April 9th the SIS Project hosted a Design Workshop on the topic of Funding and Paying for my Education. The session engaged 21 students, SIS Project Staff, plus Financial Aid, Billing and Cal Student Central staff, in a 3 hour set of exercises. Students built a shared "experience map" of their stories, then got into teams and brainstormed and prototyped ideas for "reimagining the student financial aid and billing experience."
Some key findings were:
- Clarify how Financial Aid packages are created and explain the different parts
- Let me know who gave me this scholarship so that I can thank them
- “What if” tool for financial aid, ex:
- What is Work-study and should I take it?
- Parents contribution changes
- Simplify the language for students and families new to financial aid, and explain terms
(ex: Sub vs. UnSub, EFC, etc.)
- More graphs and charts, ex: budgets and aid packages
- Loans: summarize all my loans and tell me how much I owe with an estimated monthly payment
- Billing: tell me when my aid will pay my bill, and will I get a refund
- CARS Bill is hard to read and needs more detail
- Financial Literacy and understanding decisions around making loans
- Understanding my total loan debt against future earnings
- Budgeting and general financial management