THE STRUGGLE OF ST. EDWARD’S: TROUBLE MANAGING COLLECTIONS
St. Edward’s University, a nationally-ranked liberal arts university located in Austin, Texas, had a longstanding problem. When students became past due on their accounts receivable payments and were to be sent to collections, they only had one person managing the collections process. This individual had to notify students by phone and by mail, as well as keep a spreadsheet detailing each account’s status in advance of its submission to a collection agency – in addition to managing the school’s Perkins Loan portfolio.
According to Jonathan Grabert, Assistant Director of Student Accounts, what St. Edward’s felt they most needed was an intermediary between the school and their collection agencies. They wanted to be able to monitor collections in a single place, and have one interface through which to monitor every student’s status.
Enter ECSI’s RecoverySelect – a solution aimed squarely at keeping students out of collections by giving them an opportunity to pay off their A/R balances in a timely manner, without interest.
ST. EDWARD’S PARTNERS WITH ECSI TO IMPLEMENT THE RECOVERYSELECT SOLUTION
Following initial discussions with a Regional Sales Executive for ECSI, Jonathan and his team at St. Edward’s were ready to partner with ECSI and utilize the RecoverySelect solution for delinquent A/R management. The school held weekly calls with ECSI’s Implementation Team, and worked with that group to configure the solution to match their needs and requirements. The school was already integrated with the Ellucian Banner student information system (SIS), which made the implementation process simple and efficient.
“It was an easy experience,” Jonathan said. “The team was great to work with – they were communicative, timely in responding to our questions, and if they didn’t know how to answer a question, they quickly found a resource who could help. Because of our integration with Banner, it was a pretty rapid process from first filling out the implementation guide to having the final solution up and running.”
St. Edward’s by the Numbers
47.3% Resolution Rate
$520,000 in past due balances have been resolved by RecoverySelect
15.7% Re-Enrollment Rate
42 students re-enrolled at St. Edward’s the following semester as a result of RecoverySelect
$1 Million Retained Revenue
Dollars in tuition and fees retained from re-enrolled students
REDUCED ADMINISTRATIVE WORKLOAD WITH BETTER STUDENT OUTCOMES - THE CURRENT APPROACH OF ST. EDWARD’S AND ECSI’S PARTNERSHIP
St. Edward’s is finding positive changes as a result of RecoverySelect at all levels of management. The school’s collections manager has been able to focus more of her energy on the sunsetting of the Perkins Loan program and getting macro views of all accounts, rather than going into the weeds on every past due account. The Bursar himself is pleased that his questions can be answered quickly, due to more readily available data. The Vice President of Finance is specifically happy that the reports RecoverySelect generates are more thorough than what the school previously had.
Jonathan continues to be one of RecoverySelect’s most prominent cheerleaders at St. Edward’s. He especially appreciates that ECSI has a dedicated team of Customer Service Advocates who can follow up on their accounts, as well as ECSI’s set schedule of up to 90 days of phone calls and letters before sending a student to collections.
He also values the ease of managing student accounts that RecoverySelect allows for the school. Before RecoverySelect, obtaining certainty around collections was difficult, because every agency provides differing reports. The university’s main goal was having the books match between the school and the agency – and RecoverySelect makes that happen through unified, consistent reporting.
Did you know?
Each student enrolled at St. Edward’s works one-on-one with a success coach to develop a personal roadmap to fully engage in learning at the university. Their aim is to ensure each student’s experience feels uniquely personal to them.
The flexible monthly payment plans were a third key appeal to him – the school had manually set up payment plans with students previously, but RecoverySelect takes that off his team’s plate and handles it all digitally. This helps these students resolve their balances without accruing any interest. He’s also seen an increase in students re-enrolling as a result of paying off their A/R balances through RecoverySelect, whereas before they would’ve ended up at a collection agency.
“It’s really taken the administrative burden off of managing delinquent accounts for us. We’re able to put the code into Banner, and the program takes it from there,” he said. “It’s reduced the time from hours or days with ongoing maintenance to just five seconds. It frees up our time to go other places, and it’s given us this level of certainty in managing these accounts that we haven’t had before. It just works the way we expect it to, and I would recommend it to anyone.”