Case studies

From one-stop to no-stop in Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University is located in Lafayette, Indiana, and has a student enrollment of 70,000. Their TouchNet solutions include Bill+Payment, Cashiering, Marketplace, and SponsorPoint.

The best kind of visit to the business office is no visit at all. At least that’s the goal at Purdue University: allowing students to concentrate on their academic goals instead of every day financial transactions. The Purdue business office has leveraged TouchNet U.Commerce solutions to create a "No-Stop" shop for students that saves time, saves money, and utilizes staff more efficiently.

Purdue Bursar and Assistant Controller Tim Riley says the secret is making processes easy. “We wanted a simple system where students can log in and see their bill – more of an online banking feel – that is intuitive to use and easy to pay. “

Purdue’s “keeping it simple” motto begins with student orientation. During the one-day program, students are directed to Purdue’s single sign-on portal where direct linking to TouchNet Bill+Payment allows them to set up authorized users for their accounts, and highlights the advantages of direct deposit for refunds. As a result of the program, Purdue enjoys a 90% adoption rate for direct deposit via TouchNet eRefunds.

“We only print checks one day a week but we refund every day to students who are on direct deposit.” Riley explains. “The biggest part of the success was using our ERP to create a direct deposit hold; it doesn’t hold registration or transcripts, but it does notify them that they have not set this up yet. That in conjunction with the Bill+Payment Suite also reminds students with an alert that they have not set up direct deposit for your e-refund account yet. That’s been the key to our success.” Email reminders to set up eRefund accounts are directly linked to the eRefund page to make it easy to sign up.

In addition to the high enrollment in direct deposit, 92% of Purdue students authorize electronic 1098-Ts. Riley says the cost savings are notable. “In our 1098-T volume, we’ve dropped significantly. We were sending over 40 thousand paper statements and spending $25,000 to $29,000 a year in just paper and postage. Now we spend about $2500 a year.“

Enrollment in TouchNet payment plans also begins during student registration. Purdue offers an interest-based plan for students as well as a special plan for graduate staff, both easily set up using attribute codes in Bill+Payment. eBilling begins six weeks before the start of the term, and Authorized user lists are used to send reminder emails to confirm enrollment, which keeps receivables and delinquencies in check.

Additional item functionality in the TouchNet payment flow – like Purdue’s Billable Moment “Boarding Pass” athletic partnership accounts for additional revenue every year. “It’s basically a $99 ticket that gets a student into all the football, all the basketball, all the athletic events,” explains Riley. “We only want to present that as an option to full-time degree seeking students, and we’re able to control that in the TouchNet system.”

TouchNet solutions and improved student services have helped reduce business office phone call volume by more than half in a five-year period. Business office personnel track the most frequently asked questions and based on that information, are able to update the student portal with deep dive links – such as View My Bill, Make a Payment, and View My 1098-T – directly from the ERP into TouchNet. Providing these links reduces the contact load and allows staff to focus on students who have more complex questions.

Centralizing and simplifying self-service applications so students can access all financial information online drives the “No-Stop Shop” at Purdue University. It’s a complete approach to unifying campus payments with TouchNet U.Commerce.