K12 Admissions Software: 5 features schools must have for 2024
The job of a K12 admissions director can be daunting. From being the first point of contact in recruiting and engaging families, to managing the multi step application process, and finally to maintaining relationships with the families and students to build an active alumni community. Communication and marketing are key parts to admissions, but so is analyzing demographics of the incoming classes as they will shape how your school grows in the years to come.
Today, this complex job cannot be done well without admissions software. Each year the process evolves as new factors in recruitment and the application process become important to your independent school. It’s vital that your school’s technology evolves to meet those needs as well.
Here are five features your admissions software must have for 2024 to keep up with your future families, students, and foster relationships with alumni.
Marketing built into your K12 admissions software
Your admissions software should be acting as your mini CRM (client relationship management). It should be helping you move your applicants from one step to the next. First, you apply, then they have the interview, next they submit test scores etc. In each of these submissions, your admissions software should include the option for marketing. Branded communication from your school each step of the application process to remind families what comes next.
Forecast the future
Recruiting and enrolling is the most important part of admissions, but what can your school’s leadership team learn from it for next year's enrolling class? School enrollment software today needs to be more than just a fancy form builder for the application. It needs to explain to you and your team who is enrolling with a demographic breakdown, why they are enrolling, and forecast trends for the following year. Imagine you’re a Catholic High School with a new class of 10 enrollees from a certain zip code. With reports and forecasting, next year, your school would know to recruit heavier and more specifically to that area—and bring in the whole neighborhood if possible!
Make 2024 the year for improving efficiencies within your admissions software that benefit not just your team, but future families and students?
Find out how here:
The best school admissions software integrates!
School admissions software should seamlessly integrate with your student information system. Parents will no longer fill out multiple forms twice, it’s all right there. Maybe a little message goes out for them to confirm there’s been no address change and boom, parents are done, and your staff is done. Even more seamlessly, MySchool’s admissions module syncs with the SIS and student profile allowing teachers access to relevant files and background information. (Of course admins have the option to hide sensitive information from teachers and other faculty.) Students benefit when information isn’t siloed and is accessible across all platforms.
Admissions software needs to support tightening privacy laws
Schools are collecting and keeping more and more student data, and privacy laws are becoming more and more strict. The most rigid of these laws is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law in Europe. This law gives people ownership and control over what happens to their data when they give it to a company or institution like a school.
You may be thinking, my school is in the U.S., this doesn’t apply to us. However, if your school recruits from Europe, or has European alumni or parents, —it applies. You don’t want to limit your pool of applicants because your enrollment software doesn’t meet the latest privacy law requirements.
Still thinking, this doesn’t apply to my school? The privacy laws in the U.S. starting in 2023 are “inspired” by GDPR and are even making amendments for 2024 to copy elements of GDPR compliance.1
Additionally, because the admissions process involves student data, and records, there are privacy laws around collecting them, and what happens to that data. These laws are U.S. based and are called FERPA and COPPA. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) revolves around the privacy of a student's educational records.2 COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) requires any software that collects student information such as an LMS or your admissions software to get consent for the data of children under the age of 13.3
To stay compliant with these privacy laws, K12 admissions software should be at least COPPA and FERPA compliant. A big bonus is if it’s already GDPR compliant because states like California, Colorado, Virginia, and Utah are already moving towards many parts of the European laws. Your state may be next in 2024.
Easy for families and schools
School admin work should only be getting easier in 2024 right? It should also be easier for parents. Remember, your digital application is usually the first touch point most parents have with your school. It should be simple, and not confusing for them.
The latest admissions software makes it easy for parents by:
- Having a customizable login page - creates familiarity and brands your school
- Creating an easy to navigate application process - can be done on mobile or web
- Allowing for forms to be uploaded - don’t make parents print and scan!
- Syncing application information to the SIS - reduce repetition
When tasks are easier for schools, administration has more time for face to face with parents. The best school admissions software should reduce admin work and simplify the admissions process.
The latest admissions software makes it easy for schools by:
- Being portable - using a web based platform
- Creating easy to build forms - customizable, and drag and drop
- Utilizing a super search functionality - search a student, or form quickly
- Sharing application information across school platforms if needed - SIS, LMS etc. everything syncs!
If your school admissions software handles more marketing, forecasts and gives detailed reports, integrates with your SIS, keeps up to date with privacy laws, and is easy to use—does that mean you’re going to have more time for real face to face future, current, and alumni relationships?
Make 2024 easier on your admissions team by implementing these technology upgrades to your software. Want to see all of these features in one place? See if MySchool is right for your school.