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Completing the Paperless Process in Student Services

Andrew Daniel

Andrew Daniel
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There are many crucial responsibilities of Student Services that have the potential to negatively affect students. For example, the application process could be delayed resulting in financial aid funds not coming in on time. This may force a student to take a semester off from school.

Let’s take a look at how one college has transformed Student Services in the area of Financial Aid to do just that—serve the students.

Doc e Fill, Softdocs’ e-forms and workflow solution, now digitizes every paper-based form that Cabrillo College students need to fill out for financial aid. The e-forms are pre-populated with a student’s information determined by their user data. Each e-form is built with specific rules and field triggers to minimize incorrect answers and eliminate incomplete e-forms.

“When you’re processing and reviewing hundreds of forms each day, it already takes awhile for a student to receive their aid—an incomplete form just delays that even more. But with Doc e Fill, we can make it so a form cannot be submitted until the student has filled out all of the necessary fields,” says Lena Mason, Cabrillo’s financial aid technology specialist.

As any Financial Aid employee knows, paper-based PDF forms can cause more problems than they fix. Even if a student correctly fills out the information the first time, the number of ways the form can get lost or damaged on the way to the Financial Aid office is staggering.

Students might crumple up a form at the bottom of their bookbag or spill their morning coffee on it. Paper forms can get lost or damaged in the mail, accidentally mixed in with other students’ forms, or otherwise get “lost in the shuffle.” And most of the time, it’s an innocent Financial Aid employee who gets an earful from a frustrated student looking for their aid.

It’s comical (if it’s not happening to you).

According to Mason, call volume to the Financial Aid office has dropped dramatically and most of the calls now are simple questions regarding Doc e Fill rather than time-consuming demands for proof that a form was received. Doc e Fill has also saved the Financial Aid staff countless hours spent dealing with mail.

Now, she says, the previously month-long process has been shortened to just a few days and now everyone’s financial aid comes in on time.

Interested in creating a paperless process in Student Services that will alleviate the burden of next fiscal year’s financial aid processes? Ask us more about it today.