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Greco had two subsets in mind – students that were new to Delgado and some that had withdrawn in Spring 2022, but her team didn’t have time to do the kind of outreach needed.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.

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Delgado CC Case Study  

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.


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.

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

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.

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Case Study  

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.


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.

  • 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

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

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?

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

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

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 nonprofit 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 and “The More You Know: Great Advice for Grad and Pro” can be accessed at


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


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


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.

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Case Study  

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?


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.

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

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

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Case Study: University of Nebraska at Kearney

Case Study
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Financial Avenue Keeps Second Year Students Engaged and Promotes Thoughtful Future Decisions

The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) is home to The Thompson Scholars Learning Community Program (TSLC) – a grant-based scholarship awarded to low and middle income students. The mission of the private scholarship is to develop these bright minds, from a holistic perspective, to be engaged citizens upon graduation; thus they focus heavily on academic, civic, and social development.

Finding the Right Fit

Serving students in their first and second years, The University of Nebraska at Kearney felt the TSLC program was missing a component that would round out their success equation. While they found ways to engage first-year students, they were concerned their second-year students were being lost in the shuffle. Upon reviewing their goals, they heard about Inceptia’s financial education solution, Financial Avenue.


After further exploring Financial Avenue’s learning objectives, Jennifer Harvey, program director, knew it was the right fit for her students. Financial Avenue’s focus on connecting personal finances with academic performance and career preparation would tie in perfectly to their second-year track, while also serving as an added retention element for students who may be feeling the financial pinch of attending college.


Upon review, the TSLC staff identified three courses that best suited their second-year objectives: Psychology of Money, Foundations of Money, and Earning Money. In addition, being a grant-based program, data mattered! Knowing that Financial Avenue provided real-time data on pre and post-course knowledge gain, the efficacy of the program could easily be captured for reporting purposes.


“Financial Avenue was a good fit for us because it was easy to integrate into what we were doing. For our students, it wasn’t a huge time commitment, but it’s something we’re continuing to have conversations with students about long after they complete the courses,” said Harvey.

A Course of Action

The second-year TSLC students were required to complete all three Financial Avenue courses by the end of the fall semester. UNK’s requirement was initially met with reluctance from students who were quick to warm to the program once they realized its benefits. “My first reaction was ugh, another course I have to take,” laughs a TSLC student. “But after I went through all the courses, it was interesting.”


A fellow classmate, made changes to his financial habits that were evident even to his family. “My mom noticed that I bought a calendar and wrote down when bills were due and how much I could spend. It’s probably the most accomplished thing I’ve done with money.”


UNK’s selection of the three required courses has much to do with this positive student feedback. The Psychology of Money course, the one cited most often by the students, was chosen specifically for its exploration of the mental processes that go into financial decision-making and how users can retrain their brains for more desirable outcomes. That set the foundation for the additional courses, with a focus on banking, saving, setting goals, preparing for a career, and professional income.

The Outcome

Since 2015, 532 Thompson Scholars have completed close to 1,600 courses with an average knowledge gain increase of 35 percent across all courses. Serving as a vital piece of data, these numbers helped confirm with statistical significance that Financial Avenue is effective. “We’ve got something we can report on from an assessment perspective, which is huge in student affairs, where we’re looking for ways that we can make intentional deliverables to students with good outcomes,” says Harvey.


“I’m anticipating now that we’ve built our second-year program, students will have a sense that the building blocks we gave them really fit into making good long-term decisions. So financially, it may be, ‘I didn’t think about the career I was selecting and how finances would affect that. Maybe I need to be more thoughtful, not just about a major, but about a career and what lifestyle that will lead me to,’” adds Harvey.

Assistance Beyond the Student Component

“Working with Inceptia has been a really positive experience for us,” notes Harvey. “There was great customer support with the product, and it has been there since day one. That was helpful knowing it wasn’t going to put another burden on staff members – there was somebody else who could answer students’ questions. That made it an easy product to work with.”

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Case Study  

Attempts to engage first year students are plenty – but what about second year students? Can there be a unique solution to reach out to these students so they don’t get lost in the four-year shuffle?


The depth of courses in Financial Avenue is a perfect solution for students beyond the first year, helping them develop critical life skills at a time when they have increased capacity to receive the information and apply what they learn in real time.

  • 1,600 Course Completions
  • Average knowledge gain of 35 percent
  • Positive student interaction and feedback

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is a public, residential university with students from all 50 states and over 50 foreign countries. It offers 120 undergraduate majors, 22 pre-professional programs, and 27 graduate programs.

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