St. Louis — April 27, 2011 — Full system integration, flexibility and adaptability are hallmarks of CAMS® Enterprise, the Web-based enterprise resource planning system, or ERP, from St. Louis-based Three Rivers Systems Inc. While these virtues define CAMS, they are even more readily apparent in the enhancements to the CAMS Financial Aid module aimed at accommodating a revamped federally mandated student loan program. Because of its smart design, updating CAMS to handle and stay current with the revised lending program continues to be a relatively simple task
When it took effect, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act significantly altered federal student loan programs so that private lenders no longer originate new loans. Instead, colleges and universities are required to participate in a Direct Loan program offering students a single-application process and reduced origination fees. Loan funds go directly to higher education institutions and are backed and serviced by the U.S. Department of Education.
As a Web-based solution, CAMS Enterprise was able to adapt quickly to the new requirements, enabling clients to communicate electronically with the Department of Education through the new protocols. CAMS uses a modern Internet style architecture, so functionality can be created and rolled out to clients quickly. And since CAMS is fully integrated around a single, secure shared, database all the institution’s data is collected in one place and is instantly available for financial aid processing. That means colleges can use any data in the system in their packaging,
The federal changes place greater demands on college and university administrators for compiling and reporting financial aid information. Unfortunately, many standalone financial aid systems’ shortcomings become readily apparent, for example, when administrators create what is called a “full-package scenario” — a comprehensive summary of a student’s financial history, scholarships, grants, loans and other income reconciled against academic progress. When creating these scenarios in standalone systems, staff must manually keystroke data from another part of the system into the financial aid system.
This data-entry duplication wastes time and resources. Or, equally unattractive and time consuming, institutions must export student-record information from their student information systems into their financial aid systems.
Such duplication hinders productivity and often causes data in one or both systems to be out of sync — again wasting time and resources. CAMS Enterprise eliminates these burdensome steps and streamlines automated packaging because as an integrated system it provides the financial aid department with comprehensive accurate student data quickly and easily.
CAMS Enterprise Financial Aid keeps institutions ahead of the curve in student lending practices by simplifying the processing of federal direct loans and federal grants through the Common Origination and Disbursement, or COD, integration tools. With the COD tools in CAMS, institutions streamline both the collection of student data, and the processing, storing and reconciling of loans and grants, while CAMS Enterprise Financial Aid stays current with the ever-changing rules and latest COD processing updates.
This easy-to-use module allows a college or university to download student ISIRs (institutional student information reports) automatically, attach document tracking items to the student record, apply multiple cost-of-attendance budgets to all students as appropriate, auto-package student awards, handle direct loan processing with direct loans and grants, automatically or manually make adjustments based on data conditions and transfer monies to billing.
Institutions using CAMS Enterprise can monitor and report on their financial-aid operations with built-in reporting as well as ad-hoc reports, and conform to changing federal requirements with ease using a host of pre-defined reports like FISAP.
CAMS provides complete financial-aid management, academic progress tracking, automated rule-based packaging as well as importing and reporting capabilities. CAMS processes financial aid from the recruiting stages to enrollment, monitoring academic progress and handling disbursements and refunds efficiently.
CAMS Enterprise Financial Aid has many powerful features so institutions can:
— Easily import student ISIR records.
— Compare subsequent ISIR transactions to see updated fields and determine which record is most beneficial.
— Automatically assign cost of attendance budgets.
— Mass auto-package student awards in priority order based on federal as well as unique institutional rules.
— Process direct loans and federal grants through COD with easy-to-use integration tools.
— Easily import Master Promissory Note, or MPN, Entrance Counseling and previous loan information from National Student Loan Data System — NSLDS.
— Track required financial-aid documents and report on any that are missing.
— Easily manage work-study programs.
— Produce financial-aid transcripts, FISAP reports, NSLDS data and academic progress reports.
— Record loan-log information and conduct exit interviews.
— Offer the convenience of Electronic Fund Transfer — EFT — to financial-aid recipients.
“These enhancements to our Financial Aid module are just another way CAMS Enterprise keeps providing valuable upgrades so our clients do not have to worry about industry changes,” Three Rivers Systems Founder and President Amir Tajkarimi said. “Better loan processing with our seamless built-in functionality helps our clients handle awards faster. There’s nothing to install or buy because it all comes with our standard updates that are included in our annual maintenance plan. If you’re a CAMS client you can rest assured we work hard on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about anything.”
Created with standardized Microsoft tools, CAMS Enterprise is a seamless academic ERP written from the ground up as a single solution. Institutions that install CAMS with its proven rapid implementation process quickly transition to the Direct Loan system and enjoy greater accessibility, better automation, improved communication and deeper business intelligence. Its Microsoft-based Web architecture makes CAMS easy to use, and its total integration around a single, secure MS SQL database, means Three Rivers Systems’ clients benefit from the most-advanced technology while also enjoying much greater productivity.
About CAMS® Enterprise
Developed from the ground up with Microsoft Internet technologies, CAMS Enterprise, is a highly scalable, comprehensive academic management system that is quick to implement and easy to use. CAMS Enterprise consolidates into one solution multiple stand-alone systems including admissions, student information, financial aid, student services, fiscal management with HR and payroll, fund-raising, alumni relations, document management, learning management, a full suite of portals, and more. Built around a single, secure shared database, CAMS ensures administrators, staff, faculty and students all work with the most-recent and most-accurate information. By uniting administrative and academic management systems, CAMS Enterprise is the only totally Web-native, completely integrated solution for managing the entire student life cycle.
About Three Rivers Systems Inc.
Three Rivers Systems Inc. is a leading provider of comprehensive administrative software solutions for higher education. Headquartered in St. Louis, the company has been delivering innovative technology-driven solutions to the educational community since 1985. Three Rivers Systems has a large worldwide client base using CAMS, its Comprehensive Academic Management System. A full-service solution provider, the company delivers software and all implementation, training, project management and support services for its clients.
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Contact: Ron Kalb, Three Rivers Systems Inc., Director of Communications, 636-779-1518 (office), 702-498-8916 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org