By automating standardized enrollment policies and enriching student experience, innovative student registration systems are transforming the business models of universities and colleges across North America.
Finally discover how legacy student registration systems are currently holding you back from recruiting and retaining hundreds of new continuing education students each year.
It’s a balancing act. You need to provide a flexible student registration experience. But when you’re inputting time-sensitive and secure information in to multiple systems, the stakes are high. The room for error is little. And you’re accountable, should something goes wrong at any point in a student’s registration experience… Therefore…
You may be curious to discover how to eliminate all student-registration-associated headaches (and make A LOT more money for your college or university while you’re at it). Sounds good, right? Read on.
Student Registration Experience is a Competitive Differentiator in Continuing Education
“21st century students live in an environment of choice and access… Technology can provide new capabilities enabling institutions to create significant competitive advantages.” (Gilfus Education Group, 2010). But for most schools this is a dream. Most schools remain chained to their main campus legacy systems. For most schools, registration is a cumbersome process. Student experience suffers. And success falters. Do you know how much this is costing you, right now?
Most continuing education administrators don’t have a clue about the opportunity cost of their student registration systems. But hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not alone. After all, it’s a tough nut to crack. Do you want to know why? Okay, here it is…
Optimizing student registration systems is difficult because while your staff might know what they should do, they lack the resources to executive effectively. Meanwhile, the top continuing education divisions in America have tuned in to the opportunity gap, prioritizing student experience and customer service (all the way to the bank, no less!) Which begs the question…
What do the top continuing education institutions look for when managing their student registration system?
Innovative Student Registration Systems are Data-Driven!
It’s all about data. Specifically, when considering different student registration systems you need high quality information to be accessible in real-time by anyone who needs it (and all in one place). The availability of this registration information is crucial, if you want to deliver a premium registration experience for both students and staff. You do want to deliver a premium experience, don’t you? Well, here’s why it’s worth your while.
It’s this improved (data-driven) experience that fuels an easy registration process and keeps students coming back. This is why student experience (improved through seamless registration) is a competitive differentiator contributing to higher growth and retention of new students. If you want to make sure all of your bases are covered, here’s exactly the kind of information to look for from your student registration system.
Course Registration System Checklist:
- Real-time course availability to prospective students. For would-be-students, nothing is more frustrating than an out of date course-calendar. They don’t want to pick up the phone to find out what’s available. They don’t want to keep checking their status on a waiting list. Students want choice and online access to what’s available right now. This is the first critical step in a smooth registration system. Understand it. And if you‘re forced to use a waitlist, at least ensure the requisite management is automated.
- Facilitate third-party programs, enrollments and flexible payment options. Doing this makes growing revenue from sizable corporate partnerships easy. It accommodates the unique needs of the partner’s bulk enrollment requirements without any extra work on your end. You make it easy for students to sign-up, qualify for special group discounts and add or drop courses using an Amazon-style shopping cart. It’s all powered by your dynamic real-time reservation engine. An easy online experience keeps students coming back and eliminates extra work for you and your staff.
- Administrative workflows and standardized enrollment policies promise the most flexible student registration solution by enabling the enrollment or sale of any course or ancillary item to anyone… without requiring admissions processing! Dynamic pricing, automatic waitlist managing and real-time profit and loss monitoring are what you’re business decisions will come to rely on.
- Automate online systems to eliminate the most tedious aspects of student registration, like duplicate information suppression and record merge tools. These automated processes ensure one point of contact with students to make communication as easy as possible and avoid any confusion. Forget about minutia. Focus your energy on improving conversions.
- Allow students to proactively engage in the student registration process. By allowing students to self-track certificate and degree completion you fuel success and loyalty (seemingly automatically). Take it a step further by proactively notifying and granting certificates upon completion by student. If these processes are completely integrated with main campus legacy systems, you’re getting pretty close to a winning student registration system.
Now, if your student registration solution is lacking even one of these features your whole system could be out of balance. Don’t sit idly by. Or inevitably, your lack of real-time information and flexible registration will adversely impact student experience, (and eventually top line revenue). Choosing the right student registration system matters. Make sure you keep this in mind.
Where Do Most Student Registration Systems Come-Up Short?
We’ve only touched on this. But it’s important. So listen up: Complete integration of your student registration system with the rest of your continuing education division (and main campus software) is an absolute MUST. See, most student registration software solutions lack this feature (at least to an extent). However, full-integration will create tremendous value by saving you unparalleled amounts of time and energy. It’s never been this easy (especially compared to what you’re doing today).
The right student registration system is driven by full program flexibility. You’re able to dynamically change course offerings with a real-time reservation engine. And (yes, you guessed it!) All these changes are synchronized with main campus systems, providing easy access to historical student data. This integration is one of the biggest secrets behind driving loyalty and improving student success (both of which lead to revenue growth).
Smarter Student Registration Software Systems Mean Sustainable Success
There’s a lot of moving parts. That’s why it’s such a tough balancing act. But when you’re able to accommodate a rich student experience with standard enrollment practices and policies, a few things happen to your student registration system. In short though: You enable more profitable decision-making, faster. You improve student access to registration. And here’s a little secret: In this day and age, schools gaining the most traction are increasingly student-focused in their approach to business.
You make it easy for students to join by clearly communicating your ability to accept secure payments with credit cards and other common options. Your course offerings are accurate and accessible. Students are easily able to see if they qualify for discounts or special pricing options when they register. They can also register through custom third-party arrangements you’ve already established with their employers. (These corporate partnerships are a great way to grow your business).
Either way, students see an easy to use shopping cart on their single-instance web login. This makes managing their learning profile simple and intuitive. (For you, and for them). Plus, any wait-lists are managed automatically. You have complete access to their historical data and easily program personalized reminders that keep them on track for their certificate attainment. You have one central record, so the historical data for any given student is always synchronized and up to date, making interactions with the school simple. Once a student graduates, this personal history makes it easy to suggest logical next steps to continue their education. In this way, you improve opportunities for students’ success in the workplace and world at large. The rising expectations of students (especially online) make all this critical. Differentiate your student experience from your competitors by making your registration process smarter.
Student Registration Systems Made Easier
Can peace of mind be purchased? The answer is yes. And all it requires is a simple investment in a more effective student registration system. It may sound daunting. But fear not. It’s actually quite easy.
If you’re having trouble balancing all of the student registration puzzle pieces, it isn’t too late. You can learn more about the ideal student registration system and how it fits in to your continuing education business plan. But you better do it quick.
The new semester is only around the corner. And the faster you invest in your student experience the bigger your move into the black will be. If (after reading this blog post) you feel your current student registration system is holding you back (which it probably is), this is your opportunity to join a privileged few.
Simply click here to schedule a virtual meeting. Our experts will provide free expertise on how you may want to streamline and improve your current student registration system.
PS – Keep in mind that student registration systems are but one part of the customizable student management solutions being used at leading post-secondary institutions today. Learn more about student information systems.
Note: This post is part of the continuing education software best practice blog series. Click here to read more about continuing education business best practice.
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Inside You Discover:
- Why Engaging Adult and Non-Traditional Continuing Education Students is Different
- Common Hurdles That Restrict Schools From Effectively Engaging Continuing Education Students
- Why Stand-Alone CRM and Registration Tools Fall Short of Student Engagement Best Practice