Empowering Bursars to Reverse the Stop-Out Trend: Innovative Financial Solutions for Student Success

Amy Jenkins
June 13, 2024

A staggering 36.8 million adults in the United States have some college education but no credential. We don’t see this as a statistic - we see it as a call to action. 

While re-enrollment strategies are crucial, they address only a part of the problem. We hold a strong belief in the power of higher education and we know that if we streamline the student financial experience, and provide colleges and universities with the tools they need to meet students’ changing expectations, we can prevent students from stopping out in the first place.

A recent article in Inside Higher Ed offers valuable strategies on re-enrolling students. It emphasizes the importance of locating these individuals, engaging them effectively, and offering educational experiences that better meet their needs. These are essential approaches, and indeed, institutions must strive to bring these students back to complete their credentials.

However, there's an opportunity that lies even closer to our core mission. We need to help bursars improve the student financial experience, making it smoother and less daunting. By doing so, we can reduce the number of students stopping out due to financial stress and confusion.

Imagine a student navigating through their college journey without the burden of financial uncertainty. To achieve this, we provide solutions that enable bursars to:

  1. Streamline Billing and Payment Processes: Simplify how students access, understand, and pay their bills. Clear communication and user-friendly systems can significantly reduce the stress associated with college expenses.
  2. Design Flexible Payment Plans: Create payment plans that are easy for both schools to administer and students to enroll in. Flexibility and accessibility can make a world of difference for students juggling multiple responsibilities.
  3. Implement Pre-Collections Practices: Develop pre-collections practices that are supportive rather than punitive. This can involve early interventions when payments are missed, offering assistance and options to keep students on track.
  4. Incorporate Financial Literacy: Equip students with the knowledge they need to manage their finances effectively. By understanding budgeting, loans, and credit, students can make informed decisions that support their educational goals.

While re-enrolling those who have stopped out is essential, our first priority should be to prevent these interruptions from happening at all. By focusing on enhancing the financial experience and providing robust support systems, we can help students stay the course and achieve their educational aspirations.

The challenge is significant, but so is the potential impact.

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