How to convert more Applicants into enrolled Students

    The Ultimate Guide To Admissions Management System

    In today's competitive education landscape, find the best admissions management tool to enhance recruitment, improve applicant experiences, and boost enrollment rates.
    Last updated:
    July 10, 2024

    In today's highly competitive higher education landscape, reliable and effective admissions management is a university's best friend in attracting and enrolling the best students.

    It streamlines and improves your student recruitment process, making life easier for applicants, your team, and anyone else involved in the process.

    But where do you start finding the best admissions management tool for you?

    This guide is designed to help you find the right tool to enhance your applicant experiences, and ultimately increase your enrollment rates. To make this as straightforward and easy to follow as possible, I've broken the guide down into five sections:

    • What is Admissions Management?
    • Why Every University Needs an Admissions Management System
    • The Benefits of Tracking Candidate Applications with an Admissions Software
    • Key Features of an Admissions System
    • Why you should use an Integrated Admissions and CRM Platform

    By the end of this article, you'll know everything you need to know to compare admissions management tools, and pick the right one for your university.

    Full Fabric brings your admissions and CRM together in one tool. Schedule a free demo to see how it can give your recruitment a boost.

    What is Admissions Management?

    Admissions management is how you oversee and optimise your recruiting and enrollment of students into your university. It includes a wide range of activities designed to attract, engage, and convert prospective students into engaged students and proud alumni.

    In such a competitive industry where universities are fighting for the attention of their ideal candidates, effective admissions management is a must have!

    Admissions management in the context of higher education refers to the processes and strategies used by colleges and universities to attract, evaluate, select, and enrol students. It encompasses a wide range of activities designed to manage the flow of prospective students from initial inquiry through to enrollment.

    The goal is to attract a diverse and talented student body that aligns with the institution's mission and goals, while also providing a positive and supportive experience for applicants throughout the process.

    Here's a quick summary of the core parts of admissions management:

    1. Student recruitment: Developing and implementing strategies to attract prospective students
    2. Application Processing: Handling the submission, review, and evaluation of student applications.
    3. Evaluation and selection: This is the process of assessing applicants to decide who is best suited for your university or course.
    4. Enrollment & Onboarding: Guiding students and staff through the necessary steps to officially enrol with the university.

    Why Every University Needs an Admissions Management System

    As you probably already know, there's a lot that goes into admission management. And like most things, technology provides some great solutions to these problems.

    In fact, an admissions management system is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for any university aiming to attract and enrol the best candidates.

    Here’s why every university needs an admissions management system:

    Efficiency and Value

    An admissions management system improves your entire recruitment process, saving you both time and money. By automating repetitive tasks like document collection, automated email notifications, application tracking and status updates, reviewer assignment, decision notifications, deposit processing and onboarding tasks, your admissions team can focus on more strategic activities.

    This not only enhances the admissions  experience for students but also reduces the administrative burden on your staff.

    Extra Value 

    It's not just the things we talked about before that these tools can help with. They come with a wide range of extra features that'll make your life easier, and make it easier to recruit the best students:

    • Status Portals: Providing applicants with an online portal to check the status of their application and see what documents are missing or have been received.
    • Personalized Communications: Use automation to tailor messages to the specific needs and interests of your applicants.
    • Application Screening: Screening applications for basic eligibility criteria, such as GPA or test scores, to filter out ineligible candidates.
    • Financial Aid and Scholarship management: Administering financial aid packages and scholarships to attract and support students, influencing their decision to enrol.
    • Onboarding: Assisting admitted students with the transition to college life, including orientation programs, housing arrangements, and academic advising.
    • Dashboard-Style Analytics: Offer real-time data on application progress, demographics, and engagement, so you can make data-driven decisions.

    Driving Forces

    There are several factors — outside of the efficiencies for the team and students — that drive the need for an admissions management system:

    • Increased Competition: More and more institutions (not to mention other providers that offer online training) are competing for a limited pool of students. So having an efficient system and a superior student experience will  give you a competitive edge.
    • Pressure to Improve Outcomes: Universities are under constant pressure to improve student results and satisfaction. An admissions management system helps you to identify and attract the right candidates who are most likely to succeed.
    • Need for Integration: Fragmented systems can lead to inefficiencies and silos. An integrated solution ensures that all aspects of the student recruitment, admissions and enrollment  processes work seamlessly together.

    Admissions and Beyond...

    An admissions management system is not just about getting students through the door. It can also play a crucial role in engaging your students in the long-run. From initial application to alumni relations.

    By keeping a comprehensive record of interactions between you and your students, you can continue to engage them throughout their academic journey and beyond.

    The Benefits of Tracking Applications with Admissions Software

    We've already talked about how admissions software gives you a comprehensive solution to improve the student experience from initial enquiry to enrollment and make your processes more efficient. But the benefits extend way beyond that.

