HOW ROOSEVELT UNIVERSITY TURNED PANDEMIC TROUBLES INTO ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT TRIUMPHS WITH ECSI’S RECOVERYSELECT
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world of higher education forever – and no one knows that impact better than Maggie Turner, the Bursar at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. Maggie’s team had lost staff members and the university itself was merging with another institution.
“Not only were we in a pandemic,” she reflects, “but also we were in the midst of the merger. There’s been so much change over the last few years.”
SERVICE BY HAND: ROOSEVELT’S PRIOR MANUAL PROCESSES TO MANAGE PAST DUE BALANCES
Maggie’s team had honed in on a process for managing their past due accounts. It comprised of four letters, beginning around the middle of the semester with a pre-collect letter, followed by two weekly reminder letters and a final placement letter. If the team had time, they’d make phone calls, but as Maggie says, “they were more of a nicety. If someone was available to do them, it was good to do.”
“We tried to finish it by the end of the semester, with the goal of placing accounts with the collection agency when the students ended the term,” she says, “and only if they didn’t respond.”
With the reduction in staff, Maggie and her team needed to reevaluate how they handled these accounts. They needed to maintain their standard of student outreach, even with less staff on hand, and a more seamless way to manage their data.
That’s when they explored – and ultimately implemented – ECSI’s RecoverySelect.
Quick look at Roosevelt University
Founded in 1945 in Chicago, IL
4,000+ students (undergraduate and graduate)
Five colleges, 65 undergraduate majors and 40 minors, 83 graduate/doctoral/certificate programs
HOW ECSI ALLOWED FOR MORE OUTREACH WITH LESS ROOSEVELT STAFF
“I liked the idea of being able to provide more outreach as a result of RecoverySelect,” Maggie states. “The way it was presented to us with the [Banner student information system] integration, it just made sense.”
“If I had a magic wand, I’d say ideally I would’ve been able to do the implementation outside of COVID and without having already lost staff,” Maggie said, though, “we succeeded regardless of the crazy things happening in 2020.”
“Our Implementation manager was extremely helpful to us,” she continued. “She was very available, even when I needed to call her, so that helped a lot. The Program Management manager was also helpful, so we worked through everything.”
Maggie noted that RecoverySelect’s outreach even surpassed what Roosevelt was previously doing. Where phone calls were a luxury before, they were a standard feature of RecoverySelect’s student contact plan. This was paramount when the team shifted to working remotely during the pandemic’s darker periods, as Maggie and her team no longer had to worry about who would answer calls or ensure letters would be sent out. ECSI and RecoverySelect had their back.
“RecoverySelect scales well, and it’s easier to adjust to varying enrollment numbers on the platform rather than working through hiring or letting people go. I think this will definitely help us navigate the future of higher education.”
ROOSEVELT UNIVERSITY IS READY FOR THE EVOLUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Maggie’s team has adapted well to RecoverySelect, she says.
“Our new manager is pulling down the reports, working accounts for RecoverySelect, and doing write-offs,” she noted. “Financial Aid Student Services are our frontline staff; they’re very familiar with the product and know to send people to ECSI when they see a hold on an account. They tell them where to go, what it is, and how to enroll. Once people become familiar with what RecoverySelect is, and what it does, they’re happy to adopt it.”
The dollars were a great support to the team, as well – when looking at spring accounts loaded to RecoverySelect, 35.3% of accounts were resolved, leading to $2.7 million in resolved revenue. They also saw almost $500,000 in reenrolled student tuition from 33 students who signed up for classes while working on paying down their balances.
Even though the world of higher education is full of uncertainty right now, Maggie is confident in how she and her team are positioned to handle it, knowing they have RecoverySelect at the ready to aid their students with past-due accounts.
“With the changes in budget and staffing,” she notes, “we’re better positioned because ECSI allows us to place more or fewer people, do it earlier or later, or a combo of putting students on hold and letting them register for classes. RecoverySelect scales well, and it’s easier to adjust to varying numbers on the platform rather than working through hiring or letting people go. I think this will definitely help us navigate the future of higher education.”