How Document Management Changed Productivity at Augsburg College

Augsburg College Increases Productivity of Financial Aid Office with Document and Image Management from Fortra


Augsburg College—located in Minneapolis—admits 3,000 students from 45 states and foreign countries each year. And 80 percent of them receive some form of financial aid.

That leads to a lot of paperwork. And when managed on paper, it becomes a huge problem.


Keeping Up with Paperwork Was Impossible

Augsburg’s financial aid offices processes 20,000 documents of paperwork each year—and a third of these are returned for correction and resubmitted.

It’s up to Sue Copus—Office Manager for the Financial Aid Office—and five work study students to collect and verify the three basic documents that determine each student’s eligibility:

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Tax form(s) or a verification worksheet (provided by the Financial Aid Office)
  • Special circumstance letter (if necessary)

Document volumes vary during the school year, with the busiest of five peak periods coming in preparation for new students in the fall. And these documents could arrive in any number of ways, from mail, fax, or drop-off at the Financial Aid Office.

From there, documents were sorted and information was verified and manually entered into their financial aid software. Then, documents were filed in tubs by student’s last initial. Finding them after filing them could take 20 minutes per document.

If they weren’t filed together, that could mean up to an hour just to get the forms together.

Sue Copus, Office Manager for Financial Aid, Augsburg College


After these documents are filed, a “Pre-Award New Student Report” is run to inform staff which students have completed the paperwork.

It’s no wonder that keeping up was impossible.


Document Management Gave Them Productivity Like Never Before

Life is different at the Augsburg College Financial Aid Office today. They have Webdocs document management to help them actually keep up with their documents. 

Documents are never lost. Instead, they’re scanned into Webdocs. Workflows are managed efficiently. Student information is captured automatically.


How Augsburg Saves Time Every Day

The “Pre-Award New Student Report” is now created daily, and it only takes ten minutes—versus four hours before Webdocs.

We’re about six months ahead of where we usually are.

Sue Copus, Office Manager for Financial Aid, Augsburg College


And, instead of enlisting five work study students, Copus only needs to enlist two.

Now that student documents are store electronically, enrollment counselors can respond to student inquiries faster. Before, it took these counselors a long time to find student documents. Today, they can find documents in a snap.

Now they can quickly access the student’s file to see what is missing, and let the student know what has to be done to get back on track. We used to be swamped during the summer, preparing for the coming school year. This year, in spite of a record freshman class, we have had no need for additional staff, and we’ve even had a little time for strategic planning. It’s been wonderful.

Julie Olson, Director of Enrollment Services, Augsburg College

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