Guide to Boarding School Software

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Maddie Woodrow

September 29, 2022

    Keeping the workings of your boarding school well-oiled and organized is essential in allowing your staff to focus on what’s important: your students and the school’s relationship to their parents. Sometimes keeping track of the more systematic side of running a boarding school can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Boarding school software can make your life easier by streamlining your administrative tasks from admission, enrollment and interviews to tuition, financial aid and student management. This article covers why you need boarding school software and how Ravenna Solutions’ boarding school software, in particular, can help you streamline your school’s systems. We’ll also discuss how to talk about software with your school board to convince them to implement software at your school.

    Why You Need Boarding School Software

    There are many reasons to invest in software for your boarding school, but the most vital reason is simplicity. Simplicity is an essential characteristic because it makes software:

    Easier to Use

    Using technology is not a primary skill and doesn’t come naturally to some people. Because of this, your school staff may be wary of new software. These staff members are why it’s essential to invest in software that is simple and easy to use. Your teachers and administrators need to be able to log in quickly, do what they need to do and continue teaching and taking care of their students. Staff may even find the software fun to use after they get the hang of it.

    For example, with our software, Ravenna Workflows, you can engage your prospective families and applicants better and get a higher number of conversions by having automation do the difficult work for you. This work may include segmenting your applicants, flagging certain files, assigning applications to specific readers or sending targeted email campaigns. You won’t have to press a button for any of this work to be done when you have automation on your side.

    More Reliable

    Your staff dedicates themselves to looking after students, which is why they need to have reliable software to do it. However, a lot of products are complicated, leaving them open to feature creeping. Feature creeping is when many features are added too quickly to a product. This buildup of features lessens the product’s original value and makes it inefficient and prone to bugs and crashes. A software program with all the features you need can still be simple if it is designed well and built for efficiency.

    More Accessible

    Everyone involved in implementing new software at your boarding school will have to be committed to the process. Staff members who aren’t used to using different forms of technology can find the transition challenging. However, once these staff members see how the new software simplifies their day-to-day jobs, they’ll be more likely to use it. Using simple software gets everyone on board with the change. If your staff invests in your school, you and your students will reap great benefits.

    Admission

    Community software for boarding schools can help the admission process for your school run more smoothly. Parents will likely apply to multiple boarding schools for their child, which is why your school’s application process needs to be quick and easy. Ravenna ADMIT software makes this possible by allowing you to customize your applications. You can create your own forms, questions, events and processes and personalize them with custom colors and images. Your application will shine as bright as your school, and families will get the experience you want to give them.

    Admission management software also allows you to automate various tasks, which ultimately saves you time. These tasks include flagging applications, assigning specific readers for applications and sending personalized email campaigns to parents.

    Our software can house and process a high volume of applications, making it easier for your administrators to review applications. Reviewing applications used to mean downloading or printing many documents and going through them manually. Multiple users can access files simultaneously as well, which allows for more straightforward collaborative reviews. With Ravenna’s admission management program, you store all application data digitally, so you can access it any time you need it. Reduce paperwork and keep your prospective families’ information secure with our boarding school software.

    It can be challenging to keep track of differing needs and communication preferences with so many prospective families. With admission management software, you can track individual applicants throughout the process. Engagement tracking tools can see how families have interacted with applications and other communications.

    Enrollment

    With an enrollment management suite, tasks that would take hours are automated, leaving you more time for reviewing applications. Ravenna Solutions’ enrollment management suite can save the average school up to 500 hours on manual tasks during their first year.

    Our software simplifies the enrollment process, giving parents an outstanding enrollment experience from first contact to first tuition payment. Schools that use our software receive 25% more applications in their first year.

    Also, with Ravenna’s software, you don’t need to physically check off a box for every form you receive from families. With our high-volume document processing and our online application software, you can receive and check off hundreds of documents in a matter of minutes.

    At Ravenna, we can provide your boarding school with an enrollment management platform and a configurable cloud-based admission system. Solve any challenges and complexities your admission and enrollment office might face and increase efficiency with our software’s collaborative approach. Our software can help you create more meaningful connections with your students and their families.

    Interviews

    Scheduling interviews can take up time better spent interviewing prospective families. With our online scheduling tools, you can share schedules with applicants and automate scheduling entirely. What makes scheduling interviews online so easy with this software? Boarding school software allows administrators to create interview availability schedules.

