Funding and Paying for my Education Workshop

April 9, 2015

Student WorkshopApril 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:

Student Workshop
Student Needs

  • 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 

Pain Points

  • 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