How to Streamline the Financial Aid Department Using Formstack

Written by Laura Thrasher on February 19, 2014

Posted in Education, Form Hacks

The financial aid office at any university is a crucial one: few things put the brakes on a student’s career like funding not coming through. Students and parents must get accurate and timely information. Using Formstack, your university financial aid office can collect information, organize forms, and streamline the process of applying for aid. Not only that, Formstack can help you manage current students’ work/study jobs, financial aid appeals, and notifications of changes in circumstance. If your financial aid office has a form, Formstack can help make it work better.

Scholarship Applications
Formstack makes it easy for students to apply for scholarships. With options for short or long answers, radio buttons, and even file uploads, it’s a one-stop shop for managing applications. Formstack’s features ensure that the right people receive email notification when a submission is received, and you can include applicant’s attachments right in the email. Additionally, if you use the new approval workflow feature, you can allow multiple users to approve or deny an application from a centralized location.

Work/Study Jobs
Students who participate in work/study programs need to apply for approved on- and off-campus jobs. Use an online form to centralize students’ information rather than dealing with paper applications. Create a seamless hand-off by using routing logic: if a student selects the option of “Bookstore,” you can direct the application to be sent to the bookstore hiring manager. Once your student workers are in place, create an evaluation form that allows employers to submit evaluations of students’ work at the end of a semester. Streamline students’ termination or transfer by creating an online form. On-screen signatures increase security and convenience.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals
Students who have become ineligible for financial aid but need to make an appeal must fill out forms and attach appropriate documentation. With Formstack, students can upload documents to support their appeals and sign electronically, using their finger or a mouse. Instead of wandering around campus with a pile of sensitive documents, Formstack makes it easy for students to submit an appeal.

Contact Forms
Even with a great FAQ section on your website, your office will be inundated with questions. After all, everyone’s circumstances are unique and students can be intimidated by applying for financial aid. Allow students and parents to ask questions with a click; by using a Formstack contact form, all inquiries are stored in one place for easy responses. You can use drop-down options to help people ask more specific questions. Set up confirmation emails and people will be reassured that your office received their question and will contact them soon.

The Formstack Solution
Think about how often someone needs to submit a form: to communicate change in their circumstances, grant permission to release information, submit parental information, and more. Forms are a fact of life for financial aid offices, but they don’t need to be such a hassle. With Formstack, your financial aid office can create and manage a wide range of unique—and secure—forms.

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