Financial aid offices at colleges that are experiencing rising enrollment as well as increased percentages of the student population seeking financial aid find themselves facing:
- High inbound call volume (especially at peak times)
- Longer lines as students unable to get through by phone visit the office in person
- A bottleneck in staff time and resources with the verification process, as the US Department of Education is selecting more financial aid reports to be verified
This strain comes at a time of tight budgets, when most financial aid directors are not able to add staff or other resources. Once these bottlenecks begin to result in deterioration of service, this situation makes outsourcing your call center or your verification process an attractive option. But it is critical to outsource to the right contractor and with the right oversight in place.
We turned to Dewey Knight, associate director of financial aid at the University of Mississippi, for his advice on due diligence in outsourcing financial aid operations.