• What sets ISTS apart from your competition?

    ISTS strives to build a true partnership with each client, making you feel like our only client. With a collaborative mindset, we work to understand your program goals and pain points, share industry best practices, develop a custom application and workflow process, and deliver 24/7 real time reports while also providing first-class support for your program participants.

  • How long does it take to implement a program?

    ISTS can launch a scholarship or grant program in as little as two weeks. For tuition assistance, reimbursement and student loan repayment, program implementation usually takes a minimum of 40-50 days. We collaborate with each client during onboarding to document a timeline that meets the needs of the organization.

  • Can you manage international programs?

    Yes. ISTS operates on a global scale and can accept applications from all countries. Verbal and written support is provided by our Program Support Representatives in English, French and Spanish as a standard. Depending on program scope, application forms and written support can be provided in all languages which read left to right.

  • What companies do you work with?

    We are proud to serve a variety of organizations including Fortune 500 companies, national associations, public charities, private foundations and more. Our client list includes some of the top names across a variety of industries like Cardinal Health, Dell, Mastercard, Procter & Gamble, Regions Bank, Tractor Supply Company and Walt Disney Company.

  • How do you price your fees for services?

    Our pricing model is structured as an annual flat fee based on the size and scope of the program, allowing the client to understand the overall spend for the program year. Fees are based on the services and application volume, NOT the total dollars awarded through the benefit.

  • Can we pick and choose the services we want to contract?

    ISTS offers a comprehensive solution for the administration of educational assistance programs, rooted in client and participant support and leveraging technology. During discovery and onboarding, we will focus on defining the scope of work that best meets your administrative needs. Core management services – like custom application development, participant notifications and inquiry support, and reporting – are included in our standard service package while others – like language translation and funds disbursement – are optional.

  • Is your company for-profit or not-for-profit?

    ISTS is a for-profit corporation that also operates a 501(c)3 called American Educational Assistance Foundation (AEAF). AEAF aims to increase higher education opportunity by supporting initiatives that create and demonstrate awareness, alliance, alignment, and advocacy. AEAF serves as a conduit to scholarship sponsors requiring payment of funds to a not-for-profit entity prior to distribution to award recipients.

  • Do you use subcontractors?

    No. ISTS manages all educational assistance programs directly and does not engage outside vendors to provide core administration services.

Portfolio of Services

  • Can you help us develop a policy/program criteria for a new program?

    Yes. When onboarding new clients with existing programs, policy review is part of our initial discovery process and we will make recommendations based on trends and experience with similar programs. Upon request, our Principal Consultant engages with clients for in-depth strategic consultation sessions to assist in developing a policy from scratch (additional fee may apply).

  • Can you manage nontraditional scholarship programs (high school or lower grades, expenses outside of tuition/fees, etc.)?

    Definitely! We can to develop an application process tailored to a client’s specific program structure.

  • Can you help develop a scholarship rubric and process that will identify our target recipient?

    Yes. ISTS discusses evaluation criteria and selection process options with each client during discovery and draws from our extensive experience in scholarship management to recommend an approach that will help you identify your most qualified candidates.

  • Can you manage our selection process?

    Absolutely! Selection services are a standard component of our administrative solution. Many clients adopt our proven quantitative approach that involves ISTS staff and a proprietary scoring algorithm. Alternatively, we can facilitate a custom qualitative selection process utilizing “Candidate Evaluators” – a team of professionals with backgrounds in a variety of higher education positions and areas of expertise – for assessment of subjective criteria like short and long essays. If your organization already has a selection committee, we can provide an online portal for your judges to review and score applications.

  • Can you manage our scholarship award disbursements?

    Yes. ISTS can manage the distribution of scholarship funds to your recipients. Our typical approach is to issue funds directly to the recipient (made payable to the academic institution only) between mid-July and early August, but we can accommodate other methods if required.

  • Can you help us promote our scholarship program?

    Yes. ISTS offers a range of promotional services designed to help clients meet their program objectives, such as increased awareness of their programs and higher application numbers. These services include collateral design, e-mail outreach, social media campaigns, press releases and more.

  • Do you manage employer benefit programs, like Tuition Reimbursement and Student Loan Repayment Assistance?

    Yes. We have comprehensive program management solutions for employers that offer educational assistance benefits – including tuition assistance, tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment – to their employees.

  • How many levels of approval can we incorporate into our tuition assistance process?

    We can configure as many levels of approval as required per a client’s policy. However, for the best user experience and to limit barriers to entry, our recommendation is to have as few approvals as needed.

  • Can you issue tuition reimbursement payments?

    Yes. ISTS typically provides our employer clients with a payroll file feed for direct reimbursement to employees but we can also manage the disbursement of these funds directly to the employee or the academic institution if requested.

  • What assistance do you offer for participants of a program?

    Our Program Support division helps program participants via e-mail, call-back telephone service and live chat during our standard support hours (Monday-Friday 7am-7pm and Saturday 9am-6pm Central Time). Representatives can answer general questions about program eligibility, required application components and key program dates; address system access and account-related issues; assist participants with the completion of their application; and more. Plus, participants have 24/7 access to our Student Support Hub, which features a knowledge base and other resources.

Reporting & Technology

  • How flexible is your platform?

    Our proprietary application system – Applicant Information Manager (AIM) – is very flexible and designed to handle any type of educational assistance program. We work with each client to develop a customized application that reflects the sponsor’s brand, captures all information relevant to the program, and makes it fun and easy for applicants to participate.

  • Do you have SSO capabilities?

    Yes. Application design can include Single Sign-On (SSO) access. ISTS utilizes SAML 2.0.

  • Do you have direct API integrations for data exchange?

    No. ISTS does not currently allow direct API integrations with our application system. Instead, we employ a flat file data exchange via an ISTS SFTP site to accommodate various aspects of a program (like eligibility verification and payroll feeds). The automated push and pull of data can occur as often as needed.

  • What are your reporting capabilities?

    ISTS provides each client with a secure, web-based reporting platform for easy access to program reports and other materials. Approved client personnel can view, run and export reports on-demand for no additional charge.

  • Do you provide benchmark data or other analytics?

    Yes. Our Business Intelligence division can deliver quantitative insights on your program performance and impact through benchmark data, enhanced reporting, visual storytelling and more.

  • Do you have a mobile app?

    We don’t currently have a native mobile app, but our application system is 100% mobile-responsive. Using any device with an internet connection, participants can access their application, upload documents, and check their application status.

Put our experience to work for you.

Whether you want to launch a new program or optimize your existing educational assistance benefits, we’ve got you covered.

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