This is the time of year for 12th-graders to celebrate the end of high school — and for them and their parents to fret about the rising cost of a college education. As compared with getting into their school of choice, the harder question becomes: “How do I pay for it?”
According to the College Board, college tuition for private and public four-year universities has increased on an average of 2 to 4 percent every year for the past decade. In 2012, about 70 percent of graduated students left with an average loan debt of $29,400 according to another report.
The pressure is obviously on for students and their families, and that means more pressure on college financial aid offices. After receiving an offer, many students find themselves making repeated trips to talk with an advisor in hopes of increasing the school’s financial aid offer.
With hundreds or thousands of students in need of guidance, the student aid office can become quite busy. That could be a recipe for frustration, both on the part of students and financial aid office employees.
How Universities Can Manage The Masses
How much busier are financial aid offices these days?
The Princeton Review polled more than 14,000 college applicants and their parents. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said financial aid would be “very necessary” or “extremely necessary” for them to attend college.
That means there will be no shortage of students visiting the student offices to speak with advisors. When students drop by during office hours without an appointment, they often find themselves waiting in long lines to see their advisors. That’s a lot of time wasted.
Offices can sign a student in and hand them a paging device that allows them the freedom to visit another campus office, shop in the university store or take care of other business until it’s their turn. The other benefits are a less chaotic environment in the waiting room and the ability for employees to focus on helping students instead of managing the wait.
By employing a waitlist app, universities can give students a quoted wait time, much like you can find in a restaurant. Students know how much time it will be until they get to see an advisor.
Whether it’s a paging system or a waitlist app, both work with pagers or can send SMS text messages to phones to notify students when it’s their turn.
Using Technology to Improve the Student Experience
Students, who get more tech-savvy with each freshman class, will appreciate the convenience technology provides them. The student experience goes beyond having great student amenities or a beautiful campus. Taking the extra step to cater to student needs can make the difference in deciding whether your university is the right fit for them.
Find Out More About New Technologies Enhance the Customer Experience
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Skip Cass is the chief executive officer at LRS and an expert in operational efficiency and creating a memorable guest experience.