New year, new semester: 4 ways to digitize administrative tasks

The start of the new semester can mean only one thing: stacks of paperwork across every administrator’s desk on campus. In an age of increasingly tight budgets, schools must adopt new policies to save money on administrative tasks so more of their dollars can go to student education. Through workflow automation of four key areas, school districts, colleges and universities can eliminate clutter, speed up their administrative processes and save money on labor and resources.

 

Admissions Applications

 

Even with the availability of simple online applications, some schools still request paper forms from their prospective students. Not only are these forms a headache to process, but key pieces of the applications are easily lost when documents are shuffled from one person to another. Through the use of form building software, schools can create a streamlined application for prospective students that updates immediately for anyone involved in the decision-making process. Applicants have peace of mind knowing their forms didn’t get lost in the mail, and administrators don’t have to worry about misplacing forms or having an application sent to the wrong department.

 

Financial Aid

 

Rising college costs mean more students need financial aid than ever before. FAFSA forms, award letters and scholarship applications take weeks to sort, with students constantly on edge, worrying about their aid. Online forms on the school’s website give students quick and easy access to all of their financial aid information and allow them to follow their applications’ progress through the system. For administrators, the adoption of digitized forms means a faster turnaround on financial aid decisions.

 

Change of Major

 

Students sometimes change majors on a whim, and each time they do, administrators must file an official form with at least two different departments. Getting approval from the new department chair or adviser might take days, and if the request comes right before a new registration period, the student can miss out on important classes. By using form building software to create a uniform change-of-major request form, administrators ensure that these types of requests are handled in a timely manner. A procedure that used to take hours, or even days, becomes painless and easily accomplished in minutes.

 

Staff Reimbursements

 

There are few things that faculty and staff hate more than spending money out of their own pockets and then waiting weeks to get their money back. The paper filing system requires them to jump through so many hoops that it’s almost not worth making the request. Digitizing the process accelerates the rate of reimbursement so members of the faculty don’t feel like they are being cheated. Additionally, digitized forms generate detailed reports that allow administrators to track reimbursements more effectively, giving them the tools to assess which staff members might be abusing the system and how to better allocate funds to avoid reimbursement requests in the future.

 

Too much paperwork keeps administrators from improving the student experience and offering the best education possible. An investment in workflow software eases the burden on students, faculty and administrators, while saving time, money and resources.

 

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