As higher ed business offices moved more student payment services online, cashiers began serving more as student advisors than traditional tellers. Students now visit college and university offices to help resolve a range of issues that prevent them from making payments, such as separate outstanding or overdue bills or missing data within the student information system that needs to be entered.
This requires staffers to have I n-depth knowledge of student accounts and access to numerous programs and systems simultaneously, which means they must keep multiple screens open to various platforms such as their student information and finance systems, accounting and academic records, and more. Having to toggle between multiple dashboards can increase student wait times, whether in person or virtual. Sometimes, staffers don’t have the access needed to the information or system, which can negatively impact customer service and, in turn, satisfaction and retention.
According to a recent study by Stanford, most attrition is not caused by academic failure. Only 15 percent of those students that leave are due to poor academic performance. Per the same study, students who drop out can cost a college or university upwards of $40,000 per student. Additionally, single cohorts of students who drop out before graduation have lost $3.8 billion in lifetime income, according to a Schneider and Yin report referenced by the Delta Cost Project.
To keep students on track, institutions must take note and measure those experiences that can impact retention. Having all of the student account data in one robust, easy-to-use platform so staff can engage in efficient and effective conversations with students in real-time is one solution worth exploring. Aware of this need, TouchNet renovated and expanded its Business Office and Cashiering solutions by creating Student Account Advisor. This dashboard solution provides staff with the flexibility and one-stop access to the data required to support students.