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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Colleges Can Improve Graduation Rates by Managing Financial Aid Better

For most students across the country, the best time of the year has begun. The long summer days are here, and memories of homework, deadlines, and school lunches are in the rearview mirror, at least for now. 

However, for rising seniors, this is an important time to prepare for the college admissions process. Potential students often use academic rankings to help them decide which colleges to apply to; however, one often-overlooked metric is the expected graduation rate vs. actual graduation rate.

The New York Times published an op-ed that explored the discrepancy between expected and actual college graduation rates. Among the findings:

The colleges who have met or exceeded their graduation rates are those who provide students access to structured academic plans, tailored to their majors. Publishing a degree road map helps students to visualize the step-by-step process required to graduate. Coupled with access to academic advisors, these strategies help keep students on course and not waste valuable time or resources on non-essential classes.

Access to greater levels of financial aid is another important factor in college success. Research has shown that more financial aid translates into higher graduation rates. On an instinctive level this makes sense. Students with comprehensive financial aid packages know exactly how they will pay for college. Those without are unsure how they will pay for their education, increasing their likelihood of dropping out before graduation.

Listen to Michele Thibodeau from Butler University and Vicki Tambellni of the Tambellini group discuss how addressing financial aid challenges can improve student graduation rates.

Colleges are tasked with preparing the future leaders of tomorrow, yet they’re often relying on outdated technology to meet this momentous goal. Many are using legacy student-information-system (SIS) that are incapable of supporting the needs of both traditional and non-traditional students. Additionally, their finance teams are hamstrung by on-premises systems that can’t leverage advanced technologies to manage dynamic financial aid scenarios.

Oracle Student Cloud is a complete solution capable of managing the needs of all learners. It comes equipped with powerful financial capabilities that allow institutions to calculate and repackage student financial aid on pre-set triggers. It minimizes manual processes, freeing your institution’s staff to focus on the bigger picture.

To get a deeper understanding of how to address financial aid and improve student outcomes, watch our webcast.

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