Blog

Insights and Trends in Student Enrollment

Why K-12 Schools Should Manage Student Enrollment Online

Posted June 7, 2016

Why K-12 Schools Should Manage Student Enrollment Online Blog

Automating the School Enrollment Process – in the Name of Efficiency

With budgets under scrutiny more than ever, schools must work hard to minimize costs while still delivering the highest-quality education possible. The digital revolution is moving — quickly in some industries and slowly in others — in an effort to reduce costs and improve productivity. Our K-12 school system is one area of relatively slow growth in this digital revolution, due in large part to the massive number of students and the even larger number of files, forms, and documents that these students need. Most student-related documentation has traditionally been done with paper and pen, meaning that an enormous number of forms and documents need to be tracked and maintained during and after the enrollment process.

The process of school admissions and enrollment — including application, lotteries and assignments, and registration — is one of the most costly and time-consuming tasks that a school needs to conduct. Also, the admissions process is the first touchpoint a family has with the school they are applying to, and it’s important for schools to make a good first impression. For all of these reasons, school admissions and enrollment are great candidates for a transition to online management.

Managing the School Admissions Process Online

Poor planning by a school can lead to over- or under-enrolling, which leads to an eventual loss for the district. Last year, the Boston public school district overestimated the number of students who would be enrolling by almost 2,000, opening up dozens of new classrooms that won’t be needed or used. This mistake is projected to cost the district over $10 million, and adds to a number of similar mistakes in the past few years.

An online enrollment and management tool, such as SchoolMint, provides an efficient way to organize and manage school enrollment, saving time and money and enabling better planning. By conducting school registration online, the enrollment numbers can be tracked in real time, and compared against trends in numbers from previous years, or nearby schools, ensuring accurate projections of demand.

Benefits of Online Enrollment Management Systems

An online enrollment system can collect all the information into a central hub, making it easy to access and modify. Registration information is instantly added to the database without the need to enter the information into a registry by hand. This dramatically speeds up the registration process, frees up employees to do more useful tasks, and increases accuracy by cutting down on the number of data entry errors. Errors that could cause problems faced by the Boston school district — such as false addresses and students who have relocated — can be caught and immediately corrected.

Many charter and choice schools use a lottery and waitlist in their enrollment process, and with a paper-based system, this process is error-prone and high risk. A single error could mean that a student might not get into the school that would have significantly improved his or her life. An online lottery and waitlist management system can solve these problems using clear rules and priorities set to ensure that registration is fair. Comprehensive audits can be performed to check the process and understand the details.

By incorporating several months’ or years’ worth of data, a predictive tool can produce actionable insights that a district can use to plan out its enrollment goals and resource allocation. These data include reports on the number of applications submitted, inactive applications, and demographic information.

With streamlined and digitized school admissions, parents can become more involved and better understand the registration process. Helping parents understand this perspective will encourage parent-school communications even after students start attending school, keeping them involved in their children’s education. Parent-school communication is one of the most important benefits of such a system, because the more involved the parents are, the better students perform in school. Schools can quickly and easily send families an email or text message, allowing them to respond immediately. For those hard-to-reach or inactive families, a list can be generated that would allow officials to personally reach out for formal communications, fostering an engaging communication process for all.

INTERESTED TO LEARN MORE? Contact us or visit our webinars here. Our platform can assist schools with mobile and online enrollment, student registration, managing lotteries, managing waitlists, communications, and more. Enrollment data can be conveniently integrated with your Student Information System. In addition, SchoolMint is a powerful communications tool that helps schools and parents stay in touch beyond enrollment, and highlights the relevance and usefulness of using an online registration platform within the school setting.

Application and Lottery
Data and Evaluation
Diversity and Inclusion
Enrollment Management
Outreach and Engagement
School Choice

Oakland USD: Promoting Equity and Access for Families with the Help of Technology

With school options in Oakland expanding beyond neighborhood and even district schools, the school market has become more complex and competition for schools has intensified. View this blog and download a copy of a presentation given by Charles Wilson, the Executive Director of Enrollment and Portfolio Management at OUSD, during which he shares the steps that they have taken to promote equity and provide better access to high-quality school information for their community through the use of tools and systems for parents and staff.
READ MORE
December 18, 2017
Application and Lottery
Data and Evaluation
Enrollment Management
Outreach and Engagement
School Choice

Infographic: 6 Tips to Optimize Your Enrollment Flow

As families have a growing number of school options to choose from, the stakes associated with student enrollment are increasing. View our infographic for tips on how to optimize your student enrollment process to expand equity and access within your community and increase operational efficiency.
READ MORE
December 11, 2017
Diversity and Inclusion
Outreach and Engagement
School Choice
Unifying Enrollment

Making School Choice Transparent and Accessible with School Finder

At SchoolMint, we believe that every family should have access to transparent and accurate information about their child’s education. We launched the School Finder in 2015 to help families navigate the school choice process and improve communication across districts, schools, and communities. Read our interview with Victoria Pacchiana-Rojas, Product Manager for the School Finder, to learn more.
READ MORE
November 14, 2017
Application and Lottery
Data and Evaluation
Enrollment Management
School Choice

Ready for a More Efficient District Application Process?

In today's world of open enrollment and school choice, many K-12 district administrators are managing growing piles of applications for intra- and inter-district transfers, magnet school programs, charter schools, or other choice programs. Watch this video blog to learn how SchoolMint's strategic enrollment management solution can deliver a more efficient application experience for both administrators and families.
READ MORE
November 8, 2017
Application and Lottery
Data and Evaluation
Enrollment Management
Outreach and Engagement

Real-Time Reporting to Transform Your Student Enrollment Process

Automating the K-12 student enrollment process can dramatically improve school systems' access to real-time data. But how can administrators make the most of the volumes of data at their fingertips? Watch this video blog to learn how SchoolMint's reporting tools can reduce manual work for enrollment staff, improve the integrity of your student data, and generate insights to inform your enrollment strategy and decisions.
READ MORE
November 3, 2017