Does your school or university rely on forms to keep on track with all the mandated paperwork?
As this school year winds down for students, thousands of high school and university graduates march across stages to “Pomp and Circumstance.” As these young adults graduate, and younger students head off to enjoy lazy, hot summer afternoons, the real work begins for school administrators.
The summertime is when the school administration staff must complete some of their most challenging tasks. The behind-the-scenes tasks they must accomplish are many. They face hiring staff and onboarding students for the upcoming school year, processing new student applications, finding more effective ways to administer testing. All of these must be completed in a relatively short time frame.
If the picture I painted sounds like your school or university, your programs would undoubtedly benefit from the addition of online forms.
EmailMeForm Understands the Needs of Schools and Universities
At EmailMeForm, we consider ourselves expert in meeting the online form needs of schools and universities. We count dozens of schools and universities from small to large among our list of clients.
We have a library of form templates for schools. And, we offer school officials the opportunity to build customized forms with ease and with an eye on form security. And, security is, indeed, a key word in that last sentence.
You cannot afford to sacrifice the data security of your students for the convenience of online forms— you must have both!
According to a startling recent headline in the Washington Post, school admissions data has become a prime target for hackers. The article shares an ordeal in which applicants at three private universities in the United States had their school application files hacked. The hackers held the applicants’ data for ransoms ranging from $60 to $3,800 each.
Let’s take a look at five EmailMeForms that can help your school or university reach their enrollment and staffing goals—and keep student data stored away securely.
1 - School Application Form
The best universities and schools receive hundreds—or even thousands— of school application forms every year. Online application forms have become the highest standard.
If your school is clinging to a paper student application form, you are likely facing stacks of exhausting paperwork to process.
Instead, consider converting to a paperless application system that integrates with tools to simplify the review and student acceptance process.
Example of how a paperless student application form is more productive
A small private high school is considered the best college prep school in the state. They have only a small number of seats open for the upcoming school year but have received hundreds of paper school application forms.
The school only has two workers in the admissions office, and they are overtaxed. They must carefully weigh the merits of each applicant, narrow down a shortlist, and notify all students of their decision.
But, if they convert this labor-intensive process to a more efficient one with the help of online forms with EmailMeForm, they can read applications online (keeping the stacks of papers under control!).
As they work, they can export data to a spreadsheet and find student data easily. Finally, they can connect EmailMeForm to MailChimp or Constant Contact, work with segmented lists, and notify all students of their status.
2 - Student Onboarding Form
Another necessary process that occurs at schools each summer is collecting student onboarding data. Instead of requiring parents to come into the school to bring in paperwork, free up precious time for them and your staff by enabling them to submit student onboarding forms (also called enrollment forms) online.
Worried about how you’ll be able to grab a photocopy of the students’ proof of residency or other records? That’s not a problem, as you can add a file upload button. This convenience allows parents to scan and upload all documentation at their convenience.
Example of how a student enrollment forms work
Let’s use our private high school in our previous example again. Meet, Sally, a fantastic student who was fortunate enough to be accepted into this prestigious college preparatory program. She’s excited to start school next year, but her Mom works long hours and hasn’t been able to get her paperwork over to the school.
Sally’s mother called the school and learned that she could scan Sally’s immunization and school records onto her computer’s hard drive and send the files to the school through an easy-to-complete form. She completed the paperwork after work one evening; now Sally can enjoy her summer vacation.
The school administrative staff can store Sally’s records digitally and eliminate the need to waste time and space creating paper files. Additionally, they can add her mother’s email address to their newsletter so that she’s aware of all the vital upcoming dates.
3 - Class Registration Forms
Schools and universities put a lot of time, money, and energy into developing quality courses that help their students succeed while also meeting state educational mandates. It’s a tricky balancing act which requires great diligence.
Once courses are approved, it’s time to fill those seats!
Class registration forms can help automate the task of
scheduling students and assigning instructors.
What was once a daunting task for school registrars is streamlined with online forms.
Example of how class registration forms work on your behalf
Sally is excited to start the next school year, and her mother receives a newsletter from the school explaining how to register online for classes. She knows that the school will automatically place her in Geometry, English, Spanish, and Chemistry.
However, she must choose her two electives. She follows the link to the class registration form that was sent in the newsletter and picks her two first choices of elective coursework and two back-up classes in case those slots fill.
The registration office finds that they waste less time calling and emailing students to find out what their alternative choices are for electives after the most popular courses are full. And, they can electronically work with class data and ensure that they don’t over-enroll the classrooms.
4 - HR Forms
Not only are the admissions staff working hard during the summer, but the human resources team members are selecting the best-qualified teachers and staff. They have a short window of time—from the end of the school year until teacher orientation—which is usually two weeks before the students report.
Paper applications are cumbersome, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. And, they are filled with lots of sensitive information.
Converting to streamlined online forms can assist HR staff in focusing on
hiring the best teachers instead of shuffling papers and filing.
Example of how HR forms work for your school or university
A small private college has an open position for a music instructor. They post the job online and accept online applications.
Applicants apply and are required to upload copies of their credentials. Much like the student application process, HR staff can export data and send emails out to disqualified applicants.
Once they have hired the instructor, the successful candidate can complete onboarding forms. Upon completion of the onboarding forms, an automated message sends out congratulating the new instructor and welcoming him or her to the team.
During onboarding, the instructor also used his mouse to digitally sign off on his HR manuals that outlined all university protocol and procedures. The instructor dust off his trombone and get to work creating lesson plans with a focus on student success.
5 - Payment Forms
All schools—private or public—need to collect payments from parents or students at one time or another.
Private schools and universities charge application fees, tuition fees, student activity fees, among other incidentals. Even public schools need to collect payments for school pictures, field trips, caps and gowns for graduations, and yearbooks.
Because you need to collect payments, you can be productive by collecting credit card payments instead of preferring cash or check. If you make it easier for students and parents to pay, you will receive funds quicker— and that’s always a bonus when you consider tight school budgets!
An example of how payment forms help you collect fees faster
During the summer, Sally’s new school emailed her mother a tuition invoice. They assured her that they were using a secure payment method, so she was confident that her card data was safe.
Still hesitant, Sally’s mother checks for the little lock icon to see if the school’s payment form is secure. Convinced now that it’s a legitimate payment method, she enters her debit card and completes the payment.
The school receives the money and posts it to Sally’s student account the next day. They connect the secure credit card form to their QuickBooks account, and now the accounting is a breeze. And, the auditors are happy because they are using payment forms that are PCI-certified and credit card data is stored securely in the EmailMeForm Vault.
A Final Note: Why EmailMeForm is the Most Secure Online Form Option
We know there are dozens of form builders on the internet. Remember that just as some schools outperform others, some form companies excel over other ones.
EmailMeForm is a PCI-certified form company. We pass the strictest security protocols. And, you don’t need to take us at our word on this. We’ve passed an independent audit that backs up our claim.
Additionally, you will have the added protection of storing payment data in the EmailMeForm Vault—safe and sound from the chaos caused by hackers. Now, that makes you a smart school administrator.