“If you aren’t paying for the product, then you ARE the product”. You must’ve heard the famous quote from the documentary The Social Dilemma. The philosophy, sadly, also extends to the education benefits realm. There are many service providers out there who peg themselves superior by offering critical education-benefits administrative services free. Are they though? I urge you to stop and dig deep beneath the surface. It’s important to understand the fine print and read between the lines before you get into bed with these so-called “free administration service providers”.
Let’s investigate Career or Academic Advising services as an example. To understand what Career or Academic Advising entails at an organizational level, let’s first understand what it does not.
Career or Academic Advising is NOT:
What makes me upset is that these so-called “free administration service providers” do it purely for profit maximization, but wrap it in the philanthropic garb of education maximization. This free administrative service is basically to pigeon-hole client employees into a select group of schools the service provider has a revenue-share model with. So, you ARE the product quite literally.
As a differentiator, and to model what best practice Academic Advising should look like, let’s do a deep dive into Edcor’s Academic Advising.
Our Advising services are tailored to all Edcor clients of varying sizes and industries, adaptable to unique client policies and preferences for degree and school choice, and are agnostic from a school-selection perspective. This means that Edcor’s Advising services and cost-effective regionally accredited college courses are available to students with a variety of career paths in mind. To date, we have mapped degree options for students to over 2,000 schools and 10,000-degree plans. Thousands of employees leveraging
their tuition reimbursement engage in advising every year to help understand degree options and save money and time on pursuing a degree of their choice. These students tend to graduate up to 30% faster than the average working-adult learner alongside avoiding loans or other debt in the process. There may or may not be a fee attached to these services based on client-specific contracts.
Edcor’s Advising services are built around an open-choice model, which means your employees’ advising experience is agnostic to their school and program of choice, given that there is no revenue-share model in place for student enrollments based on leads or volumes. This is unique in the industry; Edcor and our advising partner are the only providers that do not accept money from colleges in any way. Providers that accept revenue from colleges, by definition change the experience from student-centric to a revenue-centric model for the client. Edcor’s focus is on the needs of the individual; from degree planning to course progression mapping, from success coaching to the ease of technology used to facilitate requests to utilize the benefit, and ultimately make payments to the school or individual.
Every Client employee or student who experiences Edcor Advising is served by their ‘success team’ comprising a well-trained and knowledgeable Counselor, Advisor, and Success Coach – the three pillars of support throughout the learning cycle that catapults the student towards success. Students will always be guided toward education pathways curated to critical growth areas or allowed to choose the best educational fit for them personally.
Additionally, we also have the flexibility to narrow the schools to a specific network of targeted educational institutions based on Client talent management or workforce planning strategy – without the pay-to-play model with selected colleges or institutions. Edcor’s solution is also fully customized.
Our advisors are trained on client policies and can advise various employee groups on options based on students’ lifestyles and goals within policy parameters. Of the schools that are presented, at least one option will be for a zero-debt or no out-of-pocket option. 89% of learners are eligible for a debt-free degree option in our open network of over 2000 colleges and universities. Then, once a school of choice is identified, individualized degree plans are built for students for their entire degree. These degree plans leverage previously earned credit, so courses are not repeated, and fit within a course sequence, so students know exactly what class to take and when to take them. The dedicated coaches work with the students through the course and degree completion to ensure student success, while navigating the Client’s tuition reimbursement benefit alongside Edcor’s technology and support.
At no point during the student journey are the services or obligations for the students turned over to a school to manage, nor is the advising process a disguise for a sales team targeting institutional quotas. Employees like that they’re not forced to choose based on only a handful of online school choices and are empowered to decide based on what’s best for their career.
The largest educational assistance program in the U.S. leverages these services strategically, ensuring every learner can shape their future based on their goals and aspirations, finding the right degree plan and school for them, while avoiding student loans and debt in the process. This helps the organization effectively manage their budget, saving millions per year since program launch, allowing the client to allow more employees to go to school without increasing tuition reimbursement spent year-over-year.
Our service is built on a combination of 40 years of tuition industry experience and expert knowledge paired with an easy-to-use benefit portal and a comprehensive advising platform. The main purpose is to help employees all become educated consumers of higher education including finding options for low-cost and debt-free programs. There are no institution restrictions, as the primary objective is to find an institution that best fits the employee’s personal and professional goals, prior learning and on-the-job experience, financial ability, and preferred mode of learning. By leveling the playing field for all employees, completion of their education becomes an attainable goal – no wonder our graduation rates are the highest in the industry.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s Future Together!
Adrienne Way, CEO, Edcor
Edcor is a woman-owned business and is the benchmark in education benefits administration. For 40 years, our customized service and solutions have allowed Fortune 1000 Clients to use education benefits programs for employee recruiting, retention, and development. Please feel free to reach out to us!
Copyright © 2023 Edcor. All Rights Reserved.