Financial Aid Leveraging: Part 1 of Our Best Methods

Maguire Associates was the first and is one of the only financial aid leveraging firms to provide individualized awarding – that is, we develop a model based on your past enrollment data to optimize your awarding on a per-student basis. From this “ideal” model, which is built to maximize each student's contribution to net revenue, we can make small adjustments in aid to accomplish your other enrollment goals, including adjusting the composition and size of your incoming student population, increasing student quality, and decreasing discount rates. As your partner, we will take your admitted students and apply your proprietary formula to the data file, returning it with the optimal award for each student. As your class unfolds, we will adjust the model, if necessary, and we have the experience to know when patience is your ally.

But why use individualized awarding in the first place? Please look at this model of a class of students, where Image A is the individualized awarding and Image B represents some non-Maguire grid-based models.


In all cases, some students will come to your institution with little aid, while others will require larger packages to enroll.

In Image A, each student receives his/her optimized award amount. The line follows no particular pattern because each student’s award is based on his/her individual characteristics and is created to maximize each student’s probabilistic contribution to net revenue.

Image B represents a less-sophisticated grid-based awarding system. While it will provide packages that are ideal for a few, it will miss the mark by a considerable amount for many. Students who are similar, but not the same, are packaged into groups, and students in each group are awarded the same amount. Additionally, an individualized awarding equation was not calculated in the first place, so the grid does not hug the ideal line because it is not known. Some grids over-award large groups, needlessly increasing discount rate and reducing net total revenue (red), while others under-award many, sacrificing yield and perhaps quality (orange). This “cheaper” alternative costs much more in the end.

When requested, Maguire Associates provides grid-based awarding that is superior to other grid-based offerings because it has a foundation of individualized awarding. By first calculating the most effective and cost-efficient award for each student, we can then construct a grid based on that unique formula, seen in Image C.


With Maguire Associates’ grid-based awarding, your team will manage the awards, set by data-informed rules specific to your institution. With either of Maguire Associates' services, your institution will come out ahead. That’s why our 2016 clients saw an average of a 21x return on every dollar spent on a Maguire Associates financial aid leveraging (EMFASYS™) project.

Upcoming financial aid leveraging topics:

   ~ Optimizing Financial Aid Leveraging to Adjust Demographics

   ~ Maximizing Net Total Revenue Through Financial Aid Leveraging

   ~ Using Financial Aid Leveraging to Increase Academic Quality

   ~ Combining Goals and the Resulting ROI

Be sure to register to get access to these upcoming topics and more.

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