Swing Wide the Campus Gates


December 11, 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Nicole Engelbert | Oracle


Summit Stage Recording

About the Speaker

Nicole Engelbert
VP of Higher Education Development @ Oracle

  • She is responsible for engaging the industry ecosystem to develop thought leadership and best practice with cloud technology and to use those insights to guide the development of Oracle’s higher education solutions including its Student Cloud product suite. 
  • Prior to Oracle, Nicole served as the Director of Research & Analysis at Ovum where she spent the last decade advising institutions globally on critical areas such as cloud migration, legacy modernization, emerging technologies, and student experience. 
  • A sought after presenter on the higher education technology conference circuit, Nicole is also regularly quoted in publications such as the NY Times, University Business, Campus Technology, and the Wall Street Journal.  Nicole holds a BA in classics from Union College and an MEd in educational administration & policy analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University.


The Story


A fault line has emerged in US financial aid

Is COVID-19 the 'Big One?'


  • EFC versus actual affordability
  • Healthcare, DMV, or trusted advisor?
  • COVID-19 is the rocket fuel


The Why

Today's investment in higher education shapes tomorrow's reality

A new student landscape is being shaped beneath the water line


What's Next


We must build back better

Re-imagining the financial aid office is the first step



  • Thriving post COVID-19 demands a new approach
  • Current model neither scales, nor performs, nor sustains
  • Move financial aid from back office to front office
  • Clear space and resources to outpace the new reality


Call to Action


Building the financial aid office of the future

“To boldly go where no [wo]man has gone before." -- Captain James T. Kirk

  • Introduce the machine with intentionality
    • Reducing commodity transactions
    • Re-engineering business processes
    • Re-skilling employees
  • Promote student agency
    • Delivering self-service tools
    • Breaking down the ‘black box’
  • Adopt virtual engagement as business as usual
    • Video conference calls
    • Virtual assistants and chatbots


Closing Thoughts


A final thought for the road ahead

"Improve a mechanical device and you may double productivity. But improve man, you gain a thousandfold."
-- Khan Noonien Singh


  • Discern between what needs to be done and how to do it
  • Find a table with more and different seats
  • Create a safe space to learn and re-learn



What will you do with what you just learned?

"You can design today for tomorrow, or you can design tomorrow, today."