College Foundation Inc. chooses SAS® business analytics to manage financial aid, loans
SAS GLOBAL FORUM, LAS VEGAS (Apr. 05, 2011) – Administering a loan portfolio of more than $3.3 billion, along with North Carolina's college grant and tax-advantaged savings programs, has been made easier. The College Foundation Inc. of North Carolina (CFNC) is using SAS® Business Analytics from the leader in business analytics software and services to deliver financial aid on time to the right people and schools, while ensuring strict accountability for annual expenditures. On behalf of the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), the free service helps students plan, apply and pay for college
"Before SAS, it took two to five days to provide information. Sometimes the accuracy was less than it needed to be," said Jim Avett, President and CEO of CFNC. "Today, accurate reports go out within a few hours. The results have been phenomenal. We've reduced expenses, allowing high-value IT staff to focus on what they do best while delivering information to the right people."
"We advise policymakers and schools, who frequently ask us for information," said Steve Brooks, Executive Director of NCSEAA. "Increasing ad-hoc requests, including what-if scenarios, increased our demands upon CFNC for reports. With SAS, I couldn't be more pleased with the quality of data and the ability of CFNC to deliver information promptly and accurately to support policy recommendations – it's been a great tool."
According to Brooks, SAS Business Analytics has significantly increased the efficiency of delivering information and raised confidence in the forecasts that help determine annual funding for state financial aid programs.
"Every dollar you don't spend denies someone an opportunity," said Brooks. "With SAS helping us forecast demand and flow of funds from year to year, we can better advise the General Assembly how much aid students will need. Many decisions over the years were educated guesses – we're much more precise now."
In addition to the business benefits of the SAS solution, Avett was impressed with the implementation process performed by SAS and its partner Zencos.
"We depended on SAS to help us determine the right solution and implementation partners," explained Avett. "SAS looked at the data and suggested approaches, which was very helpful. Instead of just a product, we got an organization that helped us understand what we might do. It was an extremely smooth process. We're very pleased – on many levels. SAS managed the whole project and brought in Zencos. We were very comfortable that deadlines would be met and that our solution would up and running on time."
Today's announcement was made at SAS Global Forum, the world's largest gathering of SAS users, attended by more than 3,500 business and IT users of SAS software and solutions.
About the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), established in 1965, is the State agency that promotes access to higher education by administering financial aid and savings programs, informing students and families about paying for college, teaching educators about financial aid administration, and advocating for resources to support students.
About College Foundation, Inc.
College Foundation, Inc. (CFI), a nonprofit corporation serving North Carolina students and families since 1955, administers a loan portfolio of more than $3.3 billion, including low-interest federal education loans, in addition to the State's college grant programs and the tax-advantaged "529" college savings program on behalf of the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority. CFI also delivers information to North Carolina students and families about paying for college and provides technology services for CFNC.org.
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 50,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world
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