Student girl writing down notes

Don’t allow admissions practices to break student confidentiality – or your budget

by ​Ben Ruch

In recent years, the ease and efficiency of the admissions process has made great strides, thanks in large part to widespread adoption of key technologies and platforms.

That streamlining has coincided with – and, in large part, fostered – a time where higher education institutions are receiving applications in greater numbers than ever before. While these technological advancements have made managing and processing these large volumes of applications easier for colleges, is enough being done to secure them? And is adoption of secure, streamlined processes sufficiently widespread on campuses across the country?

A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Ricoh found that Americans are considering what technology a university utilizes when making application decisions. In the Poll, 93% of Americans said they expect colleges and universities to use the latest technologies in the administrative process. Added to this, 81% said that their opinion of a school improves when they know that it uses the latest technology.¹

As more students continue to apply to universities, and each student applies to more universities, the competition among universities for top students is fierce. In fact, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s latest State of College Admission report, the percentage of students applying to seven or more schools jumped from 16 percent in 2003 to 32 percent in 2013, and more than 70 percent of colleges saw yearly increases in application volume for 10 of the past 15 years.² Schools realize this and know that one way they can stand out is through its technological capabilities.

Additionally, inefficient admissions processes can be a substantial cost-sink for universities, as time, money and productivity are lost struggling to manage huge volumes of information that are often spread across multiple formats and sources, such as mail, fax, email and online forms. Manually working to ensure that information is carefully tracked throughout workflows – to help protect sensitive information as well as to avoid misfiling errors – can be incredibly time-consuming and, at times, ineffective.

These dual needs – for administrators to efficiently and effectively handle admissions documents, and for students to receive prompt answers and know their information is secure – are driving many institutions of higher education to pursue automation in admissions. This pursuit comes at a time when schools are projected to spend $6.6 billion on IT upgrades in a year, potentially presenting both the means and opportunity for many institutions to make the jump to automation.

In our latest trend report, we discuss how institutions can streamline and secure admissions and records management processes. Through improved efficiencies, universities can begin to realize savings, while also implementing information-securing best practices to help ensure student information is kept safe. This report includes, in addition to insights on key trends, proven best practices based on case studies where institutions chose to improve the technology and processes around admissions and saw positive results.

Trend report

Streamlining information flow to improve admissions processes

  1. 1. Ricoh-Harris poll 2015.
  2. 2. NACANet. State of College Admission Report. 2015

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