YAY! School is out—we're coming for you, summer vacation!
Oh, wait just a minute... Are you part of the school’s admissions team? Hmm…well, rather than hitting the beaches, you're probably gearing up to kick-off next year’s admissions season. Don’t fret—it doesn’t have to be that way this year. Because we believe everyone deserves a summer vacation, we want to make sure you're aware of these time-saving onBoard enrollment management tips to help you prepare for the upcoming season and soak up some summer fun!
Effective and relevant communication with prospective families is critical during their evaluation process. Do you have a strategy in place for what you'll communicate to prospective families and when? When an inquiry is received, do you have the next steps ready to begin engaging and fostering a relationship with the candidate's family? Having a consistent strategy in place allows you to operate more efficiently as well as measure the results, so you'll know what is effective while also identifying opportunities for improvement.
Checklists contain all the steps that must be completed during the admissions process. Make sure to review your checklist items and make any necessary adjustments. If you have different checklists for different divisions, international, day vs. boarding, etc., take a few moments to ensure they reflect the steps for the upcoming year’s admissions process.
Make sure your dates are accurate for milestone events in the checklist and have communication ready to go for reaching out to applicants with missing checklist items. Don’t forget to save time by bulk-completing items for a group of candidates rather than checking off individual records one at a time.
Be sure to take advantage of the new Admissions Scheduling features to streamline your workflow. onBoard admission managers and their staff can now view a calendar with candidate visit and interview information, as well as general school events and athletic schedules, allowing you to strategically plan school visits with areas of interests for candidates.
Best of all, you can also take the scheduling component off your to-do list and enable the Self-Scheduling functionality for prospective families. Parents using the new Self-Scheduling feature will see “Schedule an interview” and/or “Schedule a visit” appear as a step on the Admissions Checklist. Once selected, they can add details such as the type of visit/interview and the accompanying adult. Upon submission, you confirm the request and secure the appointment.
Get the information you want by utilizing our Basic and SKY Lists. Don’t spend time digging through candidate records and data to create spreadsheet reports. Instead, use the Work List task to search for candidates by specified criteria. Using Work Lists to segment allows you to quickly identify candidates applying for a particular grade. Or, create a work list to view all candidates who have or have not submitted the online application, and refer to your communication strategy to quickly communicate appropriately. You can save even more time by sending bulk Official Notes directly from any Basic List you create!
With SKY Reporting, you can—at a glance—assess your Admissions Office’s overall performance and effectiveness. You’ll find these reports, which include customizable graphs and charts, under Analyze within onBoard. You can quickly access and analyze Candidate data through a funnel graph that shows the total number of admission entries broken down by current status.
The Conversion Rates report shows the conversion rate from each status in the admission process to the next. The Admissions Over Time report shows the number of inquiries, applicants, completed applications, and decision values that took place based on specific school years. The Decisions bar graph breaks down the total number of candidate applications by school decisions versus candidate decisions. And finally, the Top Competitors SKY report shows the top ten schools that applicants were accepted to through the submission process, but ultimately declined to enroll; allowing for quick insight on where to focus your recruitment efforts for the coming season.
Smart Tuition Integration
Are your Smart Tuition and onBoard enrollment contracts integrated? By doing so, your school will save valuable time by only setting up tuition payment plans, fees, and payment methods once. Enrollment data will seamlessly flow from onBoard to Smart Tuition system, so there's no need to update other systems.
While you are saving time, families will have the tools they need to agree to enrollment and re-enrollment terms, select a tuition payment plan, confirm or update a billing address, choose a payment method, and submit deposits and fees.
You might need to spend a little more time now getting all of these features set up before you can hit the beach, but the time-saving benefits will last throughout admissions season and for years to come.
About the Author
Kathleen is a Customer Success Manager for the K-12 School Solutions Team and is based in Charleston, SC. She has been at Blackbaud since 2002 and a member of the K-12 Team for over 14 years. Not only does Kathleen work daily with Independent schools, but she can also personally identify with our K-12 Community as an alumna, current parent, and school board president. Kathleen enjoys sharing her passion for education with our customers and loves having the opportunity to help them succeed at using our solutions to obtain their unique goals.More Content by Kathleen Reardon