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Texas A&M-Commerce Expands Use of Financial Aid Software

Texas A&M University-Commerce has expanded its use of financial aid software so that it can help practically the entire campus apply for and administer financial aid.

Earlier this year, the university selected Regent Education's Regent 8 software, a new financial aid administration system for students involved in its competency-based education programs. While most financial aid management systems are designed for structured enrollment periods based on a traditional academic calendar, Regent Education representatives said 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.

Texas A&M-Commerce has the largest number of students involved in competency-based education of any higher education institution in Texas. The program gives students academic credit for what they already know and can do, allowing them to accelerate completion of their degrees. It is also fully online, meaning students are not always on the semester schedules that many traditional students are, sometimes introducing challenges involving administration and financial aid.

Regent Education has specialized in providing software programs for schools that use non-traditional enrollment models. Other schools with non-traditional education programs that use Regent Education software include Southern New Hampshire University, which runs College for America, and Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System in California.

Texas A&M-Commerce has now decided to add Regent's SNAP program, which it will use to automate the financial aid application process for students applying for the state-funded scholarship program known as the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). Previously, students applying for TASFA funds had to use paper application forms.

"We are very excited to automate the TASFA application process and are committed to ensuring that our processes meet the needs of all of our students while driving efficiency to a new level," said Mary Hendrix, vice president of student access and success at Texas A&M-Commerce.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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