Term of Award

Fall 2002

Degree Name

Master of Education

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Dale F. Grant

Committee Member 1

Mary H. Jackson

Committee Member 2

Stephen J. Jenkins

Committee Member 3

Connie G. Murphey

Abstract

Few argue the premise that financial aid is one of the most vital services offered to college students. Over fifty percent of today's college tuition is actually paid by some form of student aid, whether it is from federal, state, private, or institutional resources. The public perception of the role of financial aid has changed drastically since its inception, the acceleration of which over the past decade has been staggering. The face of higher education itself has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts, with technological advancements at the forefront of the change. Technology has revolutionized the way we do business in student services today. Student affairs professionals, particularly enrollment managers, have had little control over the incorporation of technology into their daily processes. Many resent it; they feel that technology takes away from the human touch that is so vital in student development (Stedman 1995).

However, many student affairs professionals are beginning to embrace technology, and see it as a tool to enhance, rather than impede, development. The new generation of students is demanding faster, easier access to information. Now that interactive technology is a mainstay on college campuses, we must look to the outcomes derived from the usage of this technology. Many universities have viewed technological advancement as a goal unto itself. We need to understand who is using it, why they are using it, and perhaps more importantly, who may not be using it and why they are not doing so. We also need to assess student comfort and satisfaction with this new technology. Access and retraining are huge issues with technology. Through this project, the researcher will provide a background of financial aid, and the perceptions that have plagued the service delivery area, as well as a brief history of technology in student services, and what services we commonly provide today. The aim of this study will be to see who is using electronic service delivery tools for financial aid, how and where they are using the tools, and if there are differences in perceptions of clarity, values, and satisfaction between various identified groups.

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