    With Ravenna ADMIT, you can create different interviewer roles, allowing your interviewers to change their schedules while saving you time during the interview process. This software allows for transparent, accurate and automated scheduling with insight into when your interviewers are available. With this software, your interviews will have more accurate scheduling, and you will spend less time referencing various people’s calendars.

    Tuition and Financial Aid

    Boarding school software can help increase your school’s yearly revenue. With more enrollments comes a higher budget and possibly a more complex budget. Higher enrollment can also increase work for your office staff as they manage more invoices, process more payments and follow up on late tuition. Tuition management systems can make these tasks easier for your staff.

    Ravenna TUITION software can help you reduce errors by automating workflows, customizing reminders and applying credits or financial aid automatically. It also allows you to meet families where they are by providing multiple payment options and flexible agreements.

    With tuition management software, you can easily gather valuable data that you can use for more than just increasing enrollment numbers. It can also inform various administrative and financial decisions, like creating financial aid packages and deciding on tuition levels.

    How to Talk to Your School Board About Boarding School Software

    If you aren’t sure if your school board will want to adopt boarding school software, follow these steps before and during your plan to proposition them about it.

    1. Define Your Objectives

    Before you try to convince anyone that boarding school software will benefit your school, you need to make sure you understand why you need this software and what specific problems it’ll solve.

    First, identify the challenges your boarding school faces. Do your admissions decisions take too long? Is it difficult to schedule interviews? Are you having problems with students being where they say they are? Is saving and storing important documents a challenge? These challenges may be clear to you, but they may not be apparent to everyone on staff or school board members. School board members do not go through the day-to-day routine that you go through at your school. Helping your school board understand this is essential in building a solid case for your presentation later on.

    Now it’s time to look at how your school’s different processes might be creating the challenges you face every day. This exploration will lead you to the core challenges that you’ll present later on. When collecting information on these core challenges, it’s crucial to take detailed notes. These notes will help you communicate your case to the school board later on.

    2. Become an Expert

    When you present any new technology to a group of decision-makers, they will likely ask you questions and look for holes in your argument. You need to provide any answers or details that might be necessary to deflect these questions and complaints. If you become an expert on the data and facts that concern your proposal, you’re less likely to be blindsided or derailed by a challenging question.

    Start by doing lots of research. You’ll need a clear understanding of what boarding school software can and can’t offer your school. For example, look up potential vendors, such as Ravenna Solutions, to get a clear look at what different software offers. To get to know more about us at Ravenna, check out our services and our blog. Once you get as much information as you can, contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer any lingering questions you might have.

    In your research, you could also visit or communicate with other boarding schools that use software to understand how it has benefited them.

    3. Convince Your Board

    Once you understand the challenges your school faces and how software for boarding schools can address these problems, it’s time to express your ideas to your school board. However, it may be better to introduce your ideas to individual boarding members before presenting them to your entire school board. You’ll get a feel for the kind of support you can expect from them. If you can gain their individual support, this will help you when presenting later on.

    Even if you’ve done all of your research and grounded your argument for software in a logical argument, you still need to prepare yourself to address any hesitations the school board may have about adopting new software. Think about what questions you might have if you were a school board member making the final decision about whether to implement this software in your boarding school or not.

    Now that you have sound research, it’s time to put it together into a well-designed presentation built to impress. Having a thorough slideshow and a handout for your board members to go along with it will help you feel confident in your presentation. Make sure your presentation is clear and concise, explaining your school’s problems and how boarding software can help address these problems.

    Finally, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your school board. Try meeting with smaller groups separately if you can’t organize a sit-down discussion with all relevant parties. Keep the focus of your presentation on the benefits of the software once implemented in your boarding school. Stay away from the particulars of how the software functions, as you may not be speaking to a tech-savvy crowd or the people who will use the software the most. Be prepared to answer complex questions! All the research you’ve done will help you answer any questions the board might have.

    Contact Ravenna for Boarding School Management Solutions

    As you can see, software for boarding schools is beneficial for various reasons. The overall benefits of Ravenna’s software include increased accessibility, efficiency and quality. Schools that take advantage of our software spend 67% fewer hours doing manual tasks. They also see a 10% to 25% increase in applications during their first year using our software because of their simplified admissions process and can process applications five times faster.

    We want you and your staff to be able to focus on what’s important when it comes to your school: your students! Want to know more about us? Check out our blog, or contact us using our online form. You can even glance at all of the resources we’ve compiled that will help you simplify the way your boarding school functions day-to-day.

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