For many further education providers online admissions might consist of an online prospectus and a form page for enquiries and applications. Behind the scenes college admissions staff can often be found printing out the completed forms, thereby turning the digital experience into a slow paper-based one, guilty of eating up excessive resource, delaying responses to applicants and running the risk of increasing drop-off rates as engagement reduces.
Could your admissions process actually be counter-productive? Here are five tell-tale signs to look out for:
Your admissions staff are printing out online enquiries and applications
You have an (unfavourable) percentage of non-completed applications that are not systematically revisited
Your marketing department has to use multiple systems and reports to inform campaigns designed to influence application completion
On enrolment day your staff spend significant resource gathering and inputting students’ evidence of prior learning and other supporting documentation
Senior Leadership Teams have to wait for a picture of admissions, leading to late corrective actions by other departments
These five symptoms are just some of the issues associated with paper-based admissions processes.
Certainly many providers will mix the digital and paper-based approaches, to match their operations, but each paper touch-point in the service inevitably has a hit on the provider’s ability to operate efficiently and offer a high quality student experience.
Taking a ‘digital by default’ approach to admissions guarantees to deliver efficiencies and a better student experience, but equally importantly, it empowers providers to convert more enquiries through to enrolment. By mapping out the end-to-end journey and delivering course information digitally when the student wants it, providers see greater engagement in the process. The digital capture of their data, including supporting documentation and prior learning information, also means non-complete applications are easily highlighted and automated workflows can be set in place to convert the application, without hitting resources.
Reporting on admissions KPIs becomes simplified and live, so marketing and admissions teams can take any required corrective action earlier in the process, and senior leaders gain a picture of admissions against targets.
The end result is a better performing, more efficient business process that delivers to the provider students that are ready for learning from day one and have a positive experience of their interactions with the organisation before they’ve even started.