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What are the costs to the University?
There is no single commercial model for Aspire and the decision as to how to fund the scheme is down to the University. However, the starting point for all of our Aspire partnerships is that, once implementation is completed, there should be no ongoing costs to the University with the scheme being effectively "self-funded" through increased rental income/commission on vendor sales.
Who is responsible for 3rd party vendor relationships & management?
Once the University has confirmed the scope of the required goods and services, the Aspire team will source and negotiate with relevant vendors for each area or engage with existing/preferred suppliers that the University has identified. Once those vendor partnerships are established, we will also take responsibility for all aspects of ongoing vendor relationship management, including IT and Customer Service support, data interchanges and financial reconciliation, etc.
What is the expected frequency of financial reconciliation between the University and Aspire?
This is discussed and decided as part of the initial agreement, but our experience to date suggests that is sensible for it to be varied depending on the time of year and (therefore) the level of account activity - the standard period is monthly but at peak times (eg. at the start of the academic year or around bursary releases) it can be more frequent.
At what point does the University pass the funds to Aspire?
Aspire is basically a "Pay as you Go" model - when the finds are awarded, student accounts are credited with a virtual balance and the University only passes money across as and when the funds are actually spent by the student. Any unspent student balances are retained by the University for as long as they see fit.
Are unspent funds rolled over from one academic year to the next?
Yes, that is the case with all of the current Aspire schemes that we operate. However, as with all strategic decisions, it is up to the University to confirm the specific parameters that they wish to utilise.
What happens to any unspent funds when the student leaves university?
This is entirely at the discretion of the University who have the choice to retain these funds or to leave them on the account (n.b. the Aspire functionality and online capability means that we can continue to service the accounts of those who have moved on from university). Another option would be for the institution to consider paying any unspent balances to the student at an agreed length of time after they have left university.