Changes in college admissions and enrollment over the past few years have been fast and furious—not even counting all the upheaval of operating during a global pandemic. And changes in the capabilities of software and cloud systems to make recruiting and enrolling students easier are set to continue apace. As the technology improves, there are so many ways that enrollment professionals can leverage not just the information that they collect on prospects and enrolling students but insights that exist in other parts of the university. Tracking students from recruitment to graduation benefits students, faculty, and staff in all departments. Increasingly, schools are leveraging technology to envelope the student experience.

Knowledge is power, and insights from data collected at different stages of the student journey can be particularly valuable for admissions and recruiting. With the looming enrollment cliff and the steady decline of college students nationwide, finding the right students for your university requires you to think more deeply about student success and get creative with recruitment. Tapping into information outside of the admissions office can help you see what it takes for students to succeed at your school and gives you clues on how to nurture applicants through the process for a higher enrollment yield.

Benefits of Data Integration Across the Campus

Although your IT department has hard work to integrate the various systems on campus, if you know the possible benefits of data from other departments, you can request access to the data. Here are some of the potential uses for data from elsewhere on campus:

  • Tracking enrolled students through the years can provide information about the majors students choose, the successes and hurdles they face, and the characteristics of students who persist or drop out. This gives you insight into the varied student personas you may want to target with your marketing efforts.
  • Enhanced access to data can support better decision-making with limited budgets for recruitment. The ability to analyze data from prospects, enrolled students, and alumni interactions can help you better plan your efforts to target new students.
  • Orientation and student supports are better handled when you can hand off enrollees to the departments and staff they need for success, whether it’s tutoring, athletics, or residential services.
  • Communication with financial aid and the bursar’s office is smoother and more accessible when everyone can access the same student data. If prospective students have problems with financial and payment activities, admissions can continue communication to ensure students successfully enroll.
  • Real-time data that gives you immediate insight into student journeys and demographics. You can do more with your budget if you have current information that can help you compete in a crowded higher education space.
  • Better collaboration between marketing, enrollment, academics, student services, residence and dining, and alumni relations improves the student experience. The days of the siloed university are behind us, and communication and collaboration give schools the best chances for success in a challenging enrollment climate.
  • Improved applicant and student experience can increase student satisfaction and enhance your reputation. Increasing student and alumni engagement can improve outcomes, assist fundraising, and promote a positive campus environment.

The Future of Technology and Higher Education

Continuing to integrate college information silos into a smoothly functioning ecosystem will have benefits for all stakeholders. Not only will student learning be improved with better use of technology in higher education, but they will be better prepared for their future careers in a digitally connected world. Colleges are using virtual reality in the classroom and could begin using it in the recruitment and application process. Some schools are already using AI tools in admissions, though with some caution. Technology can’t replace the decision-making and communication from staff and faculty, but it can enhance and automate parts of the process to give humans more time to consider applications, work with students, and leave the busywork to computers.

An integrated campus will provide admissions personnel with better information to target potential students, support students through application and enrollment, and give all departments insights into the incoming students to serve them better. A deeper understanding of students at your institution will help you open the pipeline wider to bring in a robust class of new students to fill seats in your college’s programs, whether online or on campus, undergraduate or graduate, and with a variety of students who can succeed at your institution.

For ideas on leveraging your connections to the rest of the school , feel free to reach out to us.