A Reflection on Student Funding

Most days I don’t look in the mirror and see myself as a student; in fact, I don’t know where the years went. Over the Christmas holidays, though, I was chatting with the son of a friend. He was due to start a college course in January, and as we talked I couldn’t help but put myself in his shoes. Starting college is an exciting time, of course, but I realised it can be a frightening prospect too. How would I feel if I were his age, starting college in 2017?

Like most students, I suppose I would be worrying about getting to tutorials on time, studying for exams, and where to get the cheapest beer. In those respects, things really haven’t changed over the years, but in other ways things have changed: tutor-free courses, online training – none of those things were around when I was younger. Technology has changed the world in so many ways; it’s no surprise that education has changed too.

Simplifying the complex

At Inisoft, we’re proud to have been part of this change: our student-funding solution CAMS has changed the way that college students across Scotland apply for funding. For students, the solution is quick and simple: they can apply from a phone, PC or tablet. For college administrators, it is a dream, managing the complexity of student funding from application through to payment.

Elsewhere in the UK, though, many colleges still require students to complete complex paper-based forms. They ask students to print or photocopy evidence and then post it in, or even physically hand it in to the college. The same thing happens at universities. Surely, in 2017, we can do better?

Vulnerable students – who are most likely to need financial assistance – deserve a simple process and a quick response, neither of which is possible with dated paper-based applications. As for institutions, rising student numbers and a focus on cutting administrations costs means that the process has to be made more efficient; the current situation is unsustainable.

If I were a young person about to go to college and in need of funding, I know that I would rather use CAMS.

CAMS can help your institution and your students. For more information, see our CAMS page.

 

Duncan McCunn

Head of Sales and Professional Services