Online Registration: Seven Things School Staffs Need to Know

Taking student registrations and re-enrollments online can significantly reduce the time and expense of the process – but only if you’re using the right software.

1. Clean, accurate data is essential.

Manual data collection and entry into the student information system breeds inaccuracies. This is a significant problem—and one of the primary business cases for implementing an online registration system. The primary goal of the process is, after all, to input clean and complete data into the SIS. Clean data drives both funding and internal accounting.

Top online registration tools have the flexibility to collect data in pieces through defined capture elements. Such solutions contain data masks and database lookups to provide consistency of entries.

2. Timely SIS integration eases workloads.

Batch uploads to the SIS should be avoided. They incur hours of work preparing files for upload and leave the school with timing gaps for enrolling students.

Look for a solution that enables immediate data flow from registration software to the SIS. This allows student schedules to be created immediately upon registrar review, ensuring that enrollment counts are up to date at all times.

3. Paperless workflow should mirror internal business rules and processes.

In many cases, data collected during the registration process is not held in the SIS; the workflow must accommodate the flow of this information.

In order to provide rapid return on investment, an online registration tool must complement, improve and automate internal workflow. This ensures all staff members receive necessary alerts and information (ESL surveys for example) in a timely consistent manner.

4. The paperless process must be truly paperless.

The dirty little secret of some “paperless” solutions is that they don’t take all of the paper out of the registration process. Before investing in an online registration and re-enrollment solution, you should answer the following questions:

  • Are ALL documents electronic?
  • How will you copy and maintain supporting documents?
  • Are you still placing phone calls to follow up on missing documents months after registration?

5. Systems scan hard copies differently.

The document scanning process should be integrated with your registration software to ensure an efficient workflow. Make sure your online registration solution adds indexing to documents in an automated fashion, guaranteeing easy access to information over time.

Security on documents is another consideration. The process should be automated to ensure that human error does not expose the school district to legal liability.

6. Digitized storage of registration documents keeps legal issues from arising.

How long is your state’s retention requirement? Think about long-term storage of documents. If they’re stored on paper, you may ultimately require backfile scanning services, which can cost the district 14 cents per page – or more.

Top online registration solutions solve the storage problem and offer the long-term guarantee of legal authenticity for all data and documents.

7. Signature security requirements vary.

Digital signatures – like those signed when making a credit card purchase – create an obvious link between the signer and the signature itself. Typically, identification of the signer takes place at the time of the digital signature. If your online registration system uses electronic signatures, be sure it has the necessary feature set to ensure the legalities required for this signature are valid.

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