Application processing, tuition collection, record keeping—all of these student enrollment processes are made easier with an enrollment management system.
The right software will slash your admissions department costs, speed up the admissions process, automate tuition collection, and more.
Read on to learn the major benefits you can expect from adopting an enrollment management system for your educational institution so that you can decide if it’s right for you.
- Reduced Admissions Department Costs
- More Convenient Application Process
- Streamlined Admissions Process
- Automated Collection of Tuition Payments
- Improved School Record Keeping
- More Informed Decision-Making
Reduced Admissions Department Costs
Enrollment management systems allow you to go paperless and, as a result, reduce your admissions department’s supplies costs.
You won’t have to buy reams of paper, packets of pens, or cartridges of printer ink.
All of the student information and applications are stored securely online in a searchable database, so, alongside material costs, the costs associated with spending time searching for documents are also brought to a minimum.
Most databases are easy to navigate, like the one below:
With enrollment management software, you’ll never have to go through the frustrating experience of digging through a stack of paper to find a student’s application, or scrolling through chains of emails between you and your colleagues.
All you have to do is type the student’s name into a search bar and their application and associated documents will instantly appear on your screen.
Plus, when you implement software that streamlines a lot of the tedious processes involved in enrollment management, you’ll have to hire fewer individuals.
This can be a real cost-saver, especially since the average yearly salary of an admissions manager falls between $43,000 and $55,000.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to turn your current staff away from tasks like payment collection and towards something more impactful to your bottom line, like getting out there and meeting students.
An enrollment management system saves you money in other ways as well.
For example, with more data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to make more cost-effective decisions about enrollment strategies.
To illustrate, an administrator can generate an online report to evaluate the effectiveness of a recent recruitment event and discover that it wasn’t worth the cost to plan and run.
This knowledge will help them save money going forward.
They’ll know not to organize that kind of event in the future and to devote their resources to a different enrollment strategy instead.
In sum, a simple way to quickly reduce your school admissions team’s costs is to use enrollment management software because it eliminates the need for paper and automates repetitive tasks.
More Convenient Application Process
There’s a reason why so few people take the stairs when they have the option to take an escalator—it’s just more convenient.
Like the average shopping mall patron, your students and parents also want convenience. They want to easily fill out applications online and submit them there as well.
What they don’t want is to have to print out a form, fill it out, then go to the post office and mail it to you.
It’s too much of a hassle, especially for Gen Zers, who are used to being able to handle their administrative work online.
Fortunately, enrollment management software makes it easy for you to digitize the application process, thereby making it more convenient for parents and students.
Students can fill out and submit their applications online with any device, including their phone:
Source: PCR Educator
Plus, features like conditional branching, which shows only the questions that students need to see, make filling out the application an even more coherent process.
For example, an application might have a question that all applicants see, like: “Which test scores would you like to submit?”
Students who select GRE will then see two fields where they can put in their Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal scores, whereas students who select GMAT will get different fields.
Students who select “no score” will move on to the next question and no fields for scores will be shown to them.
That prevents confusion. They won’t have to read over any information that doesn’t apply to them.
But it’s not only the students who are benefiting from this. The software will also make the application process much easier for you and your team.
Instead of going through the steps of opening manilla folders, looking over the applications inside, and then categorizing them appropriately, you can simply do other work while the applications enter the system automatically, all of them going to the right online location.
When you come back to your computer, you’ll see which new applications require your attention, and then you can focus on the hard part of your job—assessing the applicant.
Additionally, multiple team members will be able to look at the application at once and collaborate, allowing for faster application turnaround.
And when you need to find a particular application, it’ll be easy to do so through a searchable database.
Therefore, if you want to really speed up your application process, both for your team and your students, enrollment management systems are a great place to start.
Streamlined Admissions Process
Managing a large volume of applications is easier when you have an enrollment management system on your team.
The system guides students and parents through the process of filling out and submitting an application, making it simple to fill out an application with all the required information.
This means that you’ll rarely have to hold calls or respond to emails from students to teach them how to do it. They have all the instructions at their disposal in an online format.
Plus, you’ll rarely receive inadequate applications with missing information, as the system can make it impossible to submit applications that have empty required fields.
And when students complete a part of the admissions process, the system will automatically prompt them to do the next step, and instruct them on how to do it.
Furthermore, you can configure your enrollment management system to automatically send acceptance or denial emails as soon as an application is processed by the admissions department.
And the emails will be personalized to each student using data in the system that you’ve collected from them.
On your end, you can do things like track where the students are in the admissions process from a dashboard like the one below:
And, as you can see on the graphs on the left side of the image above, you’ll know how many students are in each of the different phases of the process, from lead, to inquirer, to applicant.
