The student’s admission journey is a long-winding process that involves multiple conversations, document collection, tests, back-and-forth emails as well as multi-channel engagement. For the admissions officer to keep track, it is important to have an online-driven process.
In this scenario, it is not just enough to have a CRM. You need to create a transparent interaction between the counselor and the student. Here is when driving your admissions activities through an education portal proves advantageous for the university.
The online education portal allows both students and counselors to:
- Manage course applications
- Submit, collect, and verify supporting documents
- Share application status updates
- Make fee payments and generate offer letters
In this article, we highlight how a university can get started with an online portal, the features it should have, and how it has benefitted students, counselors, and admission managers.
But first, let’s share a few reasons for investing in a student portal –
Advantages of an Education Portal
Student admissions are predicted to grow at close to 13% CAGR till 2028 and grow to be a $2 billion industry. With universities increasing intakes year-on-year, the process of managing applications has become difficult.
The process has a lot of manual and repetitive steps that prove to be tiresome for counselors. This is why they need an online admissions portal.
1. Improved Student Experience
It not only provides students with a convenient method of application but also increases the number of target students a university can market to.
It allows the students to access information from anywhere and through any device. They can submit and track multiple applications. It enables them to ask for information and get it resolved in real-time.
2. Time and Cost-Effective for Universities
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of manual and repetitive tasks in the entire admissions process. By investing in a portal, the university not only saves counselors’ time but also reduces several manual interventions.
For example, while collecting supporting documentation–first, the counsellor will need to highlight the documents required, then send follow-up communication for collection
, and spend time manually verifying them.
An online portal can automate all these tasks.
3. Reduced Chance of Errors
A pen-and-paper-based approach paves the way for human errors whether it is data entry or tracking consistent follow-ups.
A robust portal helps the counsellors to efficiently manage and keep track of conversations, prioritize inquiries, and reduce response times.
4. Control Student Drop-offs
A education portal creates complete visibility of the activities of the applicant. Admission officers can intervene, update statuses, engage with helpful information, and ensure the students’ movement down the funnel.
This helps in reducing the drop-off rates and improves inquiry-to-application completion ratios. This also directly affects individual counsellor’s performance to meet set targets.
5. Real-time Monitoring and Reports
The portal empowers both the university and the students to monitor how their applications are going. Whether it is ensuring every inquiry is followed up or tracking if the student has passed the entrance test–all this data is readily available to each stakeholder.
Admission managers can track source-wise, team-wise, and channel-wise impact on enrolment in real-time.
Now that we know having an education portal is beneficial, let’s see how we can build one.
How to Get Started?
You can design online portals by either writing your own HTML code or using a drag-and-drop functionality offered by most education CRMs.
You can create custom and dynamic forms that help you collect all the necessary information from the applicant.
The online portal will help the student to:
- Share required information and upload documents
- Make payments for each course
- Track the progress of each application
For counselors, the portal enables them to:
- Prioritize inquiries
- Respond to queries in real-time
- Get notified on important tasks and follow-ups
It empowers the institution to:
- Set up automation for student engagement
- Capture and pre-fill information from their CRM/SIS
- Report on activities, funnel movement, and counselor performance
You can experience how LeadSquared’s Applicant Portal can help you improve your current admissions process by getting in touch with our team!
Key Features of an Education Portal
Here are some key features a portal should provide in order to impact your enrolment positively. These include the ability to integrate with other platforms, build automations, easy navigation, and be mobile-friendly.
1. Provide Seamless Integrations
A portal should have to ability to integrate with multiple platforms like chat or email, payment systems, and, most importantly, with your CRM or SIS to share accurate information with the student as well as the institute.
This will help you build a more robust admissions process that can empower both students and counselors in providing a great student experience.
2. Being Mobile-friendly
The user of the portal should have the flexibility to start or complete an application or update information across any device.
Having a mobile-friendly portal helps your counselors update activities and complete tasks on the go through a mobile CRM. For students, it gives them the flexibility to login and submit applications at any time.
3. Send Real-time Notifications
Once the counsellor is logged in to their portal, they should have an end-to-end view of their daily inquiries, get real-time updates on upcoming tasks, get notified on the activities a student undertakes, and the ability to communicate within the same platform.
This feature will help them to –
- Be more productive and efficient
- Not miss out on follow-ups
- Effectively engage with students
- Close queries faster
4. Document Collection and Verification
This is ideally one of the most important features that empowers a student to drive paperless admissions.
The portal should have the ability to accept multiple file formats, protect sensitive data, and verify the necessary information shared in the forms along with the documents submitted.
5. Custom Dashboards
An online portal should have the ability to replace your current processes and share insights on every milestone you set from inquiry to enrolment.
Right from automating status updates on each student to showcasing custom reports on attributes you choose, the portal should be able to deliver it. The custom dashboard should help counselors and internal team members navigate the platform with ease and share necessary information in a single view.
LeadSquared provides counselors with smart views that help them visualize the assigned leads, incomplete tasks, follow-ups, and more in a single-view screen.
Portals Helped St. Andrews Build a Student-Friendly Admissions Process
Here’s the story of St. Andrews University that shifted from a pen-and-paper-based admissions process to an online education portal. This helped achieve these results –
- Manage and track 2500 inquiries per day
- Improved counsellor efficiency
- 100% increase in team productivity
Moving to a portal helped us make our admissions process student-friendly. LeadSquared helped us focus more on how to approach and communicate with the aspirant. Inquiry capture, counselRohit Rana, Vice Chair, St. Andrews
lor calls, form filling, fee payment, interview, offer letter generation, collecting course fee, enrollment letter generation–everything is handled on LeadSquared.
He shared amazing insights on the impact and necessity of moving to an online admissions process.
[Read more: St Andrews Changes the Admissions Game]
Moving from the existing manual processes and shifting them online is not easy. The online portal should be able to replicate the steps of the entire admission process. Right from capturing the information and setting up automation
, to minimizing manual intervention–your online portal should be highly customizable.
LeadSquared’s Admission Portal not only helps in building processes online but also enables your team to engage with students through highly personalized campaigns. It truly is a game-changing platform for your counselors and students applying to your institute.