Like so many plans during early 2020, the new physical Tech Shop on the UM-Dearborn campus was put on hold due in part to the COVID-19 global pandemic; however, Director of Campus Tech Rich Wong quickly identified this pause as a new opportunity.
Rich connected with UM-Dearborn Senior Manager for Business Affairs Marc Brigolin to inquire about a virtual Tech Shop presence with a new Student Account Billing (SAB) payment option. When shopping online at the official U-M campus technology store, SAB allows students to charge technology purchases to their tuition bill and potentially take advantage of financial aid to pay for the tech they need for their education. Marc reviewed the inquiry with the community and found that the opportunity to leverage financial aid really resonated with UM-Dearborn students.
Over the last several months, a highly collaborative and diverse team from Ann Arbor and Dearborn put the idea into action. ITS from both campuses worked together with UM-Dearborn Financial Services/Student Accounts, the Dean of Students Office, and the Office of Financial Aid to build new processes that would work behind-the-scenes of the existing Tech Shop website. Several Dearborn students even volunteered their names and time to help test and demo the new option.
The new SAB process launched June 1 with a special virtual kick-off from all of the collaborators to “flip the switch” together. The Tech Shop SAB payment option now provides UM-Dearborn students a stronger connection with the Ann Arbor campus, easier access to competitive academic pricing, and access to exclusive promotions, including occasional free shipping events.
UM-Dearborn deeply appreciates the collaboration of UM-Dearborn ITS, Ann Arbor ITS, UM-Dearborn Financial Services/Student Accounts, UM-Dearborn Dean of Students Office, and UM-Dearborn Financial Aid.
Marc Brigolin, Dearborn Office of Business Affairs, co-authored this article.