Considering the Switch to Early Awarding? Here are 3 Main Benefits
Let’s face it, financial aid season can be a hectic time for schools and families. From gathering a slew of personal documents, to application tracking and making decisions—everyone feels the pressure when things aren’t running smoothly.
Luckily, we have a solution: switching to an early awarding model. Read on to learn more about three key benefits of switching to early awards and how your school can get started today.
1. Attract Families with Early Decisions
Going through the financial aid process can be overwhelming for families; they want the best for their students, and oftentimes the stress and uncertainty of applying for financial aid can outweigh the excitement about their students’ acceptance.
By awarding financial aid early, you can put families at ease with a well-informed decision and ample time to prepare for (and get excited about) the school year ahead.
Plus, between school, work, and extracurricular activities, busy families are looking for schools who are organized and efficient. Awarding early gives your school an advantage in enrolling mission-appropriate families who are considering other schools.
2. Save Time by Planning Ahead
Waiting to request important documents until awarding season can leave your financial aid staff feeling frantic. Get ahead of the curve by requesting necessary documents as you close out the school year and over summer break.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when starting the process:
- Use prior year tax documents for review instead of current year documents.
- Adjust all process timelines to sync up with your new early awarding model.
- Maintain clear and consistent communication with families about updated deadlines.
Find out more in our 5 Things You Should Know About Early Awarding video.
3. Maximize Financial Aid Budgets and Forecast Effectively
Did you know that early awards can boost your admissions and enrollment numbers? Swift award decisions lead to enrolling more students. In fact, our K-12 Trends Report indicates a strong correlation between new students and the number of students receiving financial aid.
Additionally, you can identify financial gaps early on and forecast accordingly. Start uncovering potential gaps with questions such as:
- What percentage of financial aid was awarded?
- Did a certain demographic have more financial need than others?
- Is there a need to adjust financial aid budgets before next year?
Then, you can use this information to determine how to make the most of your financial aid budget going forward. One idea is to adopt a net tuition revenue model to attract more families who can pay partial tuition. Net tuition revenue enables you to grow enrollment and revenue sustainably, while also increasing access and diversity.
Ready, Set, Start Awarding Early
Early awarding can help your school to be more competitive, efficient, and strategic—all while creating an enjoyable experience for families and staff.
We’re here to help you get started. Our team of K-12 financial aid experts at School and Student Services (SSS) can teach you how to leverage our robust software to award early with ease. Take the first step and set up a demo today.