    For a start it makes it easy to store all your admissions data in one place. Instead of juggling multiple spreadsheets and systems, you can store all your applicant information in one secure database. This streamlines your data management, reducing the risk of errors and making sure you're accurately tracking from initial contact to final decision.

    It also helps you to improve your communication with prospective students. You can track the entire communication history, as well as personalise your interactions to build stronger relationships and increase the likelihood of enrollment.

    The software's ability to segment your student database also makes it possible for targeting certain communications based on specific criteria, making your marketing efforts far more effective.

    Because these tools also provide detailed analytics on applicant conversion levels , they enable you to identify successful strategies and areas that need improvement. This data-driven approach means you can continuously improve your overall student recruitment  strategies.

    Cost efficiency is another significant benefit — by automating manual tasks you reduce the need for extensive administrative support. This not only cuts staff costs, but also frees up your staff to focus on strategic activities.

    Key Features of an Admissions System

    We've mentioned a lot of different features and uses for an admissions management tool, but in this section we're going to take a deeper dive into the key features to look out for:

    Online Application Portal: A user-friendly application portal is a website where students can check on their application, making the application process faster and easier for both students and universities.

    User-friendly portal

    Document Management: Manage all the applicant documents from one place, with secure storage, easy organisation, and quick retrieval of all application materials.

    Application tracking and workflow management: Your admissions system should provide a centralised system to monitor application progress, tracking each step one by one.

    Workflow management

    Application Evaluation and scoring: Handle submissions, review them, and evaluate applicants digitally, removing the reliance on manual processes

    Data Segmentation: Segment your database based on criteria like demographics, interests, and engagement levels to personalise your communications, increasing the chances of turning leads into applicants.

    Campaign Management and Comms:  Customizable email templates and automation tools to manage application status updates, reminders and important deadlines.

    Customizable aplication

    Offer management: Tools for managing and communicating admission decisions (acceptance, rejection, waitlisting).

    Financial Aid and Scholarship Management: Tools for managing financial aid applications and awards.

    Financial management: Including the possibility to process application and tuition fee online payments while creating customised student payment plans.

    Data Analytics and Reporting: Comprehensive dashboards and reporting tools to analyse application trends, demographics, yield rates, and other metrics.

    Clean dashboards

    Why You Should Use an Integrated Admissions and CRM Platform

    As we just covered, an admissions and enrollment management system by itself will provide a wide variety of benefits for both you and your students. But you can get even more benefits if you integrate it with your existing CRM platform or use an integrated admissions and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform like Full Fabric.

    By combining your admissions management with your CRM, you get a unified solution that will significantly improve your team's efficiency and effectiveness from the first student interaction through to the last.

    Holistic View of Prospective Students: An integrated system allows institutions to maintain comprehensive profiles for each prospective student, combining data from initial inquiries, application progress, interactions, and communications. This holistic view enables more personalised and targeted engagement strategies.

    Data-Driven Decision Making: By combining admissions data with CRM analytics, institutions can gain deeper insights into applicant behaviour, preferences, and trends. This data-driven approach helps in refining recruitment strategies, identifying the most effective communication channels, and making informed decisions to improve enrollment outcomes.

    Better Resource Management: With integrated data, institutions can better allocate resources and staff time. Insights from the CRM can identify which recruitment activities yield the best results, enabling more effective use of budgets and efforts.

    One of these benefits is the seamless flow of information between your departments. This reduces the risk of data silos even further, ensuring all team members have access to up-to-date information, which translates into better collaboration and decision-making.

    Additionally, the automation of routine tasks such as email communications, application tracking, and event management frees up staff to focus on more strategic activities, ultimately improving productivity.

    An integrated platform also enhances the student experience by providing personalised and timely communications. By combining your CRM and admissions data and analysing it, you can tailor your outreach to meet the specific needs and interests of your prospective students.

    This will not only increase the likelihood of conversion, but also the ability to track and analyse these engagement metrics means you can continuously refine your recruitment strategies for better outcomes.

    A Must-Have for Universities

    An effective admissions management system is essential if you're aiming to streamline your recruitment processes and enhance student engagement.

    By leveraging modern technology and integrated solutions, you can save time, reduce costs, and improve your overall applicant experience.

    Key features such as application and document management, data segmentation, evaluation and decision making workflows and personalised communications are crucial to increase your conversion levels and grow the number of quality students. And there are also huge benefits to integrating your admissions and CRM platforms to further improve the efficiency and collaboration during your admissions and recruiting processes.

    By embracing these tools you'll not only boost enrollment rates, but you'll also ensure long-term student success and satisfaction.


    How to Boost Admissions using Workflow Automation

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