The Wakefield Company - Making It Happen

Higher Education Student Services

The higher education community confronts a series of challenges which necessitates greater focus on operational effectiveness. Endowment performance has suffered, high unemployment levels impact affordability, tightened credit standards restrict the availability of student loans and demographic statistics point to a leveling off of college aged students by 2012. Typically, personnel expense totals 55% - 70% of a college's or university's annual operating expense. A significant portion of this personnel expense is spent on back office administration of student services. For this purpose, student services include admissions, financial aid administration and registrar functions.

Each of these functions is process-centric and susceptible to a higher level of effectiveness through the application of business rules management and work orchestration software. Like mortgage lenders, the higher education community uses several software vendors to assist with the administration of these back office functions. While these systems are suitable systems of records, we liken their capabilities to "paving the cow path". These systems incrementally improve the efficiency of existing processes rather than automating an optimized process. Given the challenges they confront, the higher education community cannot afford an incremental approach. Aggressive process optimization and deployment of proven systems that significantly reduce back office head count are required to satisfy the needs of students, their families and the other constituents that provide financial support.

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