Magazine article University Business

Communication with Many Campuses Is Key to Success: Higher One's Electronic Refund Program Adds Convenience for Troy University's Diverse Student Body, and Improves Employee Morale

Magazine article University Business

Communication with Many Campuses Is Key to Success: Higher One's Electronic Refund Program Adds Convenience for Troy University's Diverse Student Body, and Improves Employee Morale

Article excerpt

The decision-makers at Troy University knew that issuing refunds electronically would make the process more efficient, especially for a university with 35,000 students studying at more than 60 campuses. But it also had an unexpected benefit.

"It has improved the morale of the Student Financial Services employees due to the drastic decrease in student complaints and the pressures of meeting a firm deadline with overtime," says Jim Bookout, vice chancellor of financial affairs.

Troy University began using the Higher One OneDisburse Refund Management system in early 2007 for students in the U.S. and on military bases around the world.

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Each student receives a Trojan OneCard and activates it by choosing a refund delivery option. In the first year, 90 percent elected to receive refunds electronically--78 percent opting to have their money deposited into a free OneAccount checking account and 12 percent receiving electronic direct deposits into other accounts. Students with a OneAccount can use their Trojan OneCard as a Debit MasterCard for purchases or at an ATM. About 10 percent still receive paper checks by mail, a slower and less efficient process.

The shift to OneDisburse Refund Management has dramatically improved the experience for both students and the administration. "Long student lines were encountered, and staff time was devoted to issue several thousand refund checks each semester," Bookout says. "There were frequent requests from students that Troy University should provide refund methods that more quickly gave them their money. Also, many payments were lost in the mail or went to old student addresses."

Implementation of the Higher One OneCard, Bookout says, "drastically improved all these issues."

The refund process begins in Troy University's mainframe system. …

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