Switching to Online Enrollments: What to ExpectJune 16, 2020
A note from Digistorm: This post was originally published in July 2018. We’ve updated it to include more valuable, relevant content and more recent statistics.
What does your school’s enrollment process look like? Are you still taking enrollment applications via printed and scanned forms? Although this process is still relatively common amongst schools, it requires a significant amount of time and effort. If you think that it might be time to update your admissions process there’s a solution that schools can explore to streamline their process and this is an online enrollment system.
Implementing an online enrollment system is an effective way to reduce administrative tasks, make the process user-friendly for parents, and remove all manual data entry from the process. If you’re thinking about implementing an online enrollment system for your school, here’s what you can expect – both for prospective parents and for your school administration team.
Your school goes paperless
Not only does going paperless do a world of good for the environment, but it has a positive reduction in administration time too. It’s the most obvious benefit of implementing an online enrollment system as it boosts efficiency and productivity for schools. Any data that’s collected through an online enrollment form will be sent directly into your school’s customer relationship manager (CRM), rather than needing to be sorted and manually entered into a spreadsheet or database. An online enrollment process also reduces the risk of paper documents or spreadsheets getting lost, deleted, or incorrectly filed.
With Digistorm’s end-to-end online enrollment platform, Funnel, Schools are able to create custom digital forms that can be hosted on their school website. These forms are designed to reflect your school’s branding and can include custom data fields to collect specific information about your applicants. If this sounds a bit too technical – don’t panic! We also provide support and training to all of our schools to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
File uploads become simple for parents
As mentioned, many enrollment applications require parents to provide copies of documentation for their children such as identification and birth certificates. To make this process easier for parents, schools can include a section on their enrollment application that has an upload function that parents can access from their computer or mobile device.
Take a look at the example below, from Sunshine Coast Grammar School. Here, parents can easily upload files directly to the application form by selecting or dropping the documents into the upload area.
Our enrollment product also allows schools to send communications directly to parents during their enrollment process. Say a parent started to fill out an online enrollment application but forgot to upload the necessary documentation, your school could send a reminder email to the parent requesting for the documentation to be uploaded. This extra communication and nurturing improves the parent user experience and decreases the chances of form abandonment.
Enrollment form abandonment is when an application is started, but never completed. Users can abandon forms for a number of different reasons but a common influence is a design of a form, the length, the devices it’s available on, and the complexity of the form. Using a well-designed digital form provides parents with a process that they can easily start, pause, and complete at their own pace.
Enrollment information is all in one place
So we’ve covered how the online enrollment process improves the parent experience, but there are also significant benefits for K-12 schools. Once a parent has filled out their application form all of the student’s enrollment data is kept in one place. This is extremely helpful for your admissions team as they can view and update the progress and stages of all of their enrollment leads and send personalized communication where necessary. Communication between your school staff and administration teams can also be increased with the ability to create and leave notes for each lead.
Another benefit of an online enrollment process is that schools can review completed enrollments and even see important information such as where their enrollments are coming from, by using basic analytics in the system. This is handy as schools can attribute different marketing campaigns to successful enrollments so they can see where they should be maximizing their social media marketing to drive enrollments. Many schools will also utilize school management or information system’s and Digistorms enrollment product offers a simple data export that can be mapped by the Digistorm team and uploaded directly into a school system. We do the hard work for the schools so that the enrollment information is transferred easily and exactly where they need it.
Payments can be taken online
The handling and processing of offline enrollment payments can be a risky process that can sometimes influence form abandonment, but with an online enrollment application, you can streamline the process with a safe online payment system. Digistorm’s online enrollment platform allows you to offer a secure payment portal on your enrollment applications so that prospective parents are more likely to finish the form and complete the payment. If you want to reassure parents that the portal is secure you can also provide further payment information on the terms and condition page on your application that outlines fees and payment terms.
Thinking about implementing an online enrollment system for your school? Talk to us about getting started with Digistorm Funnel today. Our friendly team is more than happy to show you all of the features that will improve your prospective parent and school staff enrollment experience.