EdSurge
EdSurge

Student Finance Gets a Facelift With CampusLogic’s Acquisition of Cegment

Student Finance Gets a Facelift With CampusLogic’s Acquisition of Cegment

Many students, no matter their economic situation, don’t like fretting about financial aid. As CEO of the student financial aid startup CampusLogic, Gregg Scoresby has heard plenty of these concerns. To alleviate some of their worries, he’s trying to meet students where they’re at—online and on mobile devices—and upgrade the entire student financial aid process while doing so.

Since founding the Gilbert, Ariz.-based company back in 2011, Scoresby’s been driving towards this goal in a number of ways. In 2014, the company launched StudentForms to bring financial aid forms online for institutions. Then in 2015 came AwardLetter, a digital tool that helps administrators personalize and simplify financial aid award notifications for students and their families. Last year, the company announced CampusMetrics, an analytics tool where institutions can get a glimpse of all their students’ financial aid data.

Keeping consistent with its annual product launches, CampusLogic is undergoing a new effort for 2017: help ease the financial aid process for students even before they sign up for college. To do that, the company has acquired Cegment’s Net Price Calculator (NPC), which aims to help students better understand financial options, costs and opportunities as they research prospective college options.

“We believe that CampusLogic’s position in the market and deep investment in technology will support the continued growth of our products moving forward,” Brad Baker, CEO of Cegment, said in a prepared statement. “CampusLogic is equally committed to its customers and its employees and we are excited that nearly all of the Cegment team will be joining them.”

Along with helping students understand what it costs to go to school asthey evaluate college choices, NPC also helps students know what sort of grants, loans or other financial opportunities they may qualify for. “When a student is thinking if they can afford an institution, they often don’t know all of the things they might be eligible for,” Scoresby explains.

Like all of CampusLogics’ products, NPC (expected to be operational in Q2 and fully integrated in CampusLogic’s system in the nest 12 to 18 months) appears on the company’s college partner website and adapts to the institution's brand. And while most higher-ed institutions in the U.S. offer free net price calculators for prospective students, adding Cegment’s calculator to CampusLogic’s toolbox makes it one of the few—if not only student financial aid platforms to assist students from their first college search to their last FAFSA.

Scoresby isn’t shy about his company’s strategy: “Hopefully it’s clear, we want to affect the whole student finance lifecycle.”

Though ambitious in scope, CampusLogic’s track record shows their efforts have been working. The company claims 300 percent year-over-year revenue growth, and more than 400 school partners. All of them, according to Scoresby, say they’ve enjoyed an increase in the number of financial aid forms completed.

To illustrate how that’s happened, chief operating officer Chris Chumley recalls how operations in the financial aid office at Arizona State University—where CampusLogic was part of the school’s new edtech accelerator program—has changed. “Students would bring paper forms, copies of their tax information and put those papers in a big box. Someone would go empty the box, scan the forms as digital images, then process the forms,” says Chumley. “There were some 22 people were managing the documents.”

With CampusLogic, ASU’s work around filing, scanning and processing paper forms has been eliminated. Students can scan documents straight from their mobile devices, and important FAFSA forms are automatically integrated into the product straight from the school’s record system. Students can receive prompts to finish financial aid paperwork through CampusLogic’s tools, reminding them of upcoming deadlines, and (soon) scholarship opportunities.

CampusLogic is already planning its next move—ScholarshipUniverse, a match system that pushes scholarships to students based on their own unique opportunities. For internal scholarships offered by an institution, administers of the award can use the tool to review, process and approve student applications. “It even can keep track of if financial aid recipient has sent a thank you letter to the donor or not,” says Scoresby.

With a smattering of products now available and others in beta-testing, Chumley says “the most exciting piece is how all of this ties together.” He’s referring to the company’s CampusMetrics tool, which allows administrators to visualize student financial aid information gathered from NPC, AwardLetter and StudentForms all in one place. Users can see, for example, geographic distribution of ISIRs (government records that contain student FAFSA information), application volume, or even if a digital award letter has been opened or not. Right now the platform offers nearly 100 visualizations administrators can choose from and also rate for other users to see. In the next year, Chumley says that number should bump up to 300 thanks to the features crowd-sourced feedback system, where users can also request new kinds of graphics.

Beyond metrics, Scoresby says the arsenal of financial aid products his company has acquired fit together towards a common goal. “The primary problem people need to know about is why and what they are actually borrowing,” he says. “We want schools to use our products to drive down borrowing, reduce the cost of administration, and make college accessible.”

GET THE LATEST HIGHER ED NEWS.Be the first to know, with our weekly newsletter.