Customer Stories

Tyler Junior College

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Tyler Junior College completely transformed their Financial Aid process with the help of Softdocs’ electronic forms.

Quick Facts

  • Softdocs customer since 2014
  • Implemented in Financial Aid

Challenges

  • Time-consuming, manual financial aid process
  • High costs associated with paper intensive applications
  • Majority of paper forms were incomplete or filled out incorrectly

Solutions

Electronic Forms

  • Integration with Banner by Ellucian™, their ERP
  • Reduced errors in completed applications
  • Decreased time spent verifying applications

"It’s been a positive experience all-around. Softdocs has helped us tremendously."

Molly Garrett | Manager of Financial Aid | Tyler Junior College

The Financial Aid staff at Tyler had been searching for a solution for nearly 12 years.

After reviewing different vendors for an electronic forms package, Tyler selected Softdocs in 2014.

With such a large student population, the Financial Aid office is busy year-round processing forms and responding to inquiries.

“We needed something to make things simpler and more efficient for our students and staff,” commented Molly Garrett, Manager of Financial Aid. Softdocs’ Electronic Forms and Workflow solution, was the product Tyler had been looking for.

With limited resources available to review and verify files, Tyler’s Financial Aid staff was overwhelmed with the volume of paperwork that constantly entered their office on a daily basis. Tyler hosts many low income students, many of them receiving some form of aid. During the 2014-2015 academic year, Tyler’s office received nearly 20,000 FAFSA applications and awarded almost 5,500 students with financial aid. 

“Before Softdocs’ Electronic Forms solution, our students would miss a form here and there or fill one out incorrectly, then we’d have to send the forms back for corrections and wait for them to be returned to us. It was a lengthy process.”

After Implementation

Within the first few months of implementing Softdocs’ Electronic Forms solution, Tyler saw substantial improvements. Application times have decreased and the use of daily resources, such as paper and toner, have been reduced. Tyler also saw a tremendous increase in productivity among its part-time verification specialists.

“We’ve noticed that the majority of applications are approved in the first round with little to no errors. Before Softdocs, the process of approving applications would take at least a few  days and now, it’s complete in less than one.” Garrett said. “That’s huge for our office. Complaints from our verifiers are almost non-existent.”

Improving processes within Financial Aid is not only beneficial to Tyler’s staff, but to its students as well.
With Softdocs’ automated workflows, students are notified about the status of their aid package sooner
and the use of electronic forms allows them to update and enter information from their personal computers.
This remote feature has increased student responsiveness and is expected to decrease the number of individuals waiting in line at the Financial Aid office this fall.

Garrett has received positive feedback from many of the students she’s talked to about the new process. “I sat with a student filling out an e-form in our office yesterday and he buzzed through the application,” she said. “Completing his application was much easier than he anticipated.”

The seamless integration of Softdocs into the Financial Aid office has made Tyler more efficient in all areas of the department’s daily processes. “It’s been a positive experience all-around,” said Garrett. “Softdocs’ Electronic Forms solution has helped us tremendously.”

Darcelle Cowles, Tyler’s Application Support Analyst,  has worked alongside the Softdocs professional services team throughout the implementation and development of Tyler’s customer e-forms.

“We customized a lot of our forms and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without Softdocs’ training and continued help.”

Looking Toward the Future

Tyler plans to continue improving other existing processes. “We’re still in the process of working with the professional services team to create more forms,” Cowles said.

“It will be exciting to see where Softdocs can help us improve next.”

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