FAS Helps Mott Community College Conquer Enrollment Challenges
Last December, the Aspen Institute College for Excellence program ranked Mott Community College (MCC) in Flint, Michigan, as one of the nation’s top 10 best community colleges. MCC has long been committed to helping its local community deal with the manufacturing industry decline by adapting programs to help students train for new careers. With a steadily increasing enrollment that topped 25 percent in recent years, the financial aid office was struggling to process applications in a timely manner during its peak demand period. “We knew the growth was coming, but it came in the form of a freight train,” said Jennifer McDonald, Executive Director, Student Financial Services.
Due to the huge spike in enrollment, as well as staff transitions, the financial aid office found itself 16 weeks behind in processing. Recognizing the immediate need for assistance, McDonald called on FAS, which had conducted a Financial Aid Office Effectiveness Review several years earlier. FAS immediately provided four on-site consultants to assist with processing, and also provided mentoring to McDonald, who was new to her position. Members of the FAS team continued working at MCC from October–May to help the office catch up.
“Not only did the FAS consultants process files, but they also suggested some process changes that would help us operate more efficiently,” said McDonald. “Over the Christmas break, we changed the whole filing structure of the office, and that made a huge difference.” She noted that the FAS team’s level of professionalism inspired and energized her staff. “Most of the recommendations in the original FAS Office Effectiveness Review have been adopted,” McDonald said. “The FAS consultants know their work and they know their industry. They really are financial aid professionals. I can’t imagine anyone who can do it better.”