ELMExpress Newsletter - Winter 2019

Updated: Aug 28, 2019


A Note from Phillip Wade

The year 2019 marks ELM’s 25th anniversary in this great industry! Now more than ever, we are committed to fulfilling our core mission of providing exceptional products and services to the private student loan community while remaining a neutral and independent resource for the schools, lenders, students and parents we serve. We look forward to celebrating this special milestone throughout the year.

Another cause for celebration is ELM being named one of the Top 50 “Best Small Workplaces” for the second year in a row! In addition, based on the results of our latest team member survey conducted in November 2018, we were certified as a “Great Place to Work” for the third consecutive year. More details about these great honors are included within this newsletter.

During November of 2018, we also distributed our annual survey to our school customers. In this edition of the newsletter, we share some of the overwhelmingly positive comments and feedback that we have received. Many thanks to all of you who responded. We place great value on your comments, feedback and suggestions as we work to continue our mission of providing the highest quality products and services possible.

This newsletter also features details of two new self-service enhancements to ELMOne. School users with proper access can now manage Snooze and Special Disbursement Day requests directly within ELMOne. You no longer need to complete a paper form, e-mail it and wait for confirmation! This is another great example of our focus on creating more efficiencies for our school customers.

Last, but not least, this newsletter includes an interview with Peter Siddons of Wells Fargo Bank, one of ELM’s long-standing Member organizations. Peter shares his insights on ELM, Wells Fargo and the private student loan market as a whole.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter. Have a safe and happy Winter!

Phillip Wade, Chief Executive Officer

Phillip Wade brings over 25 years of business and technology leadership experience to the role of Chief Executive Officer for ELM Resources. Phillip spent the last ten years at ELM leading the Technology and Operations groups as COO/CIO and has spent the majority of his professional career as a leader in the financial services and management consulting segments.

ELM Resources Named a “Best Small Workplace” in October 2018!

In November of 2017, ELM was certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work Institute based on the results of their Trust Index© survey completed by our team members.

Based on our 2017 certification, we were also eligible to be considered for Great Place to Work and FORTUNE magazine’s 2018 list of Best Small and Medium Workplaces.

We are extremely pleased and honored to announce that ELM Resources was again named one of the Top 50 Best Small Workplaces for 2018! This is the second consecutive year that ELM has received this great honor!

ELM Resources Re-Certified as a “Great Place to Work” for 2019!

In 2018, ELM continued its engagement with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct an anonymous survey of our team members. As described on the Great Place to Work website (www.greatplacetowork.com), their Trust Index© survey was used to assess our organization, “including the honesty and quality of communication by managers, degree of support for employees' personal and professional lives and the authenticity of relationships with colleagues”.

The latest survey was conducted in November 2018, and we are pleased to announce that ELM was officially re-certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the independent analysts at the Great Place to Work Institute for 2019. This is the third consecutive year that ELM has earned this great honor!

“ELM’s certification as a Great Place to Work for the third consecutive year and our being named a Best Small Workplace for the second consecutive year is special because it reflects how strongly our team members feel about our culture and our commitment to them”, says Phillip Wade, Chief Executive Officer and President of ELM Resources. “We understand that producing exceptional products and services and providing best-in-class customer service can only be achieved when we are all working as a team of highly engaged and dedicated individuals.”

More details regarding ELM’s survey results and work environment, along with a copy of the full list of the Top 50 Small Workplaces and ELM’s profile on Fortune.com can be found by following the links below:

The Results are In from our 2018 School Satisfaction Survey!

In late 2018, we distributed our annual School Satisfaction Survey to our school

customers. We were so pleased with the results that we thought we would share some of the highlights with you here.

ELM users remain very pleased with our products and services, rating their overall satisfaction with ELM at 97%, marking 8 years in a row that we have achieved a score in the mid to high 90th percentile. The performance of ELM’s Systems and Operations were exceptional in 2018 with 100% uptime. And, the continued enhancements within ELMOne continue to drive growth and customer satisfaction.

The following is a sampling of some of the overwhelmingly positive comments made by our school customers within the survey:

  • ​​“Everyone at the ELM Resources is very friendly, helpful and prompt at answering our questions.”​​

  • “As a new Loan Coordinator, ELM has been so helpful and is always there to assist me in a kind and timely manner. I could not be happier with the service that ELM has provided to me.”

  • “Helpful website and easy to navigate.”

  • “System is easy to use and if I do need to call in for help, the assistance that I receive is excellent help with nice staff members to work with.”

  • “The portal provided is user friendly and easy to maneuver throughout from one page to the other. Easy to read. The customer service is always pleasant and professional.”

  • “The system is very easy to use and if I ever have an issue, I can call and get immediate assistance.”

Thank You! 
 We offer our sincere thanks for responding to our surveys and for your support of ELM. It is through your feedback that we continually work to update and enhance our products and services. If you have comments or suggestions, we welcome them at any time.

Q&A with ELM Board Member Peter Siddons of Wells Fargo Bank

Q. Wells Fargo has been a long-standing Member of ELM. Why is ELM Membership important to you

and to Wells Fargo?

