If you ask UNT students about their spring 2020 refund experience, chances are that many of them will give you a great review. From the ease of using their mobile phone to choose how they wanted to receive their refund, to how fast they received their disbursement.
According to Chris Foster, Director of UNT’s Student Financial Services, “It was the support from UNT System IT that really helped us deliver a product that changed the way students look at refunds.”
The project was so successful that Nelnet asked the University of North Texas to be a model school for implementing Student Choice Refunds.
It was late summer 2019 when Student Financial Services began the project to enhance the student refund process. As UNT uses Nelnet’s QuikPAY for payment processing, students were familiar with Nelnet’s online interface. Combined with the existing Nelnet universal connector single sign-on, Student Choice Refunds would become symbiotic with the existing QuikPAY application.
As UNT System IT teams finished extensive PeopleSoft Fluid upgrades, Student Finance developers collaborated with the UNT Student Financial Services team to upgrade the Nelnet-PeopleSoft Connector. This work also included a full upgrade to the QuikPAY platform on the Nelnet side. The project advanced rapidly as the UNT System IT Student Finance team adopted a different service model by assigning two developers, allowing work to progress twice as fast.
“With two subject matter experts on the team, they were able to be focused on the project. That is one of the reasons we were able to deliver Student Choice Refunds as quickly as we did,” said Chris Foster of the project.
“We had extreme dedication from the programmers who worked on this; it helped to know that they were able to be fully focused on our needs during this project,” Chris explained.
In talking about how students reacted to Student Choice Refunds and their ability to choose their refund preference inside myUNT’s fluid mobile interface, Chris had this to say, “The student experience improved even more now that they can go directly from myUNT into QuikPAY/Student Choice Refunds and access their refund preference.
“We have improved our service, we have improved our image, and we have improved the experience a student has with their refund,” Chris said about the effects on the overall refunding process.
“The fact that we had such stellar support from UNT System IT with this project, we really wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.”
Joey Saxon, Associate Vice President of UNT Student Financial Services agreed, saying, “Together, we successfully implemented a new refund process for UNT and UNT Dallas students that improved service and efficiency.”