Financial Aid Management

Texas A&M U-Commerce Deploys Financial Aid System for Non-Traditional Students

Texas A&M University-Commerce has implemented a new financial aid management system to support its competency-based online degree, the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program.

Texas A&M University-Commerce — in partnership with South Texas College and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) — created the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program in 2014 to provide a low-cost alternative to earning a college degree. The program enables a new student with no prior college credits to earn a bachelor of applied arts and sciences (BAAS) in organizational leadership in three years at a total cost of $13,000 to $15,000, according to information from the university. Students entering the program can receive credit for their prior skills and knowledge, allowing them to complete their degree in less time for less cost. The program is entirely online, so students can complete their coursework while working or raising families.

The university faced challenges related to the administration of Title IV financial aid for the competency-based education program. To resolve these challenges, the university selected a new financial aid administration system — Regent 8 from Regent Education. According to information from the company, Regent 8 offers "complete support for all enrollment models including standard term, non-term, borrower-based and competency-based education (CBE)."

Most financial aid management systems are designed for structured enrollment periods based on a traditional academic calendar, according to Regent Education. "The design of Regent 8 is fundamentally different, providing institutions flexibility to offer programs with non-traditional terms, while matching the financial aid model to the academic model," stated a news release from the company.

The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program launched its first seven-week term in late January, 2014. The program is available online through Texas A&M University-Commerce, and is also available through both online and face-to-face delivery options at South Texas College.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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