A. ELM’s neutral and open processing system is a great option for Wells Fargo and the private student loan industry. It enables us to provide a single processing option to colleges and universities for processing and disbursing. Additionally, the online lender list comparison is a great way for us to manage online lender content in a consistent and compliant manor. It is also a great tool for borrowers to compare a school’s list of selected lenders in order to make an informed borrowing choice. ELM continues to evolve to serve the needs of their school, borrower, and lender customer needs. I am also impressed with the ELM culture. ELM places the customer/client in the middle of everything it does and believes that “how” you do things is equally as important as “what” you do. Culture matters.

Q. How is Wells Fargo positioned for the future in the private loan market?

A. Wells Fargo remains committed to our customers who have gap financing needs that federal financial aid isn’t able to cover. Our vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Because we are a national bank, we are uniquely positioned to be able to help our customers with their financing needs throughout their various life milestones, well beyond just student lending. We are looking to build lifelong relationships.

Q. What trends in Student Lending do you see emerging which were not factors 5 years ago?

A. We are in the age of the consumer, so the trends I see are not unique to Student Lending. Consumers don’t want to wait, they want things now, they want businesses to respect their time, to know them, to build and make the experience and product around them, and finally they want to make sure their information is secure and safe. Consumers are not comparing their student lending experiences only against other student lenders, but against all their experiences. While brand loyalty is still important, with so many choices, it is not a given and one must continue to innovate in order to the win over the customer, every day and with every interaction. It is a challenging time, but also an extremely exciting time as well!

Q. Overall, what is your view of the private student loan market today and in the future?

A. I think the private student loan market is strong and healthy. Due to the nature of our customers (primarily students), we will always be under the microscope, but as long as we keep their best interest at heart and keep them in the center of everything we do, the industry will continue to thrive and grow.

About Peter Siddons:

Peter Siddons is the Senior Vice President within the Personal Lending Group, where he leads the product management teams for Personal Lines and Loans and Education Financial Services. Prior to joining EFS, Peter worked in Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in charge of centralized Retail Sales, where he led a team focused on lending efforts in direct to the consumer, corporate relocation and their employee base, Wells Fargo’s mortgage portfolio, the internet and partner referrals. Throughout his 30 year career in the financial industry, Peter has held leadership roles within marketing, business development, operations and sales. Peter has earned his Bachelor of Science at the University of Minnesota. Peter is active in community outreach and has served on the Wells Fargo Minnesota Leadership Council. He held the leadership role for the creation of the Twin Cities Volunteer Chapter which mobilizes the time, talent and resources of 18,000 team members that work and live in the Twin Cities. He has also served as Chairperson for the Wells Fargo Community Support/United Way Campaign. Peter along with his wife, Lisa, and four children reside in White Bear Lake, MN.

Enhancement Corner

New Self-Service Features:

Within ELM’s latest round of enhancements to ELMOne, new self-service features were added relating to Snoozes and Special Disbursement days. In the past, schools submitted a form through e-mail to request these options. Now, users with proper access can make the changes for their school directly within ELMOne. Detailed, step-by-step instructions can be found in the ELMOne User Manual.

Snooze Requests:

What is a Snooze Request?

From time to time, school Financial Aid Offices close for a short period. Most often, this is during the holidays or school breaks when campus personnel are not working. If you use ELM to disburse funds, you can request through ELMOne that ELM hold any funds pending delivery by ELM to your school during this time.

Snooze requests can now be added by school personnel with proper access through your School Profile settings.

Special Disbursement Days:

What are Special Disbursement Days?

The ELM NDN allows schools to choose which day(s) of the week they would like to receive disbursements. Some schools find this assists them in organizing their workload to make processing more efficient. If a school wishes to change this day temporarily, we refer to this as a Special Disbursement Day. As an example, if your school is set up to receive disbursements only on Mondays but the upcoming Monday is a holiday (such as Labor Day or Memorial Day), you may want to have funds disbursed on Tuesday of that week so that you don’t have to wait two weeks between disbursements.

A Special Disbursement Day can now be requested by school personnel with proper access through your School Profile settings.

ELMOne User Manual and Training Videos:

Need answers to questions regarding certifications, reporting, ELMSelect or other ELMOne related functions? You may always reach out to ELM’s National Service Center, but within ELMOne, we provide a robust suite of help and training materials including many “how to” videos. This page can be accessed by clicking on the “Need Help?” button on the top right-hand corner of ELMOne.

ELM Resources was founded in 1994 and is the only not-for-profit mutual benefit corporation serving the student loan industry today, including universities, colleges and lenders. ELM provides a common, non-proprietary and open data exchange and disbursement system that seamlessly links the diverse computing platforms of schools and lenders through its industry leading product, ELMOne. Within the ELMOne suite, ELMSelect®, ELMNet® and ELM NDN® each provide unparalleled efficiency in handling different phases of the private student loan process, such as financial fundamentals, lender comparison, loan application, school certification and loan disbursement processes. Over 1,800 campuses use ELM Resources as their partner of choice. ELM Resources has been certified as a “Great Place to Work®” in 2016, 2017 and 2018 by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® and was named one of Fortune’s “Best Small Workplaces” in 2017 and 2018. Follow ELM Resources on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/elm-resources/ www.elmresources.com


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