Gregg Scoresby, CEO
Students entering higher education today are digital natives who have grown up leveraging the power of technology in just about every aspect of their lives. And when they scouted for a suitable college, they were not disappointed. They were wooed with campus visits that included sneak peeks of ultra-modern facilities, digitally-connected instructors, and the promise of limitless access to technology. It is the dream situation for students who have spent their K-12 years with personal devices for homework, smartphones, and an abundance of social media platforms.
It is also ideal for nontraditional students who need the convenience of 24/7 access and increased flexibility to work around things like job schedules and childcare hours. For many students, however, the experience alters dramatically when they reach the financial aid office. Visualize long lines, piles of paper, a harried staff, and students and parents who are frustrated, confused. They desperately want to talk to someone who can help them understand the college funding options available to them and the short- and long-term implications of those options. Yet, bogged down by manual processes, paper forms, and seemingly endless routine questions, most financial aid teams simply cannot keep up with the increasing demands, leaving students with long wait times and stress about their entire financial aid journey.
With CampusLogic, there is a better way to handle financial aid processes.
Since 2011, CampusLogic has been on a mission to help schools change lives by transforming financial aid in higher education with the first—and only—unified AI-enabled integrated student financial success platform that makes processes easy, mobile, and personalized. Every year, millions of students drop out of higher education for financial reasons. Financial aid is difficult and confusing, and comprehension of the gravity of the financial commitment is low. This results in rising instances of debt without a degree—the ultimate student debt crisis.
Artificial Intelligence Can Lighten the Load
The college journey begins when students start to compare institutions to determine the ones they can afford. Communication from schools to students starts early, and it is imperative they understand the information they receive, including how to go through the process of selecting a school, as well as how to find scholarships and obtain funding.
This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. CampusLogic’s approach of wrapping AI around the entire student experience via their VirtualAdvisor solution better enables students to get personalized support anytime and anywhere, delivering the guidance and assistance they need to successfully navigate the financial aid process. The CampusLogic VirtualAdvisor AI solution is equipped to handle in-depth, personalized conversations and can ascertain when and if another human (a financial aid professional) should be brought into the conversation.
What can VirtualAdvisor do?
It can have a real-time conversation with students in their native language while keeping processes moving by providing a guided and personalized student experience. VirtualAdvisor can also provide proactive and prescriptive solutions to individual student issues.
Dedicating Resources to AI
For companies that are new to AI, the concept may seem daunting or unrealistic, but CampusLogic knows the importance of integrating this technology and dedicates resources to it on a daily basis to create more value for customers.
With artificial intelligence, we can deliver automation that helps institutions improve processes and streamline workflows, paving a smoother path to student financial success
Chris Chumley, COO, CampusLogic, believes that AI is only going to be as effective as the quality and quantity of data available to the AI system. Most companies haven’t structured their data in a way that can be accessible. CampusLogic’s customers can use the platform to simplify and automate interactions with their students to have a tremendous amount of structured data. That user data informs the AI to interact with the students through more relevant and valuable conversations. “We believe AI systems are going to quickly become features within larger platforms, like ours, that already have structured data available to the AI, rather than standalone products. Without that, personalization is impossible,” says Chumley.
Similarly, there is a substantial shortage of talent that understands the promise of AI, the technical effort to make it happen, and the ongoing effort required to get it right. Delivering any AI system isn’t transactional like buying a CRM that is primarily set up once and used to manage a specific workflow. Truly effective AI requires ongoing focus and commitment to improve the AI experience and unlock the value AI can bring. To that end, CampusLogic is addressing this challenge by bringing top AI talent into the company, expanding its relationship with Microsoft’s team, and integrating AI into every product and every interaction. It is not easy to do, but maximizing the value of AI takes substantial and consistent human effort.
The CampusLogic Platform
Known in the market as an innovator that is focused on research and development, CampusLogic has consistently rolled out a new product every year. “We have expert financial aid professionals in the company who work closely with our technologists, spend time with our customers, and collaborate with Microsoft to continually deliver adaptive development processes, identify trends in the marketplace, and meet customer needs,” comments Chumley.
Western Governors University (WGU), one of the fastest-growing online colleges, successfully implemented CampusLogic’s technology, which resulted in a substantially decreased inbound call volume, lower costs, and increased verification completion rates. Known for their exceptional student experience, WGU chose to partner with CampusLogic to improve the financial aid experience as well as departmental efficiencies—ultimately leading to more students getting through financial aid and into the classroom. “We’re able to complete the verification process faster than before and with half the staff because we’ve streamlined verification and don’t have to deal with compliance and technology changes from the federal government. CampusLogic does all that,” states Bob Collins, Western Governors University VP of Financial Aid.
Humans vs. AI
The world is not at war with technology. On the contrary, technology is enhancing just about every aspect of life and is here to empower student financial success.
“The biggest trend for 2020 is discovering all the ways humans and AI can work together. In higher education specifically, we’re enabling AI technology that works alongside advisors, making them even better at their jobs,” says Chumley.
In a recent survey of 4,600 business professionals conducted by Dell Technologies in partnership with the Institute for the Future (IFTF), 76 percent of respondents indicated that they expect to restructure the way they spend their time because of the ability to automate tasks.
That’s what CampusLogic is doing for their partners in higher education. By continuously innovating and providing a way for humans and technology to seamlessly work together to deliver the best possible financial aidexperience, the company is giving students the modern, efficient experiences they deserve.
It is More than a Bot
Most are familiar with online chatbots that pop up on websites. These solutions have limited functionality and are merely reactive—with a finite set of answers. CampusLogic’s VirtualAdvisor delivers an AI solution featuring a bot, but extends well beyond standard bot capabilities. In addition to freeing up financial aid advisors to do more in-depth advising, the AI functionality of VirtualAdvisor intelligently monitors conversations, tracks the efficacy of information shared, features sentiment analysis, and lets financial aid advisors know when It is time to step in and join the conversation. Replete with features to enhance the student experience and ensure top-tier customer service from financial aid, VirtualAdvisor is a true bridge between human and AI interaction.
“With artificial intelligence, we can deliver automation that helps institutions improve processes and streamline workflows, paving a smoother path to student financial success,” says Gregg Scoresby, CEO, CampusLogic. “By freeing up financial aid teams to dedicate more time to one-on-one advising, we are allowing them the time they need to be proactive—rather than reactive—toward student needs.”
"We have expert financial aid professionals in the company who work closely with our technologists, spend time with our customers, and collaborate with Microsoft to continually deliver adaptive development processes, identify trends in the marketplace, and meet customer needs"
Living the CampusLogic Values
A values-driven organization, CampusLogic prides itself on its employees and the way they model the company values on a daily basis. While its culture and commitment to excellence are huge selling points to clients, they are also drivers for finding—and keeping—great talent. Some of the most notable values, specifically when it comes to developing and implementing AI for customers are ‘We love our customers, and they know it’ and ‘We have the courage to change the world.’ CampusLogic is changing the world of higher education and helping financial aid teams deliver the best student experiences possible.
In a parenting analogy, Scoresby equates his hands-off approach to helping his children discover their strengths with his approach to leading CampusLogic: “I try to have kind and supportive conversations with them while being highly direct at the same time. I think this mostly reflects my leadership style at work. My executive team would tell you they have enormous levels of autonomy. I want to help my team see what is possible and understand their strengths, as well as the strengths of the company, but I try not to meddle too much in their day-to-day decisions. I think the best company cultures are characterized by both consistent kindness and complete clarity. Like parenting, I am hardly a perfect leader, but I try to get better every day.”