/ Why Is Financial Aid Management Important for Smaller Schools?

Why Is Financial Aid Management Important for Smaller Schools? 

April 3, 2023 | read

Schools know the importance of financial aid management for education. When students depend on scholarships and financial aid to attend the school of their choice, schools must optimize organization and accuracy to provide the best care to current and potential students.

Why Use Financial Management Software?

Smaller schools require the right resources and tools when managing their finances. Software solutions can provide several functions and benefits to schools, streamlining financial decisions and optimizing your budget.

1. Increase Financial Visibility and Accessibility

Housed in centralized platforms, financial management software solutions can increase accessibility and transparency for your school. Several departments might need access to your school’s finances for various reasons. While admissions need financial information to award financial aid, your stakeholders can use it to determine renovations and planning committees need it to prepare fundraising campaigns.

Paper and filing systems can make essential information easy to lose and hard to share. When another department needs to view or use financial data, they must complete time-consuming requests outlining everything they need. Then the hosting department must locate the files and send them securely. Filing cabinets can get cluttered and documents can get misplaced, making it challenging to locate family, student and school financial information.

Instead, financial management solutions allow faculty to access financial information in one place. You can assign roles and permissions to ensure sensitive information is only available to predetermined parties. Processes and decisions are more efficient when everyone can access and view information independently.

2. Improve Efficiency With Automation

Many software solutions come with automated features to streamline processes and boost efficiency for schools. Automated processes can include:

  • Reminding families to complete financial profiles and forms.
  • Notifying faculty when profiles are complete.
  • Updating financial information to reflect scholarships and awards.
  • Billing and tuition.
  • Developing reports on financial activity.

Automated processes enable your teams to focus on other tasks that computers cannot handle, like determining which students get scholarships or planning your budget. Software solutions can also enter data into your systems automatically, and eliminating manual processes can save time and boost efficiency for staff while reducing the risk of mistakes and omissions in your financial database. Information will update in real-time, so you can ensure data is accurate and reflects your school’s current state.

3. Drive Stronger Decision Making

Schools rely on their financial databases and information to drive their annual and quarterly decisions. Whether you are deciding where to go on a field trip or determining scholarship amounts, your staff and teachers need budgets and accounts to back up their arguments and priorities.

The centralized and automated approach of financial software solutions can improve decision-making decisions by ensuring all parties have access to the same information. When data updates automatically, you can adjust decisions and strategies sooner to reflect any changes. Decisions backed by accurate and reliable data results in plans and initiatives you can support and implement, helping drive improvements and impactful solutions at your school.

Many software solutions come with predictive forecasting, using present and historical data to compare and analyze circumstances and data to predict future conditions. Your analytics can provide insight into your existing data and notify you of potential problems based on requirements. With increased visibility and automated data tracking, you can react sooner to issues for more proactive decisions that strengthen your school’s finances.

4. Optimize Budgeting and Fund Allocation


Schools have many factors to consider when determining their budget. They must allocate funds toward their students, teachers, staff and facilities through:

  • Classroom supplies
  • Field trips
  • Assemblies and performances
  • Events like homecoming and prom
  • Renovations
  • Financial aid and scholarships

The increased visibility can help staff and financial teams understand how much money is available in your budget this year for stronger, more accurate decisions surrounding your funds. You can easily share access with other departments to loop them into budgeting, allowing them to advocate for their needs. Better communication and information sharing can streamline budgeting meetings, ensuring everyone is looking at the same data and is ready to make decisions.

5. Determine Financial Aid Awarding

Financial aid and scholarships are an essential part of budgeting and school finances. Scholarships and awards are unique in budgeting because they include many factors in the decision-making process, from eligibility to what they cover. Some schools offer fixed scholarship funds, while others depend on available budgets and donations. Many students rely on annual scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition and other associated fees for your school, from boarding to uniforms and books.

Financial management software can help you better visualize your budget and determine how much money your institution can offer in scholarships and financial awards. The increased visibility and accuracy of financial data with financial management software solutions can highlight overlooked funds you can dedicate to scholarships, helping expand your student population and develop stronger relationships with families.

Why Use Financial Aid Software?

Financial aid management is essential for private K-12 schools. You must determine your various scholarships and awards and what qualifies students to streamline the application and acceptance process. Many merit-based scholarships require students to submit transcripts, maintain GPA minimums or write essays arguing for their eligibility. Financial aid software can further optimize your fund planning and allocation.

1. Organize and Secure Family Financial Information

Families might need to submit sensitive financial data to ensure they qualify for financial aid and scholarships. Some schools require families to prove they make a certain amount annually, while others just need to set up accounts for each applicant and recipient.

Financial aid software has advanced security to protect families while navigating the admissions and enrollment processes, keeping their sensitive information secure and safe from outside interference. While financial aid administration might require certain levels of visibility to make stronger decisions, permissions and accessibility controls can ensure only those who need it can see family information for better security.

2. Determine a Budget for Financial Aid

Financial aid budgets might remain separate from your general budget because of predetermined scholarship amounts. Further, some donors might give money to your school specifically to function as a scholarship or financial aid. Financial aid software can help you track these funds and determine how much money you can offer your current and potential students annually to further increase visibility and data accuracy for better financial management for education.

3. Allocate Individual Awards

You can use your financial aid software solution to award scholarships to select individuals. Your solution can apply scholarships and financial aid to their account in the determined amount your teams have chosen. If you have customized amounts to match student needs and eligibility, financial aid solutions can simplify and streamline the implementation process with automated processes and increased accuracy.

Manage Financial Aid and Scholarships With Ravenna

When financial aid management is so crucial for private K-12 schools, the right tools can improve operations and ensure you have all the necessary information to award financial aid and scholarships to your eligible candidates.

Ravenna offers customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions for K-12 private schools, helping your institution foster stronger relationships and communication with families and students. Our student information systems and admissions and enrollment platforms help you better understand your school community, so you can create experiences tailored to their needs and wants.

School & Student Services (SSS) developed a financial aid management software for schools that integrates with the Ravenna suite for more comprehensive coverage and services. The financial aid management solution allows you to see financial aid information in student profiles for more efficient processes and assessments and edit amounts to match student needs and school requirements.

Request a demo today and discover how SSS and Ravenna can simplify financial aid and scholarship management for your school.

Nina Bernardi

Nina Bernardi

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