For the second year in a row, the Information Network of Arkansas (INA) has earned the prestigious Best Fit Integrator Award by eRepublic’s Center for Digital Government. The award honors private-sector technology partners that tailor solutions to meet the unique needs of government.
INA was nominated by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education for developing the YOUniversal Arkansas Financial Aid System, and was recognized in the Performance Award and Horizon Award in Education Services category for its work to make the scholarship application process paperless. YOUniversal has helped save the agency nearly $473,000 in eliminated postage costs and reduced staff time since 2010. Nearly three times as many scholarship applications were submitted through the YOUniversal website and mobile app in 2013 than in 2009, the year before the system was in place.
“INA has been a fully-vested partner with ADHE in creating innovative systems that have improved our level of service and saved taxpayer dollars,” ADHE Deputy Director Harold Criswell said. “Their technical expertise, and commitment to our success played a major role in the effectiveness of YOUniversal, and in the strides the state has made in modernizing and streamlining the scholarship application process.”
“Being nominated for and then winning this prestigious award is certainly an honor, but the real winner is the Department of Higher Education,” INA General Manager Amy Sawyer added. “They consistently show a desire to use technology to better serve the public and to do more with strained resources. By working together in a public-private partnership, we’ve helped develop a leading scholarship application system that is making an impact in Arkansas and that serves as a model for other states.”
INA was one of only eight companies nationally to earn the coveted award. Sawyer received it last week at the 8th Annual Best Fit Integrator and Leadership Recognition Awards dinner in Park City, Utah.