/ How to Streamline Admissions to Attract & Retain Families

How to Streamline Your Admissions Process to Attract and Retain Families

Nina Bernardi

July 24, 2023

    During school admissions procedures, prospective students and families interact with schools for the first time. Every admission step can influence a student’s enrollment decision, from campus tours to application requirements. 

    A helpful and simplified admissions process can attract prospective families and encourage enrollment. Clear instructions and consistent communication guide families through the enrollment process rather than leaving them confused. Schools can enhance their admissions processes with advanced technology and new marketing strategies. By streamlining the student admissions process, you can increase retention and build more positive student experiences.

    Learn more about how to improve your admissions processes and how Ravenna can help.

    How Does a Streamlined Admissions Process Benefit Students and Families?

    The first way prospective students and families interact with your school is through the admissions process. From submitting test scores to finalizing financial aid, families often have many steps to complete before they can register for classes. Gathering application materials and navigating specific school requirements can sometimes feel overwhelming. Families become less likely to enroll their students if the admissions process has too many stages or unclear expectations.

    How Does a Streamlined Admissions Process Benefit Students and Families?

    By streamlining the admissions process, you can create a positive experience for everyone involved. Various technologies and strategies help you simplify admissions, helping students progress more quickly. These are examples of how simplified admissions can benefit prospective parents and students:

    Reduces Confusion

    Streamlined school admissions should involve regular and clear communication. Consistent contact is vital for school enrollment procedures. Whether you develop presentations with school details or answer parent questions, all responses should be clear and helpful.

    As students assemble their admission materials, they must provide the right forms, academic history details, medical records, and other essential documentation. Families can become confused without clear guidelines or checklists of what to include. They might attach incorrect forms or leave out important data.

    Simplified admission procedures minimize confusion for prospective families. Concise handouts and checklists provide students with the exact steps needed for admission. Private school administrators can send out instructions over time, letting families understand without getting overwhelmed. Providing easy ways to reach admission representatives, such as by email or phone, gives families support throughout the entire process.

    With more digestible information, families are more likely to complete enrollment processes and commit to schools. Minimized confusion also assists admissions offices, who might encounter fewer incomplete or missing forms.

    Gives a Positive First Impression

    If families begin the admissions process, they have an interest in your school and offered services. Families seeking independent or private schools often look at multiple schools before narrowing down their options. The enrollment process is a vital period that can convince a student whether to attend your school or choose another.

    Gives a Positive First Impression

    If the admissions experience is seamless and stress-free, families build a more favorable perspective of your school. You can display your school’s efficiency and accessibility to families and students.

    For instance, a simplified admissions process might use advanced software. Admissions technology can provide a centralized location for families to access their applications and upload required documents. Digital checklists inform prospective families about their progression and how much more they need to finalize their application.

    Families can feel supported and productive while using the admissions software instead of frustrated or overwhelmed. They can associate this ease with your institution and view you more favorably when it’s time to make enrollment decisions. The better their experience, the more likely they will commit to your school.

    Encourages Student Retention

    Student retention is essential for school success. Retention numbers give direct insights into student success, allowing schools to adjust approaches if needed. The more students you retain, the better you position yourself for the future.

    Encourages Student Retention

    Many factors impact student retention, from extracurricular availability to course difficulty. The admission experience also affects retention. By admitting students that align with your core objectives, you lay the groundwork for an engaged and committed student base.

    You can adopt admissions procedures that show your care for students. Aspects like frequent communication display your team’s dedication to student success, which can impact retention rates later. You can also use admissions events like in-person orientation and informational events to help students feel more welcome. The more time they spend in the building and around the staff, the better they can picture themselves as students. These events also help to attract students.

    After completing early admissions activities, students can feel more welcome when school begins. Easy transitions make it more likely for students to adjust to your school and stay more long-term.

    How Can You Develop a Streamlined Admissions Process?

    One of the best strategies for streamlining admissions is implementing robust admissions software. Admissions software can centralize and simplify every stage of admissions, making the process easier for students and administrators. Technology lets you access detailed data, automates manual workloads, improves communication, and completes many other beneficial processes. Tailored solutions let you build the software around your school’s particular needs and circumstances.

    Other online tools like social media let you market your school more effectively. You can increase brand awareness with a broad online reach and attract more families to your offerings.

