For Schools

Success Story: Louisiana State University

Case Study | July 30, 2018

Louisana State University Speeds and Simplifies Private Loan Processing

When Jessica Ott joined the financial aid office at Louisiana State University (LSU) more than 11 years ago, the school had been using OpenNet, a Navient-created private loan certification solution for many years. When making a decision to change, Jessica and the rest of her LSU team looked at the features and benefits of other available solutions—as well as the customer service they expected to receive.

LSU’s decision to use ScholarNet to certify $17 million in private loans in 2017-18 for the flagship Baton Rouge campus is one that has created a very happy bursar’s office, Jessica notes. Important factors in their decision included the overall product look, the ease of flow for certification and file transfer, and the fact that they didn’t have to build anything internally since they were already using CommonLine.

No less important than these factors was the existing strong relationship Jessica had in working with her Great Lakes representative. Their understanding of LSU’s situation and needs, and reputation for providing outstanding customer service to the financial aid office, made switching to ScholarNet worry-free and seamless. Jessica and her representative worked closely with the Great Lakes Customer Care team to get ScholarNet up and running within two weeks. Training was simple, and we walked Jessica through how to use the tool via WebEx.

What Has Been The Impact on Private Loan Processing?

  • In addition to reducing the time and effort required to process paper checks, the addition of ScholarNet has expedited receipt of funds for students, who can now receive electronic checks.
  • When the bursar’s office sends a deposit to the bank account, Jessica can now give the bursar’s office access to the lender rosters, eliminating a step and saving additional time.
  • Jessica and a colleague at LSU who helps her certify its private student loans no longer have to go into the tool as frequently to see where things are. They’ve been pleasantly surprised by email notifications that tell them when there’s something they need to do.

Looking Forward to Using Additional Features

While ScholarNet has simplified the certification and disbursement of loans for LSU, its capabilities aren’t being fully utilized by the university, which has a homegrown mainframe. When LSU switches over to a new student system in the coming years, Jessica looks forward to being able to take full advantage of all the electronic transfer and reporting capabilities ScholarNet offers.

Interested in learning more about streamlining private loans at your school? Contact your Great Lakes representative to discuss your needs. If you have a story to share about how you’re using a Great Lakes solution to simplify private loan processing, email us.

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