Alabama higher education institutions tap into Oracle Cloud

Alabama’s Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) has selected Oracle Student Financial Planning to drive the number of high school graduates applying for federal financial aid.

Last year, an estimated $67.8m in federal Pell Grants were left unclaimed by eligible Alabama students who did not finish the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To tackle this, the state has made completing the FAFSA a graduation requirement and is using Oracle Student Financial Planning (SFP) to manage the process.

Alabama has already seen an improvement, with a 21.9 percent increase in FAFSA completions in April this year, compared to this time last year.

To optimize the impact of the form completion policy, the state’s systems needed extensive upgrades to ensure students receive adequate support throughout the process. After reviewing available solutions, Alabama’s Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) selected Oracle Student Financial Planning.

Counsellors will be more empowered to offer individualized student assistance as Oracle Student Planning uploads reports into a state database to aid counsellors identify which students are yet to submit their FAFSA.

Dr Jim Purcell, executive director of Alabama Commission on Higher Education said: “Our primary goal is to ensure all students can pursue post-secondary education by obtaining needed funding. Oracle Student Financial Planning has added an amazing level of tools for which the high school counsellors and career coaches can use to keep students on track with this requirement.”

Vivian Wong, group vice president of higher education development at Oracle said: “We know that FAFSA completion and college enrolment are closely associated, as 92 percent of graduating seniors who completed the FAFSA enrolled by the following fall. With Oracle Student Financial Planning, Alabama is able to create more equitable access to postsecondary education that will fuel opportunity for more people and ultimately help shape a more diverse and skilled workforce.”