    Benefits of Using Technology for School Admissions

    Benefits of Using Technology for School Admissions

    Committing to a software solution brings many benefits for schools, including:

    • Improved data management: Data collection lets schools analyze student statistics, success rates, and other vital information. Schools generate significant quantities of data, from student demographic details to information about test scores. Robust data management strategies help you optimize approaches to better meet students’ needs. Your admissions software can collect and analyze school data, providing instant and immersive insights into your school’s performance. Automated data collection lets you access the information without manual extraction techniques, which can be time-consuming.
    • Simplified communication: Technology also makes communication easier throughout the admissions and enrollment process. Emails and text campaigns let you connect with families easily. You can send quick application updates or deadline reminders that keep students aware of their statuses. Many software solutions offer regular support options where students can connect with an admissions representative in real time. The easier it is to communicate, the more likely families get their questions answered.
    • Increased engagement: Various technological tools encourage students and families to engage more during the admissions process. Centralized online applications help students have a more direct role in admissions—they are simple to fill out and provide real-time updates on remaining forms and requirements. Students can access contact information more easily if they have questions. Social media campaigns provide images and videos of school activities, letting students visualize themselves in attendance. Students can engage with school social media profiles to get involved before they arrive on campus.
    • Greater efficiency: Online options simplify many admissions procedures. Options like online signatures let students fill out forms without extra steps from physical paperwork. Automated features remember student details from other forms and instantly transfer them to new pages. Students can complete applications more quickly instead of waiting until the deadline. Schools can also process applications at a much faster pace. Collaborative tools let multiple administrators access files at once, increasing collaboration during the evaluation process. Once schools make admissions decisions, students can instantly view the result in their portal.

    How to Use Technology for School Admissions

    How to Use Technology for School Admissions

    These are examples of how you could use technology in your school admissions:

    • Data analytics: Data reporting lets you analyze your school’s current and historic performance. You can invest in data collection tools to evaluate previous admissions strategies and their success. By comparing data from spreadsheets or previous admissions systems to enrollment and retention numbers, you can view your campaign’s effectiveness. If certain years showed decreased enrollment numbers, you could adjust strategies in the following years. You can also analyze student demographic data. The more you know about your students, the better you can tailor marketing campaigns to meet their needs.
    • Social media: Social media is one of the best school marketing ideas to help increase enrollment. Nearly 5 billion users access social media platforms daily in 2023, making them optimal for reaching wide audiences. Your school can use platforms like FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and more to publish admissions content. For example, you could post infographics explaining the admissions process or a video exploring your school’s facility. Students and families can comment on posts or message your account directly if they’re interested in learning more.
    • Online forms: Paper-based applications can be stressful for both students and administrators. Students must organize every document without misplacing them and navigate the mailing process once ‘completed. Schools have to use more storage space to manage physical records and documents. Online forms provide a secure and streamlined way to upload application materials. Students can upload information and paperwork in minimal steps, making the application process much easier. Administrators can view online files containing all student details in one centralized location. Cloud-based software lets you view documents from any location or at any time, increasing accessibility.
    • Centralized application manager: Admissions software creates a single application source for families. Instead of accessing several websites or physical paperwork, families can log into secure accounts with all related information and documents. Security features like multi-factor authentication (MFA) keep student information protected and only available to authorized users. Families can also use the same account when enrolling multiple children, preventing them from needing multiple login credentials.
    • Automated workflows: Automated tools allow for more student connections without additional workloads. Software solutions can automate many manual processes, such as filtering applications, assigning applications to specific readers, flagging missing components in applications, and sending reminder alerts to students. Your admissions team benefits from fewer repetitive tasks. Instead, they can focus on higher-priority and more fulfilling tasks, such as building relationships with prospective students.

    How to Find the Right Admissions Software for Your School

    The right admissions software can elevate your school’s marketing and admissions strategies. Many admission software types are available, all offering different applications and support levels. Finding the right fit for your school’s needs lets you gain full benefits from the technology.

    You can prepare for your investment by thinking about your school’s climate and needs. For instance, consider these factors as you browse options:

    • Your budget: Schools have to manage many overhead costs, from student supplies to facility maintenance. Admissions software is a beneficial expense that can lead to long-term financial benefits, such as increased student retention. It’s best to have a budget in mind as you search for admissions software. You can narrow options that match your financial needs and prevent overspending.
    • Your goals: Your school can also consider overall goals for the software before selecting a provider. You might have specific admissions areas you want to improve and can choose software options that focus on these. Having a goal in mind increases the number of benefits you can gain. For instance, one of your goals might be to increase communication between students and admissions representatives. You could look for software that offers communication applications so students can ask questions more easily.
    • Your desired features: Think about your ideal software and the features you want most. You can narrow your options if they don’t offer your desired applications. You might want a unique selling proposition or a more standardized version. For instance, automation might be important so you can reduce staff workloads while evaluating applications. You can search for providers and solutions with automated features to make your search more beneficial.