All of these features reduce the work involved in admissions for both you and your potential students.
Automated Collection of Tuition Payments
An enrollment management system will automatically collect tuition payments from students and parents according to a set schedule.
Collecting and processing payments happens online without requiring your intervention.
When the payments come in, the important documentation related to that payment is also automatically captured and neatly organized within the searchable database.
Furthermore, with recurring billing functionality, students and parents will be automatically billed at the end of each billing cycle.
You won’t have to send out online invoices because the system does it for you on predetermined dates.
All of this leads to more effective tuition payment collection and fewer late payments, as students will be less likely to forget or put it off if they’ve signed up for recurring billing.
Even if they aren’t using recurring billing, students have the option to pay online via their preferred payment method on any device, provided that they have access to the internet.
Students will also love having their own online portal that they can go to in order to check their payment status and other information.
Here’s an example of an online portal from Regpack, an online registration software that many school directors use:
This quick access to billing information helps them plan out their budget and makes it less likely that they’ll have inadequate funds in their account when the billing date comes around.
For these reasons, student enrollment systems are great for automating the tuition collection process and saving you and your students precious time.
Improved School Record Keeping
An enrollment management system automatically stores all of your important records—invoices, financial documents, applications, etc.—on the cloud, so that they’re always backed up and secure.
You won’t have to worry about lost records.
You’re also protected against data breaches, which have accounted for leaks of 28.6 million records from schools since 2005.
Data breaches can seriously damage your school’s reputation, so you want to avoid them as best you can.
Fortunately, enrollment management systems use various security protocols to keep the sensitive data that you collect safe from hackers.
In addition to improving data security, these systems also lead to saved time in document management activities.
Because all records are stored digitally in a searchable, filterable database, you can easily search for, find, and access the records you need.
According to a survey by Wakefield Research and Elastic, 54% of office workers report wasting time searching for important files in their online filing systems.
That means just going paperless isn’t always enough.
School directors should have enrollment management systems, as they offer tools that simplify finding the correct information, like custom reports, for example:
You won’t have to dig through an email chain or try to remember the name of a pdf you saved on your hard drive.
Further, enrollment systems allow you to find must-have documents on the go.
As long as you have access to the internet, you can access the data you need in order to do your job, even when you’re not at school.
Perhaps the best part about keeping your data in a digital environment is that it becomes amenable to analysis and reporting, activities that can provide you with valuable insight into your enrollment processes.
That leads us to our next benefit, better decision-making.
More Informed Decision-Making
Executives that make data the foundation of their strategic decisions are three times as likely to report significant improvements in decision-making as their counterparts who don’t use data, according to research from PwC.
Enrollment management systems empower you to be in the former camp of that statistic, the one using data to figure out what to do next, what initiatives to pursue, and which ones to drop.
At the click of a button, you can easily generate accurate reports that give you insight into your enrollment process.
Armed with these insights, schools can make informed, data-based decisions that bring incredible results.
For example, you could run a report to figure out at which stage most students drop out of the admissions process.
Perhaps you discover that a high percentage of applicants are dropping out after they attend Accepted Students Day.
This could mean that you need to take a step back and identify the weaknesses of the event and address them.
That way, you can strategically improve it, thereby increasing conversion rates from applicant to enrolled student.
Additionally, when you have student data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to make better quick-fire decisions when you meet with students.
By searching for the student on your phone or tablet, you can quickly figure out where they are in the admissions process, which information they’ve already told your team, and more.
This leads to more personalized and productive conversations with applicants and potential students, which can have a positive effect on your enrollment numbers.
Most tools also enable you to find each current student’s schedule:
You’ll also be able to make better use of your time, as you’ll know what work needs to be done, thanks to the real-time tracking of application statuses and the ability to set up personal auto-reminders.
For example, if it’s your job to look over student recommendation letters, you could set up notifications to receive whenever a student submits a letter, or whenever your colleague finishes the first part of the application process that comes before you can take action.
With enrollment management software’s real-time analytics, application tracking, and reporting, you’ll be better equipped to make smart decisions about what to do with your time, how to have meaningful conversations with students, and which initiatives to take on and which ones to drop.
Student enrollment management software has the power to save your school a tremendous amount of time and money.
Among other benefits, this software reduces material and staffing costs, streamlines the admissions process, improves record keeping, and enables you to make data-driven decisions regarding enrollment management.
For more on this topic, check out our article on how to increase student enrollment, where we share nine practical tips for doing so, from creating after-school programs to getting active in your community.