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Marshall U Issues Individualized Financial Award Letters to Prospective Students
Marshall University in Huntington, WV
has implemented a financial aid award platform to generate individualized
financial award letters for prospective students.
The university adopted the Student
Aid Services platform to help more than 3,000 prospective students better
understand their scholarship and financial aid options and provide them with a
more accurate and complete picture of the total cost of their education program.
According to Student Aid Services, traditional financial aid award letters
simply list the awards, whereas the custom letters from Marshall U are "highly
personalized booklets that educate students and their families about the
interrelation between costs, financial aid and educational value."
Marshall U began sending the new financial aid award letters, called Your
Personal Award Letter, this past spring. The full color booklets are dynamically
generated by Student Aid Services and customized to each student's individual
profile. According to the company, the letters explain concepts "such as net
price, which is the cost of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid," so
prospective students and their parents can clearly understand the individual
student's real cost of attending the university. The university is also using
Student Aid Services to power a custom net price calculator on their Web site, so
students can estimate their potential aid, net price and out-of-pocket costs.
"It is crucial for students to understand their real cost as they compare
financial aid packages from various colleges," said Kathy Bialk, director of
financial aid at Marshall University, in a prepared statement. "For example, we
separate loan offers from gift aid offers so families can more easily recognize
the difference between immediate and delayed out-of-pocket costs."
According to the university, the number of enrollment deposits for the
incoming class have increased compared to the previous year, and the university
attributes at least part of the increase to the new award letter.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.