FAS Helps Wesley College Build an Effective Financial Aid Structure

Situation

Wesley College, a private institution in Dover, DE., needed leadership for its financial aid operation. The college was without a financial aid director, and the financial aid staff did not have enough technical expertise or compliance knowledge to administer financial aid effectively. As a result, service to students was poor, awards were delayed, and student complaints were high. In addition, the college was struggling to provide financial aid services to students enrolled in degree completion, non-term programs at a satellite campus in New Castle, DE. Financial aid employees at this location were not familiar with regulations applying to these types of programs, and they were experiencing a great deal of staff turnover.

Challenge

Competition for enrollment is high at Wesley College, which serves approximately 2,400 students. To attract and retain students, the school needed to speed financial aid service, boost performance, and increase efficiency. Most importantly, the college needed a leader who could provide structure for the struggling financial aid operation.

FAS Solution

An FAS consultant worked on-site at the college and served as the interim director of financial aid. The consultant established policies and procedures, trained staff on day-to-day operations and regulations, and helped the college set up and utilize its financial aid software system, College Board PowerFAIDS. Additionally, an FAS consultant traveled to Wesley College’s satellite campus and performed a process review, trained staff and ensured compliance with state and federal regulations. With the assistance of FAS, Wesley College hired a permanent director of financial aid.

Results

FAS helped Wesley College build an effective financial aid structure that was easily assumed by the new financial aid director. Customer service has improved, awards are being completed in a timely way, reporting is handled efficiently, and there are no compliance issues. The improved structure also strengthened relationships between the financial aid office and other departments on campus.