340,000 students learn how to pay for college, navigate financial aid, borrow wisely, and resolve their student loan repayment challenges. Our solutions are designed to support student success by helping financial aid administrators maximize resources, so they can spend more time focusing on students. Learn more at Inceptia.org.

 

ABOUT NERDWALLET
NerdWallet offers consumers clarity for all of life’s financial decisions. Whether it’s credit cards, insurance, student loans or investing, people lack the clear, unbiased information they need to make the best choice. With NerdWallet, consumers have free access to user-friendly tools and advice that save time and money, and give them the freedom to do more. NerdWallet is based in San Francisco and employs more than 440 Nerds. For more information, visit nerdwallet.com.

 

ABOUT ACCESSLEX INSTITUTE
AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization committed to helping talented, purpose-driven students find their path from aspiring lawyer to fulfilled professional. In partnership with its nearly 200 Member law schools, improving access and positively influencing legal education have been at the heart of the Company's mission since 1983.

Case Study: Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

Case Study
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
 
Financial Avenue As a Drawing Board to Launch Artistic Careers

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, commonly referred to as FIDM, is located on four campuses throughout California. With over 30 accredited Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate Programs in design and creative business, they knew they had a creatively savvy group but wanted to find a way to help them be money savvy, too. During their search for a financial education platform, they needed an outside-of the-box approach.

 

“The students really learn from Financial Avenue,” says Martha Ramos, FIDM’s Stafford Repayment Coordinator. “The content isn’t easy, but it’s easy to learn. It’s written in a way that they can understand it.” Ramos also says she appreciates that courses are designed with testing immediately following each module so what they’ve learned is fresh in students’ minds.

 

A week before financial clearance, students are required to turn in their Financial Avenue grades. Without it, they cannot register for upcoming classes.

 

Continued use of Financial Avenue is part of FIDM’s strategy to maintain their low CDR, if not continue to decrease it, especially if the program is expanded to all students.

 
Financial Empowerment by Design

Financial Avenue helps students think twice about what they’re doing when it comes to money, Ramos says. And having financial skills will help them consider how their actions today are going to affect them tomorrow.

 

Ramos says, “I had a student who was asking me something about credit cards, something she learned in the course skills. The course taught her the importance of reading her statements, something she’s going to work on to understand better.”

 

By the end of the program, students who previously doubted the necessity of the courses are converted to financial education believers.

 
Talk to Us

To learn more about Financial Avenue, contact your Business Development representative.

Case Study  
CHALLENGE

Knowing how to manage money is a universal skill that applies to students of any major. But, how do you convince students of that and have them embrace the learning when their attention and interests are spread in so many other directions?

 
SOLUTION

Financial Avenue takes a behavioral-based approach to delivering relevant content that explains exactly why students should care, while also addressing how students can immediately apply concepts to build financial capability now.

 
RESULTS
  • The four California campuses have achieved over 24,000 total Financial Avenue course completions
  • Average knowledge gain increase of90 percent
 
PARTNER PROFILE

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) is a for-profit private college in California. It offers over 25 accredited Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate Degree programs in design and creative business.

Enrollment: 4,200 undergraduate

Alumni: 70,000

Campuses: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, and San Diego

www.fidm.edu

 
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