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Admission and Financial Aid Collaboration for Yield Season

While most training is done in the fall, it is never too late for a quick refresher on important information.
• Meet with the admission and financial aid staff to make sure they all understand any changes to the financial aid award letters. Show examples and encourage questions so everyone can learn from their peers.
• Admission staff are often trained on value and marketing messages. Be sure your financial aid officers are also able to speak to those points when counseling students.
• Have you spoken to the Business Office, coaches, and other campus stakeholders about changes to awarding and financial aid packaging documents? Make sure you are all on the same page when students call
with questions. Don’t forget your IT department if emails are also being assigned at the time of acceptance or deposit.

Packaging Season
Hold a weekly progress meeting, because having a designated time to talk encourages collaboration to meet your goals. This may also be a good time to talk via phone with your leveraging consultant (if you have one) and discuss any reports they are providing.

Topics for the meeting should include:
• Who has submitted a FAFSA but not yet replied?
• Who has applied, but not filed a FAFSA?
• Where are you running ahead or behind compared to your model?
• What steps should be taken by team members to adjust to the results you are seeing?
• What are you hearing about competitors’ awards?
• Are there strategic goals you should be tracking closely and reporting to your President and Board?

Is the staff at your school calling students to discuss their financial aid award letter and ranking students based on their reaction to their award letters?

Discuss the feedback you are getting from students and families, and then review your communications. Are you addressing concerns heard by your team as the awards go out? Should you send text or voice reminders for families to complete documents or let them know the letter is on the way or in their inbox?

If Admissions and Financial Aid are not using the same CRM, are both teams able to see notes made by the other on a prospective student and conversations that have occurred?

Reviewing Results
At the end of the cycle, it’s wise to review the process. Take a day to sit down once the class is in and analyze what worked and what didn’t. By reviewing your financial aid strategy, you can adjust and be ready to meet the next enrollment goal.