Campus Conversation

Streamlining and Simplifying through Student Verification

Howard College’s financial aid department needed software that could be accessed online, using real-time data to serve all students across their service area. The financial aid department wanted to help students from any of their four campuses and decrease verification errors and time spent verifying files. With limited staff, they needed software that could help increase efficiency to process the verification files promptly. They also required an online verification portal that helped long-distance employees access files remotely, eliminating the need to bring paper files back and forth from campuses to audit. Candice Draper, the campus dean of support service, shares their experience with Anthology’s Student Verification®.

Candice Draper

Campus Dean of Support Service
Howard College

Q: What problems were solved or addressed using the verification solution?

A: The verification and mailbox products have decreased error rates. The mailbox has proven to correct an audit issue that Howard College had for more than ten years. This was a serious issue that has been resolved. Since implementing the products in March 2016, Howard College has not had any audit findings.

Q: What improvements have you seen since using the technology?

A: Since using the technology, staff and students are becoming less reliant on paper. The response time for students submitting the required documents has decreased due to the convenience of submitting the information electronically. We have saved thousands of dollars in printing and postage costs. We implemented the text messages option for students, which has improved our response time for required documents. Howard College’s on-site accreditation review was in October 2016. Financial aid was able to show the accreditation committee how we have significantly improved our services with the verification and mailbox products.

Q: What do your students say about their digital verification experience?

A: Students love it! Students are more positive about the product now that there is a need for more virtual advising. One student commented, she loves being able to connect online, submit documents electronically and everyone can stay safe from COVID, all at the same time! We have students submit their documents online, while waiting for advising to sign up for classes instead of waiting in line for advising and then waiting in line again to see financial aid to turn in documents.

Q: Have you seen changes in customer satisfaction surveys?

A: We have seen improvements in customer satisfaction surveys. 85% of students reported that they knew what to do once they filled out the FAFSA. Our processing times have become better. 89% of students reported they received their award on time and 88% reported Financial Aid was easy to work with.

Q: What is the overall staff experience with verification solution?

A: Overall, the employees are pleased with the verification solution! As the world is having to transition more virtually, the product helped our department tremendously! During the COVID situation, employees can continue to work at home on their files without additional network access required by work. Employees can stay safe and continue to process documents electronically without seeing students face-to-face in the office. The product also helps management assign work and show productivity while working off-site.

Q: What has been your experience with product management and support?

A: We love product management and development! We truly feel that the company listens to customers’ recommendations and tries to help make the product better. Product support has also been great to work with since we started five years ago. I am always confident we will receive a quick response.

Our sincere thanks to Candice Draper for sharing his experiences with us. If you’d like your campus to be showcased, reach out to your consultant.