    Important admissions software elements include:

    Important admissions software elements include:

    • Customization: The best admissions software lets you customize options to meet your school’s needs. You can combine different applications and tools to create customized workflows. As students complete the admissions process, the software can guide them through tailored steps and prompts according to the school’s choices. Personalization options let you align technology with your brand and goals rather than using a standardized template. Students gain more insight into your school’s techniques and personality as they finalize their application.
    • Streamlined procedures: Helpful software options simplify the admissions process. Lengthy or complicated tasks might convince students to select a different school instead. Software that reduces repetitive tasks benefits all end users. For instance, your application might save basic data from forms and automatically carry that information over to other documents rather than making students retype it on every page. Organizational tools group related documents together so students don’t have to search for them manually.
    • Automated features: Automation improves the user experience for students, administrators, admissions representatives, and other related parties. Automated features can trigger workflows without manual input, improving efficiency for admissions offices. The software can identify applications with errors or missed documents and reroute them to the right personnel. Automation also makes it easier for students to fill out forms or to get questions answered.
    • Ongoing support: Dedicated software providers offer ongoing support for their technology. As you install the applications and get used to them, you will likely have questions about certain features. You can search for providers that give thorough training and regular troubleshooting support for users to minimize downtime and use the software to the fullest extent.

    How Can Ravenna and BigSIS Improve Admissions and Enrollment?

    How Can Ravenna and BigSIS Improve Admissions and Enrollment?

    Ravenna Solutions offers comprehensive admissions software that transforms your entire admissions procedures. From finding prospective applicants to posting final decisions, our software streamlines every admissions step. Increase your efficiency, access more data, and create a more enjoyable experience for all users.

    Ravenna includes features like:

    • Unlimited customization: Every school has unique needs and circumstances. You can configure the software to match your brand’s style to keep the admissions process as personal as possible. Integrate your branded forms and preferred colors and fonts to keep everything consistent across channels.
    • Centralized application access: Make the application process simple with a centralized application system. Families can access their accounts from anywhere and easily upload documents. Students can submit documents, view their application status, connect with admissions representatives, and more. The streamlined location reduces confusion and helps students submit applications with little or no complications.
    • Automated document processing: Quick application processing and sorting minimize manual workloads for your admissions team. High-volume document processing automatically analyzes and organizes submitted applications. You can create customized and automated workflows to simplify your application screenings. For instance, automated features can flag incomplete applications or send them to specific readers, rather than employees manually scanning and sending each document.
    • Advanced relationship planning: Building relationships with prospective students is essential for admissions success. With Ravenna, you can personalize your admissions approach with rapid communication and data tracking. Engagement tracking tools help you interpret prospective student preferences, letting you adjust your marketing strategies.

    You can also integrate Ravenna with BigSIS school management and student information system. BigSIS supports every stage of the student experience, increasing efficiency and enjoyment throughout a student’s enrollment. BigSIS capabilities include:

    • Admissions and enrollment management: Administrators and families benefit from streamlined admissions access. Easily manage the admissions process with Ravenna and move admitted students to BigSIS for enrollment. View real-time updates about enrollment numbers and trends, or create custom acceptance letters that align with your branding standards.
    • Tuition management: Provide customized tuition agreements to fit families’ needs and collect automated or scheduled online payments.
    • Online portals: Families can access their online portals to stay connected with school updates. Instantly share documents, message teachers and administrators, and enjoy many other enhanced features.
    • Data management tools: You can import all student data from Ravenna into BigSIS for optimal insights. Deeper analysis lets you optimize your admissions and administrative approaches.
    • Academic functions: Teachers can use BigSIS to enhance classroom approaches. Easily track grades, attendance, homework assignments, course scheduling, and more.
    • Fundraising: Use connected data to plan targeted fundraising campaigns. Then, segment donors by interest and create a fundraising campaign that appeals uniquely to them.

    Extended features can also streamline fundraising and student financial aid.

    You can adapt Ravenna and BigSIS to elevate every aspect of school management. Both tools create an end-to-end solution for admissions and every subsequent step of student enrollment. The seamless combination lets you improve your existing strategies without losing current data.

    Enhance Your Admissions Processes With Ravenna

    Specialized software can transform your admissions procedures and attract prospective families. Streamlined processes make it easier for students and families to finalize applications, increasing your pool of prospective students. The better experience students have during admissions, the more likely they will commit to your school.

    Enhance Your Admissions Processes With Ravenna

    If you’re ready to elevate your admissions process, consider exploring Ravenna. We’re dedicated to improving the efficiency, accessibility, and quality of school procedures. Ravenna improves the admissions experience for students, families, teachers, and administrators. Instead of completing time-consuming and manual tasks, you can focus on building stronger relationships with applicants. Achieve your admissions goals with our advanced tools and offerings.

    To learn more about Ravenna Solutions, request a demo today.

    To learn more about Ravenna Solutions, request a demo today.

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