Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pa. and Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, S.C. are both streamlining and expediting financial aid processes with a new system from NuVision Networks.
In the past, each institution used a different method to enable students to pay for books, but both spent considerable time and resources applying funds to accounts, checking and double-checking student records. This consumed valuable staff time that could have been spent elsewhere.
Today, this time is greatly reduced thanks to a solution from NuVision that provides an automated means for students to use their financial aid dollars at the on-campus and outside bookstores.
As students continue to scour the Internet for the best book prices, it has become vital for institutions to keep as many book purchases as possible on campus. Making it easy for students to access and spend financial aid funds is a step in the right direction.
At the business office at Charleston Southern, two employees had been devoting four hours each day to manually place bookstore charges on student accounts in the Jenzabar ERP system. “NuVision’s Campus Connect integration program has saved the campus real dollars by giving the staff back the time it took to manually post charges,” says Gene Houghtaling, enterprise architect at the school.
NuVision’s Campus Connect integration program enabled Charleston Southern to assimilate their financial aid information with the CampusONE system and Barnes & Noble bookstore. Meanwhile, financial aid is updated overnight in Jenzabar, which then sends the update through the integration program to CampusONE.
The CampusONE system looks for charges and recalculates any alterations to the student’s One Card account. Students can login to the online card office at any time to check their balance and transaction history.
Cedar Crest updates in real-time
The staff at Cedar Crest College has taken the program to another level. Also using Barnes & Noble as their contracted bookstore operator, the Cedar Crest’s integration with Jenzabar conducts regular status checks of students’ financial aid.
“The Cedar Crest integration program with Jenzabar looks every 10 minutes for changes to a student’s financial aid and makes updates if required,” says Shelley Rex, manager of Cedar Crest’s College Center and Conference Services. “This update enables everyone from the student, the campus bookstore, student financial services and even dining services to confirm accurate balances in real time. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
In addition to these regular status checks, the speed at which NuVision’s solution operates has been a major benefit to the college as well. The balances to the accounts are updated in nearly real time so students have an accurate balance, says Julie Hobert, assistant director for Information Technology at the college.
The integration at Cedar Crest also handles refunds and voids, a utility that was added after the initial launch as it was determined to be a necessary process.
“Campus Connect has benefitted campus operations in more ways than one, in particular the ability to rely on the accuracy of the financial aid balance in a student’s account,” explains Rex. “Prior to the integration, human error was always a concern as staff members were required to manually confirm the accuracy of the account based on the transactions of the day.”
The system also makes life easier for parents. “Making funds easily accessible and the ability for parents and family members to replenish their account online are just two of the positives we have heard from students,” says Rex.