It would be an understatement to say that technology has revolutionized the field of enrollment management in the past decade. As a result, the way schools communicate with prospective students, manage applications and financial aid, and even how schools market their institutions has changed drastically.
What Enrollment Processes Looked Like a Decade Ago
A decade ago, the process of recruiting and enrolling students was very different than it is today. There were far fewer options for marketing and communicating with prospective students. Institutions relied heavily on print materials like brochures and viewbooks, as well as direct mail campaigns to reach their target audiences.
Prospective students interested in learning more about a school would have to physically visit the campus or request information from the admissions office. The process of applying was also very different. Students typically had to complete a paper application, which they then had to mail (along with transcripts and other required materials) to the admissions office.
7 Ways School Enrollment Processes Have Evolved
Here are seven ways the small school enrollment processes have evolved for the better:
#1: There Are More Options for Marketing and Recruiting
Nowadays, there are a plethora of options for marketing and recruiting students. In addition to traditional methods like print materials and direct mail, institutions can now reach out to prospective students through various digital channels. This includes social media, email, texting, and even Snapchat.
What’s more, there are now sophisticated marketing tools and platforms that can help institutions target their ideal students with laser precision. For example, schools can use demographic data to create custom audiences on Facebook and Instagram. They can also use Google AdWords to target students searching for specific keywords related to their school.
#2: The Application Process is More Streamlined
In the past, students had to complete a paper application and mail it to the admissions office. Nowadays, the vast majority of schools, big or small, have switched to an online application system. This makes it much easier and faster for students to apply.
#3: There is More emphasis on Student Engagement
With the advent of social media, there is now a greater emphasis on student engagement. Schools are increasingly using social media to connect with prospective and current students. This includes providing updates and information about the school, answering questions, and even hosting virtual events.
#4: Admissions Offices are More Efficient
Admissions offices have also become more efficient thanks to technology. For example, many schools now use admissions software to manage applications and track data. This makes it easier for admissions officers to keep track of everything and make decisions about which students to admit.
#5: Financial Aid is More Accessible
In the past, the process of applying for financial aid was very complex and time-consuming. Students had to fill out a paper form and mail it to the financial aid office. Nowadays, most schools have switched to an online system. This makes it much easier for students and parents to apply for financial aid and get the money to pay for school.
#6: Schools are More Transparent
In the past, schools were not very transparent about their admissions process. This often led to a lot of confusion and frustration on the part of students and parents. Nowadays, however, many schools are much more transparent about their admissions process. They often have detailed information on their website about how they decide who to admit.
This transparency is helpful for families because it gives them a better understanding of the process and makes them more likely to get accepted if they meet the criteria.
#7: Technology has Made Enrollment Management More Efficient
Overall, technology has made enrollment management much more efficient. This includes everything from marketing and recruiting to the actual application process. What’s more, it has also made things like financial aid and admissions more transparent. This has all led to a better experience for enrolling families and a more efficient process for schools.
Enrollment technology has affected all these areas, and for the better!
Finding The Perfect Enrollment Management System
Finally, here is how to find the perfect enrollment management system for your school:
#1: Define Your Needs
The first step is to sit down and define your needs. What exactly do you want the system to do? Then, make a list of all the features you need and prioritize them. For example, if you need a system that can track data, then that should be at the top of your list.
#2: Do Your Research
Once you know what you need, it’s time to start doing your research. Look for systems that have all the features you need. Read online reviews and compare pricing.
#3: Get a Demo
After you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to get a demo of the system. This will allow you to see how it works and decide if it’s right for your school. Ensure that you examine the entire product and understand all the features you may use for your school.
#4: Make a Decision
Once you’ve seen the system in action, it’s time to decide. Choose the system you think will work best for your school and get started with the enrollment process.
#5: Implement the System
After you’ve chosen the system, it’s time to implement it. This can be a big undertaking, but it will be worth it in the end. Once the system is up and running, you’ll be able to streamline your enrollment process and make things run more smoothly.
Utilize these steps when choosing enrollment technology for your school.
Technology has had a significant impact on enrollment management over the past decade. From marketing and recruiting to the actual application process, technology has made things more efficient and transparent. This has all led to a better experience for enrolling families and a more efficient process for schools. If you’re looking for enrollment management technology for your school, ensure you know exactly what your school needs!
SchoolCues is an all-in-one school management system for small schools with limited budgets and resources. Our solutions include admissions and enrollment, online payments, student information system, gradebook, communications, parent engagement, donations and fundraising, alumni management, and more. Schedule a demo with us today.