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Feature Focus: The Clarity Policy Simulator

April 26, 2023
Jennifer Sheppard
Client Success Manager

We call it a sandbox. Why? Because you can play around, have fun with your data, gain tremendous insights and have no risk of breaking anything!

How does it work? Using the most recent year of financial aid awarding data, the Clarity Policy Simulator provides schools with the ability to analyze how Clarity’s suggested tuition compares to that of the previous financial aid system recommendation (LEGACY data) as well as the actual award offered from the school (HISTORICAL awarding data). The beauty of the simulator is that the data comparisons can be adjusted by all aspects of the awarding process: allowances, the use of COLA, how individual assets are treated, and even what percentage of the net weight asset amount is used in a calculation. The comparison process allows schools to benchmark their current data and better understand the impact of the various components of aid consideration.

For example, if a school wants to see the impact of protecting $250,000 of home equity due to inflated home prices in the market, the school can simply adjust the primary residence asset category to indicate a $250K protection. This means that any family with home equity will not have the first 250K of that equity counted toward their net weight asset total. With this change, Clarity’s  overall net tuition number updates alongside the net tuition revenue (NTR) of the legacy or historical data. The comparison shows the percentage of difference between the systems as well.

The analysis also dials down to the school’s individual student data, enhancing the ability to understand how policy decisions impact awarding. Such insights help schools understand methodology triggers far more clearly and even recognize issues that were previously unclear or troubling with the use of a previous system. It is a game changer, as the school now sees the impact an asset protection or another setting adjustment makes on the suggested tuition – overall and per individual student.

The simulated data above is for illustrative purposes only.

Schools have the ability to take a detailed look at even their most outlier families as well as more straightforward financial aid applicants. The student data can be sorted by any column, such as total income, income adjustment from assets, suggested tuition or even percentage of discretionary income, allowing for patterns and impact to be highlighted. The insights are powerful as schools examine the aid data more closely and determine global policy settings. Clarity’s policy simulator gives schools the ability to understand the methodology more clearly, benchmark their most recent awards to families, and set policy based on school mission and best practices in financial aid. Plus the sandbox is fun to play around in - yes you can have FUN with financial aid!

Now you may be reading this and thinking, “this is all well and good but I don't think I have the experience to use this type of tool.” Don’t worry: Clarity schools have a built-in support system with designated Client Success Managers. All CSMs have extensive experience as school admission and financial aid professionals and will walk you through the policy simulator once your platform is deployed and the data is loaded. We are built-in consultants!

For more on the Clarity policy simulator, inquire at Clarity Financial Aid.

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