If you have a paper-based registration process at your school, district, or charter management organization, you likely already know all too well how time-consuming and inefficient it can be. Not only is it unnecessarily complicated and frustrating to manage, a paper-based registration process also hides the valuable insight you need in order to make timely decisions about enrollment in your school system. By taking advantage of the efficiencies that an online enrollment and registration process offers, your school system can save time and money that will be better invested in students’ education. Here are some key benefits that an online school registration process can give your district or network, your schools, and the parents you serve.
Get Complete, Accurate Student Registration Packets
If you’re currently using a paper-based student registration process, you might receive a registration packet from a family that is illegible, incomplete, or missing key supporting documents. This means that you have to have to play phone tag with the parents to get the rest of the information, or, worse, the parents themselves have to take another day off work to bring you those materials in person. With an online student registration process, you can require that parents complete certain fields before submitting their packet and you can always know which parents completed the packet and which parents still have additional information to submit (and know exactly which pieces of information or forms are missing!) You can also set up forms to standardize input throughout the year, ensuring that the information you receive has gone through data verification processes and is legible and easy to interpret, manage, and report on. Online and mobile enrollment and registration can make parents’ lives easier as well: SchoolMint, for example, offers an “autofill” feature that spares parents from having to fill out the same information again and again during registration.
Track the Student Registration Process with Insight and Ease
Information is power, so the saying goes. In terms of registration numbers, data is power. With a paper-based system, it’s impossible to know at a glance how your registration numbers are shaping up across the school system. An online enrollment and registration system can allow you to understand this in real time. Intuitive data visualizations show you how many students you have in each registration status and allow you to always know how many students are signed up as registration rolls on. Need to make teacher assignment changes due to unexpected registration numbers? With online enrollment and registration, you’ll have access to this important data. This helps you proactively plan how to distribute teachers and resources to match the emerging demand.
Access Registration Information from Anywhere
An online enrollment and registration system makes it easy to access the information you need from wherever you are. Administrators and teachers no longer have to be at the school in order to look up records or check how registration is coming along. If you’re at a conference, working from home, or on vacation, you can still access the right data needed to make timely decisions involving student registration. And, since parents have the ability to independently check on the status of their child’s application using a mobile app, they can enjoy a greater level of insight into and comfort with the overall enrollment process.
Streamline Your Lottery and Waitlist Processes
If you run a lottery or a waitlist, you can also automatically manage it from within an online enrollment and registration system. You can organize it as needed — by school system boundaries, zone, lottery, school match and many other ways. You can also factor in parents’ school choice preferences. Whereas before, schools might have run lotteries in a somewhat haphazard way, pulling bingo balls or names out of a hat, given the importance of the process, a trustworthy system is critical. The exchange of information between the lottery and waitlist management should also be seamless. An online platform allows for this, ensuring that these processes are managed as efficiently as possible. By providing parents with access to updates via the mobile app, you can ensure that your lottery and waitlist are handled transparently, giving parents more confidence and trust in these processes.
Sync Student Registration Data with Your SIS
An online enrollment and registration system allows you to sync registration data with an SIS. This greatly reduces the likelihood of data entry errors that could result in incorrect reporting or problems with a student record. Gone are the days when you had to manually enter all the data from your paper registration packets into your SIS. Syncing the two systems saves you time and money, giving you the peace of mind that your student data is both up-to-date and correct.
Make Payment Easy and Convenient
An online enrollment and registration system can also ease the burden of accepting, managing, and tracking payment for fees and other charges. If your schools have registration fees, for example, you can automatically accept payment for them online using a variety of convenient payment methods. This eliminates the need for staff to spend time processing payment either via checks or over the phone. This makes parents’ lives easier as well, as they can send payment without having to wonder whether or not it was received.
Gain Valuable Insight into Your Registration Process
Having timely access to registration data gives you the insight needed to make timely decisions about your school system’s registration process, nimbly making adjustments during the process or later on as you discover trends in how registration is developing. In the SchoolMint system, administrators can view several different types of reports on demand, including application numbers, duplicate applications, sibling applicants, inactive applications, family demographics, registration tracking and more. Predictive analytics can help you anticipate and strategically plan for future registration trends.
By leveraging the advantages that an online enrollment and registration process offers, you can make timely, smart decisions to continually strengthen and improve registration outcomes. Building a better, more efficient registration process will also ultimately allow your school system to focus its time and expertise on what matters most: delivering a quality education to your students.