Higher Education is expensive. Using limited Financial Aid funds effectively is one step towards student success.
Santa Ana College wanted to make sure students used FA funds for education expenses to ensure students were well prepared for classes and on track to graduate.
“Our Financial Aid Office had a goal to allow financial aid funds for course materials to be accessed by the first day of classes. FA Link was the perfect solution for that.”
Santa Ana College is one of the fastest growing comprehensive community colleges in the nation with a student population of 29,318. Of that number,15,061 students received $34,520,407 in financial aid from grants, scholarships, Pell Grants & federal student loans last year.
Ensuring that Financial Aid funds are available when they’re needed, and used properly to ensure student success, is not always simple.
Statistics show that once funds are distributed to students, those funds aren’t spent on Course Materials. Instead, they can go to other, non-education-oriented activities, leaving students ill prepared for class.
Santa Ana College implemented FA~Link in the fall of 2011. This integration allowed students access to their funds before classes started, while still allowing the Financial Aid and Business Office to tightly control student spending. Students were happy to have an easy friction less way to purchase their books and supplies. The Business Office was happy to provide a good service for students, while eliminating manual error-prone, time-consuming processes. And the bookstore experienced increased sales, student satisfaction and engagement.
“It’s just a real great way to allow students to have access to those financial aid funds in the bookstore first week of classes.”
When FA~Link was installed at Santa Ana College and its sister San Diego Community College in 2011, bookstore sales from financial aid reached $100K in the first semester. By the end of 2015 that number had increased to $300K.
“Before FA Link students might have to use their credit cards to buy books that might never get paid off. FA~Link offered convenience and immediacy.”
“Our two stores together were a little under $5M at the start of 2011. And by the end of 2015 we had added $2M in sales and FA Link was a big part of that.”