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A Year in Financial Aid: A Look Back and Looking Ahead

, , , , | December 29, 2023 | By

The time has come once again to ring out the old and ring in the new. But before we say goodbye to 2023, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year. After all, it’s been an exciting one for Regent Education!

Regent Fund: Scholarship Management Solution of the Year
Earlier this year, Regent Education won the EdTech Breakthrough Award for Scholarship Management Solution of the Year for our Regent Fund solution. What an honor it was to receive this prestigious award. Institutional scholarships play a crucial role, giving colleges and universities a flexible way to connect with students and award them the extra financial aid support they need to pursue a degree. 

However, many institutions are leaving valuable scholarship dollars on the table because they lack a holistic view of eligible students and available awards. Manual, time-consuming processes further complicate the process, making it difficult for institutions to know which scholarships were unused, canceled, or unaccepted. The EdTech Breakthrough Award recognizes the work we’ve done with our Regent Fund solution to automate scholarship management so that institutions can ensure every institutional dollar counts. 

Preparing for FAFSA Simplification
This year, Regent Education, along with every college and university, has been preparing for the exciting - and stressful! - changes to the FAFSA. 

FAFSA Simplification introduces significant changes to the FAFSA. From redefining the parent of record to changes to PELL awards - and many more things in between, we’ve been hard at work preparing our solutions to accommodate the changes. Our experts shared their advice for how to prepare, and we released a FAFSA Simplification checklist and FAQ to aid institutions as they readied their systems, processes, and staff.

We know with change comes uncertainty. But know that we’re in this together. As we enter 2024, we’re excited about a more simplified FAFSA and will continue to support the financial aid community as they adopt - and adapt to - these changes. 

New Year, New Options
Today, over 80% of college students benefit from some form of financial aid. Many, in fact, rely on it.  And as the cost of college continues to increase, that need will only grow.  

In addition to challenges related to skyrocketing tuition costs, many students are exploring alternative enrollment models such as competency-based education. They want flexibility so they can balance college, home, and employment. And they expect their institution to make financial aid work, regardless of their enrollment model. 

Unfortunately, many institutions struggle to provide the support and experiences students expect when it comes to delivering financial aid to support alternative enrollment and educational models. Bound by financial aid management (FAM) systems that can only manage traditional financial aid models, financial aid officers lack the functionality needed to support multiple enrollment models, maximize institutional scholarships, and give students the transparency they need to make smarter borrowing decisions. And while they’re under pressure to help maximize enrollment, many of them are bound by FAM solutions that lack the rich set of features needed to manage the complex, ever-changing financial aid environment. 

Does this sound familiar? If so, there’s good news. Because when it comes to financial aid management solutions, not all solutions are created equally. Complete, best-of-breed solutions like those from Regent Education solutions are built for financial aid, providing richer functionality and greater flexibility so your institution can manage the complexity of today’s financial aid environment and support enrollment growth. 

Let’s make 2024 your year to (finally!) gain access to the holistic financial aid platform you need to deliver the critical insight needed to increase your competitiveness, maximize your enrollment, allocate every available scholarship dollar, and eliminate financial aid barriers and frustrations. If you want to start the new year off right, let’s chat! That way, you can see what you’ve been missing. 

Looking Ahead to 2024
At Regent Education, we’re excited about what’s in store for financial aid in 2024. As alternative enrollment models continue to gain ground, we believe more institutions will be looking for new ways to automate financial aid across all enrollment models. 

We also expect tuition costs will continue to rise, making institutional scholarships more important than ever before. And institutions will need to find better ways to ensure that they aren’t leaving valuable dollars on the table. 

As the pressure to increase enrollment heats up, enrollment managers will embrace financial aid as an ally in their recruiting and enrollment strategies. Together, they’ll improve recruiting strategies, increase affordability for students, and build relationships that make students feel more connected with their institution. 

Finally, we’ll all continue to navigate the changes introduced by FAFSA Simplification, as well as any new changes to come. 

At Regent Education, we know that financial aid is complex. But we also know that with the right solution, managing it doesn’t have to be. Financial aid is all we do. And we’re ready to be your partner as you navigate the new year. 

From all of us at Regent Education, we wish you a Happy New Year!