4 minute read

Creating a One-Stop Shop to Help Students, Staff, and Institutions

2/28/2023 8:00 PM

To assist students, business office staff often have to open more than a dozen windows from multiple systems, piece the information together to make sense of the account, and hope the data is complete, accurate and up-to-date.

Students often have a similar experience, visiting multiple offices in buildings spread across campus to piece together the support they need and get answers to any questions. Then they hope each office has access to the same information and gives comprehensive advice.

The role of the business office has evolved and is no longer just a cashier's window. Students today live and learn on campus in different ways and require solutions that are tailored to support them across their higher ed journey.

Student Account Advisor is designed to address the needs and pain points of the modern business office and deliver a better student experience by simplifying the access to and coordination of account information. The solution also evolves the cashier’s role, from simply receiving cash and checks to proactively advising students. Staff, students, and the institution benefit from these improvements.

All the information in one place

By providing one-stop access to important information pertaining to student accounts, Student Account Advisor reduces the frustrations of students and staff. It pulls together data from the campus Student Information System (SIS) and TouchNet solutions to show a comprehensive view of a student’s financial and engagement data.

Integrating these systems enables business office staff to quickly access and effectively analyze relevant information, speeding up the process of finding answers to student questions and providing thorough responses.

Benefits of a one-stop shop for staff

With a one-stop shop, staff have up-to-date and comprehensive knowledge available in a helpful dashboard, including student account information, payment information, financial aid, authorized users and permissions, as well as academic information and demographics. This creates a single place to accomplish many tasks, while reducing time spent searching for information in favor of time spent serving students.

By offering so much knowledge and enabling so many tools, the solution empowers business office staff to change how they work, progressing from a transactional role to a comprehensive advising role. Staff can review payment status and history, scheduled payments, saved preferences, payment plan balance, due dates, account login activity, and other details.They can help students enroll in a payment plan, register an authorized user, or establish a refund profile, as well as manage consents, and investigate and address an account hold.

No longer toggling through dozens of screens from disparate systems, staff can identify problems quickly and move on to a resolution. While this access to information increases the efficiency of advising, it also improves its effectiveness. A comprehensive view of a student’s account enables staff to provide more focused and detailed guidance. The personalized advice gives students a clear and single message to act on, creates a positive experience, and clears up their continued path to graduation.

Staff can still do the traditional work of cashiers, such as assisting users to make a deposit, pay against a student account balance, or post a third party payment. The dashboard also helps spot trends, providing centralized oversight and a macro-perspective on key activities.

Benefits of a one-stop shop for students

The immediate benefit of a one-stop shop for students is eliminating the need to shuffle between multiple offices across campus to address an issue or get an answer to a question. It’s a drain on time and energy and likely a negative experience for all. Because staff have current and comprehensive data from a single source of truth, students receive accurate, consistent, and timely advice.

If a student must visit more than one office to resolve an issue, Student Account Advisor is designed to help. Errors happen when students have to share the same information every time they visit another office. Advisor reduces miscommunication and misinformation by logging student interactions and saving staff notes that all offices can access.

Tracking previous conversations not only stops students from repeating themselves but gives staff a fuller context to understand a student, their account, and the issues at hand. Staff can then advise students based on their situation. Students receive the attention they need and have the kind of positive experience that contributes to retention.

Student Account Advisor can also generate automated communications to keep students informed and ahead of the curve on crucial issues, like payment due dates. You can encourage their engagement with scheduled reminders that create conversation to quickly identify and eliminate roadblocks.

Benefits of a one-stop shop for the institution

Higher education runs on human interactions, in and out of the classroom, and improvements to how those interactions go will have positive results. Staff delivering better service to students more efficiently is a significant benefit to the institution.

With Student Account Advisor, staff can provide the individualized service that helps new students adjust to campus, feel welcome, and be more engaged, and helps returning students increase their success on campus and continue their progress to graduation.

Learn more about Student Account Advisor by watching our informative webinar (on-demand) with Wichita State University, A One-Stop View of the Student: It's a Game Changer.