Helena College

Fast Facts

Starfish in Action

Faculty Surveys Reduce Student Borrowing

Daniel Bingham

Daniel Bingham

“We have seen direct results of the program connecting our students to support services they didn’t think they had access to or didn’t think they required. This has promoted retention and, ultimately, completion.”

– Daniel J. Bingham, Dean and CEO of Helena College University of Montana


Upon launching the Starfish platform in 2013, Helena College was able to coordinate efforts to ensure students were enrolled in the right program, receiving the right academic and personal support, and obtaining the appropriate financial aid.

Helena saw a surprising impact from a simple faculty survey designed to verify course enrollment. Students identified for non-attendance were able to connect with financial aid staff in a timely manner, receive financial literacy assistance, and revise their individual loan disbursements. In Fall 2013 alone, it was determined that $238,094 of “unearned aid” was saved, and students have decreased their borrowing by nearly 40%.

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