How Smart are Your School’s Enrollment Contracts?

December 13, 2017 Jackie Christensen

Last year, Blackbaud released an essential integration between onBoard Contracts and Smart Tuition that simplifies two crucial processes for your families: Accepting enrollment contracts and getting online tuition payment plans set up.

“The Smart integration has been fantastic,” said Rabbi Yitzchak Feiglin, Director of Operations at Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles. “We have more families than ever enrolled in an online payment plan, and the majority of them took care of it much quicker than usual.”

“Fantastic” and “quicker” are two words we love to hear because the goal was to create efficiencies and improve the overall experience for families and the school’s business office alike. Valley Torah was one of 60 schools to utilize the initial integration, and through the 30,000 integrated contracts processed last year, we gathered intelligence and made further improvements ahead of this year’s contracts season.

We hope “further improvements” are two words you’ll love to hear. Take a look at some of the great new features we’ve released this fall:

eSignature Improvements

Schools using either onBoard-only Contracts OR onBoard Contracts with Smart Tuition will have two new eSignature options this season. You can now add an eSignature acknowledgement that signers must accept before proceeding to the contract. This message is fully customizable by the school. The second feature is the ability to require signers to acknowledge that they’ve read a specific section of the contract by adding their signature or initials.

Smart Tuition Payer Workflow Improvements

Additional validation measures have been added to keep parents from inadvertently creating a separate Smart Tuition account from their spouse or multiple accounts per child. If a payer tries to split accounts, new “Are you sure?” language will provide an opportunity to back out.

Support for Smart Tuition Fees

Smart Tuition Fees fees can now display in enrollment contracts through the onBoard Contract Builder. The benefit of entering tuition fees within Smart as a billing item instead of standard tuition is that you’ll be able to track revenue by student demographics rather than lumping all tuition info into one general ledger account.

In School Payments for Deposits

While families love the convenience of paying electronically, we’ve learned that schools still want a way to handle offline deposits via cash or check payments. Both onBoard-only and Smart-enabled contracts now offer an in-school payment choice as well as a workflow for handling offline payments in the Contract Process Center.

Additional Details on the Contract Tab for Admins

The admin view on the Contract tab of student records now provides heaps of helpful information such as Smart Family ID, tuition, fees, enrollment fees, deposit amount, and split account details.

More Options when Assigning Contracts

We’re also adding search options on the Manage Contracts task to provide better querying functionality when targeting families who need to be assigned to a particular contract.

The new search fields include:

  • Boarding/Day
  • School Program
  • International
  • Community Connection
  • Checklist
  • School Decision
  • Candidate Decision

Huge shoutout and thanks to all of our first-year adopter schools for providing the feedback that helps us continue to deliver great value!

About the Author

Jackie Christensen

As a Senior Product Manager, Jackie Christensen has been a member of Blackbaud K-12's product development team since the inception of the ON products. In fact, she was on site with the first school to launch onCampus and onRecord. She has loved the journey of working with schools and our UX and technical team to bring ideas to life with each release iteration. Jackie lives in NH with her husband Mark and 3 boys. Depending on the season, you’ll either find them at the lake or skiing.

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