You may have heard of schools using a student portal app to connect with students and boost recruitment efforts. You may have even heard of which features to look for when considering a student application portal for schools. However, you may not be sure why this tool would be an essential part of your school’s toolkit in the first place.
With a student application portal, you can streamline the student booking experience and boost your team’s productivity. It can be invaluable in helping you communicate with your prospects and reach your student recruitment goals. Here’s an in-depth look at the key reasons you should consider an application portal for your school!
1. Reach and Support Your Prospects More Effectively With a Student Portal
Higher education portal software is meant to serve prospects and help them navigate the application process more efficiently. Providing support in this stage is essential for schools, and it can even help schools achieve better results for student recruitment.
Student portals allow schools to streamline their admissions workflow. Portal features facilitate key management processes for schools and provide students with positive experiences that boost brand loyalty.
You want a tool that makes it easy for prospects to act on their interest and apply to your school. That’s where the student portal comes in. It can remove potential barriers, like having a long and complicated application process, and allow you to better reach and support your prospects.
By pairing it with a Student Information System (SIS), you can better serve your prospects while improving your team’s management workflow. Not only would your school be able to manage student records and classroom schedules more easily with the SIS, but it would also benefit from the student portal’s quick and simple account creation process. This can increase application submissions and lead to a more positive student experience.
Example: Using HEM’s proprietary Student Portal, prospects can create accounts, easily start their application, and save their progress before submitting—all online without contacting your admissions team for external support. Various account types can be created, including ones for parents and agents as well as students, to enable the management of multiple applications.
Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like in the HEM Student Portal. By navigating to the “Applications” section of the School Settings Menu, you can access and add different contact types:
This is important for your school because it allows you to cater directly to prospects at different stages of the enrollment journey. It enables you to support them better as they become more familiar with your school.
Boost Student Loyalty by Relying on a Student Portal App’s Good User Interface and Experience
A good student portal user interface is vital for creating a positive user experience (UX) for students and can fuel results for schools. Good UX design can help your school build trust with prospects and delight them as they approach the decision stage of the student enrollment journey. If your student portal app is well-structured with easy navigation and consistent branding, that might help prompt prospects to return to your school—ultimately streamlining admissions efforts.
Part of this means adopting a student portal that can be supported on multiple mobile devices and provide value to prospects. Research shows that, on average, students connect two devices to a campus Wi-Fi network, and three-quarters of these students choose their laptop and smartphone to do so. This shows how valuable mobile devices can be in student recruitment, particularly when attracting this target audience.
By presenting prospects with a well-designed and structured student portal that functions correctly on a mobile device in addition to a laptop or desktop, you can spotlight your school in a more modern light and showcase how much you value providing a positive experience to prospects using your digital tools.
2. Provide Students With Better Communication and Access to Key Information All in One Place
Schools need student portal software because it significantly improves how your team communicates and interacts with its prospects. You can use it to provide your prospects with all the information they may need to choose your school, all while using a centralized platform. This makes it easy for them to learn about their options, dive deeper into your programs, and complete their application to study at your school.
Through this process, your student portal can transform into a lead nurturing tool, helping you boost enrollment numbers. By providing information about your program offerings within your student portal, you can decrease the chances of prospects needing to pause and look up information outside the application form. This, in turn, delights prospects further and can help turn them into higher-quality leads. The more information they find within the portal, the higher the chances they will complete the form more quickly.
The same applies when students want information that will alter their final decision to study at your school. This information can include course or program availability, campus options, or tuition. Providing a way that allows prospects to view this information or estimate tuition costs can be vital to maintaining their interest and loyalty.
Example: Schools using HEM’s Student Portal can use the Virtual Admissions Assistant (VAA) and quote builder features to provide prospects with the necessary information. This allows them to explore courses, campus, and financial options easily. Below is how the VAA presents information to prospects:
Here, prospects can click on different campuses to learn more about the program offerings in each location and contact your team for additional support. Using the built-in quote builder, prospects can evaluate the total cost of their booking—keeping several factors like accommodations, transportation, and special activities in mind:
Being able to easily anticipate the cost of a program while going through the application process can help prospects better plan for their studies, preparing them to make a well-informed decision about their future education. Schools that help prospects quickly find such valuable information are better able to encourage meaningful relationships with their target audience, using their student portal app to encourage trust and loyalty and create a strong foundation for their communication efforts.
3. Create Application Forms and Booking Experiences That Delight Prospects
A good student portal app allows your school to customize and create the perfect booking experience for its students, enabling you to customize your application forms until they perfectly reflect your program offerings and brand. These forms can highlight booking accommodations, campus options, program variety, and anything else that suits your school’s needs.
You can also create forms that feature a multi-step application and enable saving to allow prospects to complete their submission at a later time. Features like easy document uploading, e-signatures, and integrated payment gateways to help your school provide a stellar booking experience for its students.
Example: As a school, you’ll have over 20 unique field types to explore when using HEM’s student portal. You can add general information related to your student’s application as well as enable or disable specific features, like optional login or multiple application submissions, by simply checking a box:
You can even dive further to edit application form sections and fields to create a more personalized experience for students applying at your school:
Using a student portal app in this way tailors the booking experience for your prospects, and it can make your school stand out from its competition. Interested in learning how it can help your school with its student recruitment? Contact our team to request a demo and discover what the student portal can do for your school!
4. Streamline Your School’s Workflow With Integrated Digital Management and Student Recruitment
You likely want your school’s digital marketing and student recruitment tools to reinforce a positive and streamlined workflow for your team. With education portals, this task becomes much more manageable. You can use them to centralize your school’s admissions management process and even integrate other digital management tools for maximum impact.
Typically, schools may work with an education-based CRM and other payment gateway systems. They may have other marketing initiatives, making managing incoming student applications and tracking a prospect’s journey throughout the admissions funnel more challenging. Schools using a robust student portal can avoid these obstacles and more effectively boost productivity within their team.
Example: HEM’s Student Portal is designed to work as a part of a more extensive digital management system for schools. It can be integrated with various payment gateways – like Stripe, PayPal, and Moneris. It can also be integrated with CRMs, marketing automation systems – like HEM’s Mautic, HubSpot, and Salesforce – and communication platforms.
By navigating to the “Integrations” section of your HEM Student Portal settings, you’ll be able to enable Mautic and add in your information:
Schools can also change their settings hassle-free, eliminating extra time and resources spent addressing technical issues within your team. It’s as simple as navigating to your school settings menu and choosing the specific elements you’d like to change:
5. Stay On Top of Your Performance With Your Student Portal App Tracking Features
A good student portal app allows your school to track student recruitment progress, making it indispensable to your overall efforts and performance. You can use it to see how many students submit applications to your programs and complete payment, monitor class attendance, and develop a general understanding of your school’s enrollment performance.
With HEM’s student portal, you can track complete and incomplete applications and payments from prospects. The Application Dashboard reveals a list of your school’s existing applications, where you can see the application type, date, and current status along with each applicant’s name.
You can also use this space to monitor application payments and totals:
Schools can easily lose track of each application and its progress without a well-structured tool and management system. This makes it all the more important for schools to invest in the right student portal app that supports your team while promoting positive student experiences through every step of the admissions process.