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5 Advantages of Online Enrollment Systems For Arts Education
Maybe the student enrollment system for your arts education program is less of a system and more of a loose collection of tools. You lose time and resources with every enrollment and you know something needs to change. Even so, you’re not sure those high-tech online enrollment systems are as great as they claim. You don’t want to invest in one unless you’re sure it’s worth it.
So now you’re wondering: What are the advantages of online enrollment systems? Could they help your arts education program save time, avoid errors, and enroll more students?
We’re here to answer those questions. We’ll explore the five advantages of online enrollment systems to help you decide whether it’s worth investing in one for your arts education program. Plus, we’ll show you how you can integrate your online enrollment system with the patron management and ticketing systems you already have.
5 Advantages of Online Enrollment Systems
Patron management and ticketing systems aren’t great at registering students for arts education classes. Either you have to force them to do something they’re not designed to, or you’re stuck managing each enrollment by hand. Both strategies waste time and cause frustration. Fortunately, an online enrollment system can turn a messy, cumbersome procedure into an organized and efficient one by providing five key advantages.
Advantage #1 Saves time for students and staff
For your staff, time saving is the major advantage of an online enrollment system. It’s quicker and more efficient than asking students to call or email you to enroll. When the whole process happens online, students can easily register themselves. That frees up your staff to focus on doing all of their other tasks.
Students are happy too because they (or their parents) don’t have to spend time on the phone or wait around for staff to be available to help them. With so many businesses desperately understaffed and nonprofits struggling to find volunteers, that’s a huge advantage. Meanwhile, your phone lines stay open for people who do need help with other requests and you avoid the dreaded back and forth email chain.
You can streamline the registration process even more by creating customized forms for different classes. Collect only the information you need so students can register quickly and get on with their day.
Advantage #2 Available anytime
An online enrollment system basically allows you to be open 24/7. Registrations can come in around the clock, whenever it’s convenient for the student. Students who work, go to school, or have childcare responsibilities, might not be available during your normal business hours, but they can likely find a few minutes in the day to access your website and sign up for a class. Early in the morning or late at night, class registrations are always open.
Storing your information online, instead of on paper or on a hard drive, also means you have round the clock access to class data. If it’s three a.m. on a Sunday and you’re lying awake worrying whether enough students have signed up for your stained glass class, you can login to the system, check, and go back to sleep.
Advantage #3 Centralizes student information
If you’ve been relying on systems not designed for student enrollment, you probably have more than one spreadsheet keeping you organized. Or, at least, as close to organized as you can be with such a cumbersome process.
An online enrollment management system centralizes all of the information about a student and their enrollment. You’ll avoid mistakes and improve the accuracy of your class rosters. Your staff won’t have to waste time copying information from one system to another.
Plus, last-minute additions, or drop-outs, are not a problem since you’ll always have instant access to the most up-to-date class roster.
You might even be able to centralize all of your ticketing, donation, and course enrollment reports if you choose an online enrollment system that syncs with your existing software. More on that in a minute.
Advantage #4 Simplifies payment processing and tracking
This student is registered, did they pay? Are they on a payment plan? Is someone available to take their credit card number over the phone? You won’t need to ask those sorts of questions if you have an online registration system.
Online payment processing means you’ll never have to manually match up payments to registrations or calculate how much is still owed on the payment plan. It stores all of that information for you and can produce reports based on who has paid, how much they’ve paid, and what additional information you might need from them.
More importantly, students pay and register at the same time, so your instructors are never in the awkward position of having to ask for payment at the beginning of a class.
Advantage #5 Improves information security
Information security is a major topic of discussion right now. Students are concerned about who has their personal and financial information. They want to know what happens to it and how it’s stored. Over the last few years, new data privacy laws have been enacted to support learner privacy.
If you’re taking payments over the phone or relying on emailed student enrollment forms, security could be an issue. Anyone in your office could have access to sensitive information. You trust your staff, of course, but what about their family members, visitors, maintenance workers, delivery people…
With an online enrollment system student information is password protected and encrypted so only authorized people get access.
Enhance the Advantages of an Online Enrollment System
A good online enrollment system offers all of these advantages and more. To really get the most out of it, you want a system that integrates with the systems you already have in place. That’s where we come in. In addition to all the advantages listed above, CourseStorm also integrates with PatronManager to help you centralize and streamline your processes. We call it PatronStorm.
Contact us to learn how it works or activate your free one-month trial of PatronStorm.
Brian is a scientist-turned-education technology executive. He has founded and led technology companies for more than 20 years and uses his analytical mind and experimental approach to spur growth in small and medium businesses and start-ups. He is passionate about using technology to enhance access to lifelong learning.