Every academic year, educational institutions welcome hundreds of new applicants. As a result, the admission process can be quite complex and full of requirements and deadlines. Traditional admission processes require a lot of paperwork as well as multiple interactions with students, via phone or email, in order to update them on the progress of their application.
As a result, admission ends up being a quite stressful and time-consuming process for everyone involved: students, administrative staff and academics. But, with all the digital tools available out there, there must be a more efficient way to manage admission processes, right?
The answer is yes! Modern admission management systems can make the admission process hustle-free, diminishing the complexity and stress related to the traditional processes. By going digital, you can create an efficient workflow, decrease operational inefficiencies and increase the brand equity of your academic institution.
What’s exactly the concept of digital admissions management?
Digital admissions management feature is usually part of the larger IT infrastructure of Student Information Management Systems. Such systems are designed for enabling daily school operations, both academic and financial. Having a Student Information Management System implemented to your academic institution allows you to manage processes with accuracy.
More specifically, it helps institutions manage the admissions’ process end-to-end. From informing students about the requirements of acceptance to a subject or program to the form submission, document management and the final evaluation of applicants.
What makes digital admissions management process so efficient is that it enables the seamless communication between all types of stakeholders (students, educators, parents, administration staff). In that way, everyone is in the loop about the progress of each application.
Benefits for everyone involved in the process
From the applicants’ point of view, a digital admission process helps him/her to have accurate knowledge of the admission’s requirements. It also enables the applicant to easily follow up the application’s progress throughout the process.
Overall, it provides applicants with a smoother admissions experience by eliminating unnecessary queuing to front-desk offices and confusing communications with administration staff.
They say that you never have a second chance to make a good first impression and the same goes for the admission process. A smooth admission will be the best introduction of your institution to the successful applicants. This will have a positive effect on a student’s engagement with the institution throughout their academic life.
From the educational institute’s standpoint, the digitalization of the admission process offers many advantages as well. Having fewer physical interaction with applicants at the initial stages will reduce overhead costs and frustration.
At the later stages of the process, a digital admission process helps to evaluate applicants faster. Admission officials have a complete view of an applicant’s academic profile by having all information and documents into a central database.
Finally, it is easier for the financial department to follow up on successful applicants. They can have accurate information about tuition fees charged to each applicant based on the selected course. Also, they can calculate any financial aid or discount applied to the final fee.
So, if you’re convinced that the admission process of your academic institution must go digital, here are 4 tips for starting out immediately:
Tip 1: Set up a user-friendly Admission Portal
The Admission Portal is the “digital front-office” of your educational institution. The portal allows applicants to self-register and has access to a personalized web environment. There, they can manage and track the status of their application. Smart Student Information Management tools such as Classter, offer several features, attached to Admission Portals, for an improved admissions experience.
Functionalities such as personal calendars and one-to-one messaging systems enable timely and accurate communication between the institution and the applicants. That ensures that every applicant is informed about the required documents, dates of exams or interviews and application deadlines. Ontime and with accuracy.
Tip 2: Integrate data from multiple campuses into one central IT infrastructure
Established academic institutions usually have geographically dispersed campuses, in different countries or continents.
In order to ensure the same standards for all applicants across campuses, it’s crucial to have a cloud-based admission process. In this way, staff from different locations will have access to the applicant’s data remotely.
This can be also the case for educational institutions that offer online curriculums. In our globalized world, learning can happen anywhere, anytime. The same applies to admission. It’s crucial for educational IT professionals to develop web-based processes that allow educators, front-office and back-office staff to monitor the progress of each application from anywhere in the world.
Tip 3: Go paperless – manage documents online
Probably the biggest hustle of non-digital admission processes is the management of required documents both for applicants and for administration tasks.
Usually, an application process is completed when several personal documents and academic certifications have been submitted. In a traditional process, this happens via mail service resulting in stress, frustration to applicants and delays, as the documents must be delivered to the institution.
You can easily go paperless by using the admission module of a student information management system such as Classter. That allows applicants to easily upload and submit digital copies of the required documents. In this way, you can significantly decrease the whole admission cycle, as you remove the time-consuming task of sending documents via traditional mail. Also, you can give immediate feedback to applicants in case of missing documents or possible errors.
Finally, a digital document management process decreases the environmental output of your educational institution.
Tip 4: Manage financial arrangements end-to-end
This tip focuses on what is probably the last step of most of the admission process: financial arrangements. Usually, this function is managed by the back-office or the accounting department in isolation from the rest of the admission process.
This is a tricky issue as it may create confusion to successful applicants about the actual amount of tuition fees or the terms and conditions of payments.
On the other hand, the back-office team may lack important information about possible discounts applied to an applicant’s tuition fees based on personal background, minority/ethnicity or financial status.
It’s important to have in mind this information gap when digitalizing your traditional admission process. You can bridge this gap by using an end-to-end solution that tracks all information about tuition fees, discounts, and financial arrangements.
Admissions in the digital era
The education industry is undergoing a fundamental shift. It is driven by the tremendous changes that digital technology causes to our societies in the last decades.
Educational institutions that will not catch this wave will face serious problems when trying to attract the best applicants for their programs. Besides that, they will continue having inefficient processes that have a negative impact on productivity and efficiency of administrative operations.
By using a feature-rich Student Management Information System, such as Classter, educational institutions of all types and sizes can have immediate access to state-of-the-art digital admission tools, without having to invest heavily on large IT infrastructures.
That makes the digital admission process more accessible to all institutions, helping them to keep up with all the transformation that is going on in this industry.