Advisor expedites veteran student benefits

Max Rodriguez, academic advisor for the Ryan College of Business, implemented a process that has not only made the college more efficient and less wasteful, but also easier for veteran students to receive essential benefits.
Prior to 2020, in order for veterans to receive benefits from the Veterans Affairs (V.A.) Office, the V.A. first required documentation outlining each student’s comprehensive degree plan. As simple as it may seem, this process took at least ten days to route from UNT to the V.A., through mail.   

Rodriguez knew that each additional day it took to file the paperwork, was one more day a veteran would not receive his or her benefits, so he decided to take action. Reviewing options to transition the process online, he landed on an idea that all parties found to be an optimal solution.
“I discussed with our V.A. Office what the vision for this online process would look like and how it would involve close to zero use of paper and other office resources, while simultaneously cutting down the overall processing time,” explained Rodriguez.
Digitizing all documentation and using email instead of postal mail ultimately reduced processing time from more than ten days to just 1-2 days.
“So many wonderful things have come out of doing this entire process online; turnaround time for processing documents got cut down by almost 90% and paper consumption was reduced by 95%--we practically use no paper at all,” said Rodriguez. “With the quick turnaround time our veteran students can get their benefits awarded in a more timely manner, and we are able to track and store these documents much more easily.”
In addition to students praising this new procedure (especially those who attend the university remotely), the V.A. has also expressed their appreciation for these added efficiencies. “It helps them help our students,” said Rodriguez. “Having this online process is just one more way that the Ryan College of Business Advising Office is here for our students.”