New Financial Aid Portal Improves Prospective Student Experience

A new portal in Blue Demon Domain is demystifying financial aid, leveraging technology to simplify this important process for newly admitted DePaul students. Launched on Feb. 1, this one-stop experience for financial aid information was developed within Slate by Information Services and EMM’s Recruitment Systems and Technology, University Marketing and Financial Aid teams. 

The portal’s modern look and responsive design (so it can be viewed on any device) complements Blue Demon Domain, an online tool that guides students through their next steps for enrollment. The text uses student-friendly language embedded with video tutorials that explain financial aid processes and terms. Student photos and testimonials add to the visual appeal. The result is a more easily digestible and interactive experience for navigating financial aid at DePaul.

Enhancing Financial Aid’s communication strategy for prospective students is a primary purpose of the portal. Customized messaging based on where each student is in the process keeps students informed and educated on their aid and status. For example, if a student has not applied for aid yet, they are prompted to visit the FAFSA website. Or, if a student has not opened their award letter, their portal will display a message instructing them to do so.

Another key feature is its ability to track communications and student engagement on the backend. Chris Browning, director of Recruitment Systems and Technology, explains.

“Slate allows us to track whether students are viewing our messaging. Through the portal, we can see who logged in and when, and what pages they are viewing. This allows us to better manage our communications and follow up with students more effectively.”

Students still need to log into Campus Connect to officially accept their award packages and access other official documents, but the messaging they receive through the portal provides real-time updates and directions that help students understand what they need to know and do.

“It creates a more unified and cohesive brand experience for students,” says Browning. “This first phase of implementation centralized communications to make the financial aid process easier to understand. Phase two will move more features from Campus Connect into the portal—like the to-do lists and verification requirements that students need to submit—so that the portal truly becomes the one place to complete all necessary financial aid steps for new students.”

To date, 11,300 award letters have been sent to incoming freshman and 7,000 students have visited the portal to view that information.

To learn more about the new financial aid portal, contact Chris Browning.

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