Managing Documentation in College Enrollment Systems

The college enrollment system faces more challenges than ever. Spring 2021 undergraduate enrollment was down 5.9%. This represents the steepest decline since the pandemic began. Community college enrollment fell by 11.3%. And according to a recent McKinsey report, changes to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Code of Ethics and Professional Practice have “upended how universities think about the admission cycle.” These changes, “open up the possibility of recruiting incoming freshman well past May 1 and throughout the fall,” and “are expected to increase choice and offer flexibility to students, but they also spell intense competition for colleges and universities nationwide.”

In the face of these challenges, colleges and universities need to focus on ways to do more with less and to improve the student experience. Satisfied students are more likely to complete their degrees, boosting retention and graduation rates. One measure that can help higher education institutions to achieve these goals is by replacing paper-based documentation processes in the college enrollment system.

Eliminating Inefficiencies in the College Enrollment System

Many colleges continue to rely on manual and paper-based documentation processes to manage student files. These processes are a costly and inefficient way to manage student records. In fact, according to experts, paper-based processes can:

  • Cost organizations $20 on average to file a single document. This includes labor, storage, office supplies, and other operating expenses.
  • Gartner estimates that employees that work with paper can spend 50% of their time looking for information and can take up to 18 minutes to locate a document.
  • Organizations misfile some 20% of their documents and incur costs upwards of $220 to reproduce.

Organizations can eliminate these costs with automation technologies such as an electronic document management system and business process automation solution. These solutions allow colleges to store student records in one secure and centralized location. Colleges and universities can benefit in many ways, including:

  • Easy access to student information. An effective document management system significantly reduces the amount of time that employees spend looking for information. Student records are organized, sorted, and easily accessible. Employees have more time to focus on assisting students which improves the student experience.
  • Increased security. A document management system allows colleges to safeguard important student records and other sensitive information. Stakeholders can easily assign permissions to the appropriate users and restrict unauthorized users. Moreover, organizations can maintain an audit trail. You can easily see who accessed a particular document and any changes that were made.
  • Reduced costs. With enrollment down, colleges need to find new ways to reduce their operating costs. A document management system eliminates large expenditures on paper, ink, and storage. And since documents are easily retrieved, there are no inefficiencies and added expenses to find or reproduce a misplaced document.
  • Environmentally friendly. Many students are committed to environmental causes and are calling on their schools to become more eco-friendly. With a document management system, there is no wasted paper. And with a cloud-based document management and/or business process management (BPM) solution, you can drastically reduce your school’s energy consumption.
  • Provide a superior student experience. Today’s students demand a seamless college enrollment system experience. BPM software that provides workflow automation for higher education makes it easy to craft a compelling and user-friendly student journey while streamlining workflows across your university.

In an increasingly competitive and dynamic environment, colleges and universities need to find new ways to improve the college enrollment system. Eliminating manual and paper-based documentation processes helps colleges save money, boost productivity, increase compliance, and provide superior student experiences.

ProcessMaker provides an award-winning low-code BPM platform that has helped colleges and universities located all over the world to automate their workflows and transform their documentation processes in the college enrollment system.

Click here to see how ProcessMaker helped CUNY School of Law to digitally transform their Admissions Office and Human Resources workflows.


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