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Let’s assume for a moment that your Office of Financial Aid is in perfect compliance with its regulatory requirements. Let’s also assume for the moment that you have the latest technology to manage your Office and that the president of your institution just congratulated your entire office for excellent work.
But the question is this: are you maximizing your financial and human capital so that your customers are receiving maximum value?
Who is your customer and do you know their requirements? In reality, every Office of Financial Aid probably has at least three customers and all three need to be served.

  1. The regulators or the ones setting the rules;
  2. The lenders or the ones providing the money that the Office distributes; and
  3. The students themselves.

What often happens in government organizations is that the regulators become the primary customer and the student or citizen becomes something less. We serve the regulations and forget the group that actually consumes the service we provide. For example, we once did a lean process improvement project for a large state granting organization. Every biennium they awarded over $165 million dollars in grants. In asking them who were their customers, they all said the groups receiving the grants. However, every work process and ever measure of performance was designed to keep the regulators happy. In fact, they were so happy that when the Federal regulators could not figure out their own regulations, the regulators came to them to for help.
Organizational excellence means more than maintaining a check list in the regulations manual. It is about the continuous removal of waste so that maximum value can be added to the customer – all of them. The result of this, is that over time costs go down per dollar awarded. Certainly this does not happen every year, but over time this is the history of improving work processes.
We have developed a way of assessing Offices of Financial Aid. The assessment is totally free. We won’t even ask for your name and contact information. The assessment does one really simple thing – it measures where your Office is at on a scale of performance excellence. In other words, it measures your Office against what the best performing organizations, of all types, do to achieve excellence.
We suggest taking the assessment as a group. It will probably take 45 minutes. When you get done, let us know what you learned. You can contact us at: info@PraxisSolutionsNP.com
For downloading the Self-Assessment