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UC Campus in Early Stages on Potential Software Refresh

The University of California, Davis has released a request for information to look at possibly updating a solution in its Financial Aid and Scholarships Department.

A white water tower rising from behind some trees with "UC Davis" printed on it in blue.
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The University of California, Davis is seeking information from IT companies on potentially modernizing a key aspect of its financial aid system.

In a request for information (RFI) released March 8, UC Davis calls for information “to explore financial aid and scholarship management software that will help the university to manage all aspects of providing financial aid” to students. One of 10 UC campuses, UC Davis has six professional schools, a population of more than 40,000 students and offers more than 100 academic majors. Its Financial Aid and Scholarships (FAS) office disbursed more than $665 million in financial aid to more than 28,000 recipients during the 2020-2021 academic year. The university “makes no guarantees” that any information that comes out of this solicitation will lead to a request for proposal and notes in the RFI it is in the “early pre-discovery stage” during which it intends to research the marketplace and “collect future-state requirements for (the) ideal financial aid and scholarship management system.” Among the takeaways:

  • FAS has a “heavy caseload of administering financial aid and scholarships” for students. As part of the RFI, it wants to “identify highly secure cloud-based solutions” capable of supporting business objectives including improving students’ overall experience while interacting with FAS throughout the financial aid process including work study; optimizing FAS’ day-to-day operation around processing financial aid forms; interacting with providers and processors and managing loan applications; improving FAS’ ability to manage grant and scholarship budgets and fund recovery; and minimizing the number of apps and solutions FAS needs to do its work. FAS would also like to streamline its workflow and support document management processes; create batch automation processes to support financial aid packaging, repackaging and “retroactive calculations and adjustments”; ensure data security; and provide FAS staffers with advanced reporting capabilities.
  • Currently, FAS uses more than 20 different tools on-prem and in the cloud to achieve its business objectives. For that reason, any solutions offered must have “robust system integration capabilities.” The RFI looks to understand the existing marketplace and find a service provider with either a “best of breed comprehensive financial aid and scholarship management solution” that’s standalone or with a financial aid module that’s part of the “larger Student Information System.” The provider should also be able to deliver in-depth demos of its software and “sandbox access to the group of UC Davis financial aid subject matter experts,” and have similar higher education institutions as references that have used its software.
  • Questions on the RFI are due by 1 p.m. March 22 and will be answered by March 24. Responses to the RFI are due by 5 p.m. April 5.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.