Thursday, June 26, 2014

Peak Season in Student Financial Services

July marks the beginning of peak activity in SFS.  If you see some of your friends and colleagues from SFS looking a little weary in the coming months, read on to find out why!

From the start of July through Labor Day, the SFS Contact Center handles approximately 35% of its annual total of student and parent contacts (which number about 125,000 per year!).  These come as phone calls, emails, faxes, Twitter and Facebook posts, and walk-ins to Carruthers Hall.  SFS Administration also have the chance to speak at Summer Orientation with the thousands of parents and students who come to our sessions.

Student Accounts is hard at work with billing 3rd-party contracts, testing that tuition and fees for Fall are calculating correctly in the Student Information System, handling Veteran's Benefits for our families who have them, and helping our families understand how they can budget their payments for the coming term.  Student Accounts also has to coordinate the loading of charges for housing and dining as well as to keep up with the regular billing we do on behalf of departments such as the Bookstore, Parking and Transportation, and Student Health.

Financial Aid is completing all the financial aid awards it possibly can for undergraduate students prior to the creation of the Fall term statements on July 21.  Graduate students need awarding too, and that is a sometimes tricky coordination with Schools and Departments who need to assign their own awards to students before we do our part.

Our Loans group is processing the thousands of requests for Direct Parent PLUS Loans and private education loans, all of them prior to the billing due date of August 20th.

Scholarships are processing and assigning thousands of private and institutional scholarships during this period as well.  As with financial aid awards, the more that are complete and on the student's account prior to the term statement, the more helpful it is for the student and their family.

Finally, Cashiering is gearing up for the last minute deluge of personal checks and wire transfers that we see from late-July through the start of the Fall term.

Behind the scenes our ITS and Administrative staff help keep us moving along in ways big and small.

And then Labor Day comes, and we all catch our breath for a few minutes before starting the planning process all over again for the 2015-2016 academic year!