Drew University, a Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts university, includes the College of Liberal Arts, the Drew Theological School and the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. Drew is located on a beautiful, wooded, 186-acre campus in Madison, New Jersey, a thriving small town close to New York City.
It has a total enrollment of more than 2,000 students and has 145 full-time faculty members, 94% of whom hold the terminal degree in their field. The Theological and Caspersen schools offer MA and PhD degrees and the College confers BA degrees in more than 30 disciplines.
Learn more about Drew: http://www.drew.edu/about/
In order to operate within our budget, our Student Accounts Office at Drew is run primarily by three individuals. Our enrollment increased, as well as student needs and workload inevitably followed suit. We realized we needed another way to successfully run our Student Accounts office. One option was to increase our staff (not likely with previously mentioned budget constraints), and another was to streamline our technology. Without the availability of a large IT staff dedicated to our office, our best option was using a third party resource partner.
We turned to TMS. Drew University had been a payment plan customer of TMS for nine years; we had discussed Real-Time Integration (RTI) with our Banner system with theirs previously, but had never really jumped on board. However, with the current workload challenges we were now faced with, the availability of a 24/7 system that was hosted and maintained by TMS was a very attractive feature. RTI allowed us to continue to operate at our current staffing model while saving time and still offering our students and families the quality of service they expected at Drew…and provided them (as well as our staff) with up to the minute information on accounts.
With RTI firmly in place, the next logical step was implementation of the Student Account Center, which housed all of our accounts and the TMS payment plan in one place. It maintained the look and feel of Drew branding, which was very important to us, and offered the students and payers an at-a-glance view of their accounts in real-time, with the ability to set up payment plans and make payments directly from the home screen. Students were also able to easily invite other users to the account, making parent payments simple and secure- another time saver for the Student Accounts Office.
Associate Director, Student Accounts
With the success of the payment plan in the Student Account Center in place, bringing the billing experience was a logical next step. We had specific requirements for our bills, which required a unique code, and TMS was happy to work with us to provide our students with the optimum billing experience, much to our satisfaction.
Director, Student Accounts
Our accomplishments: We continue to be a three person staff due to the technology assistance and ease of use with our real time Student Account Center. Benefits and efficiencies for us include:
✔ Reduce Workload: Real-time posting of payments resulting in accuracy and efficiency, easing the pain of a once laborious batch-load process
✔ Increase the accuracy of information 24/7
✔ Modern display of current balances with payment alternatives in one centralized, easy to navigate location
✔ Provide greater ease and access of information to students and families therefore reducing student inquiries and increase satisfaction
To meet new Federal requirements, we recently implemented the TMS Refund Solution to disburse Title IV refunds to our students. Once again, we experienced a smooth and simple integration, and we are beginning to benefit from the efficiencies and workload reduction the Solution had to offer our school.