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New Feature

  1. New Feature: Flexible Payouts & Refund Reserve

    We’re pleased to announce a new CourseStorm feature that adds new flexibility for payouts and refunds that we’ll be rolling out in the next several weeks!

    How does it work?

    The Problem

    In order to maximize your ability to refund a charge, we’ve historically only paid out funds for a class the Monday after it begins. This meant that you were guaranteed to have the funds in your CourseStorm account to cover the refund should one come in before the class began.

    One issue with this approach, however, is that many education providers take registrations far in advance of their classes and need the cash early to buy supplies, rent space, and pay their instructors.

    Beyond that, it has always been just plain complicated to explain the payout process to new customers. We knew there was a better way.

    The Solution

    We’re very excited to announce that our crack team of Engineers has devised a way to solve this problem using a new feature we call Refund Reserve.

    This feature allows you to get monthly or weekly payouts, but also control how much money you’d like to leave in your account to cover refunds at any time.

    Let’s say you’re a program that offers summer classes and you open for registrations in February. You can use this new feature to get paid for last week’s registrations while still leaving a couple thousand dollars in the account for potential refunds. Then when the summer begins and you’re ready to clear out your account, it’s as simple as changing the Refund Reserve to $0 and your next payout will include all of your funds.

    Even better, because your CourseStorm account is so much more flexible, you can also now refund a class at any time, regardless of if the original funds have been released to you or not. If you have money in your account, that money can be used for refunds. It’s as simple as that!

    🚀 Launching Soon

    These new features will be the default for all new customers starting in October. If you’re an existing CourseStorm customer and are interested in using these new abilities, please reach out and we can discuss your options for migration.

    One More Thing

    Although you can’t see it on the surface, there’s a really important detail about this feature behind the scenes: it’s built on a brand new financial system that lays the groundwork for many more features which create greater flexibility in transaction handling!

    With this new underpinning, we can begin to tackle support for scholarships, mixed payment methods (ie, paying part credit card and part check), account credits, and more. We’re very excited for everything this foundation unlocks for the future and can’t wait to release more features that help you save even more time!

    Thank you!

    We’d like to thank all of our customers who helped us define and beta test this brand new system. Your feedback has been invaluable in the creation of these great new features!

    And a special thank you goes out to our initial testers at Finger Lakes Community College in New York and Civic Theatre of Allentown in Pennsylvania. Thanks for being on the vanguard!

  2. New Feature: Waiting List Private Invites

    Today, we’re pleased to announce the result of some fantastic work done by our CourseStorm summer interns (who we affectionately refer to as ⚡Team Lightning⚡)!

    These college students have been working directly with our customers to make CourseStorm’s waiting list features even better for all of you. They’ve used this time to deliver on an update that addresses one of the top opportunities we uncovered: improving the experience of enrolling students on the waiting list when a new seat opens up.

    The Problem

    As you may know, CourseStorm has always made signing up for and managing a waiting list really easy. As soon as a class fills up, the waiting list button turns on automatically so that you can solicit interest from other students. Those students, in turn, can sign up for the waiting list right on your site to be notified if a new seat or session opens up.

    Unfortunately, the administrator experience for contacting wait listers and signing them up has left something to be desired. Although administrators can easily convert waiting list entries to full registrations for a class, it can often be a challenge to get the students on the phone to collect the necessary information for registration.

    So, rather than use a slow, phone-based process, we decided to make things simpler and let administrators send private, expiring invites to select waiting list students and parents so that they can place the registrations themselves at their own convenience.


    How does it work?

    The process couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is find the waiting list student you’d like to offer the seat to and click “Send Invite…”. From there, you confirm the amount of time that the invite is valid and click the Send button.

    Your student or parent on the other side receives an email with a private link just for them that they can use to register right on your CourseStorm site. Or, if they no longer wish to take the spot, they can easily decline the invitation as well.

    Once they’ve made their choice, you receive an automatic notification. If they’ve registered for class, you and the instructor will receive a receipt just like normal for the new registration. If they’ve chosen to decline, you’ll receive a different notification letting you know that you can now move onto the next person on the waiting list.

    🚀 Launching Soon

    We will make this new update available to all CourseStorm customers in the next two weeks!

    Thank you!

    We want to give a huge thank you to Team Lightning for their fantastic work this Summer. They’re setting a high bar for all future internship teams!

    So thank you to Team Lightning Members: Mathew Mesfin, Kat Canavan, and Jack Hohl!

    In addition, we want to give a shout out to all of the great customers we worked with on this project. Your experience and feedback were invaluable to help our team uncover this excellent feature opportunity!

    Special thank you’s to:

    • Lynn and Whit from MaineHealth
    • Robin from DM Playhouse
    • Rose from Old Orchard Beach/Saco Adult and Community Education

    and all other customers who submitted Ballot Box requests related to this feature!

  3. Sneak Peek: Universal Transfers

    Over the last couple of months, we’ve made 4 releases to our Universal Transfers beta program and have unlocked some great new functionality for those customers. It’s now impossibly simple to perform transfers between classes of different prices and have CourseStorm automate the necessary charges and refunds for those transfers.

    Read more

  4. AI-Powered Reporting

    Hi everyone, Matt here!

    Today, I’m excited to give you a sneak peek into some cutting edge stuff we’ve been working on in the CourseStorm labs. Specifically—AI-powered reporting!

    We’ve begun to apply the latest in artificial intelligence technology to helping you solve day-to-day problems and we’ve been blown away with the results. I hope you agree! Read on to learn more and see the demo.

    Read more

  5. Universal Transfers Beta

    Happy April everyone! The snow is finally melting up here in Maine and our team is excited to kick off another quarter with plans for some great new updates heading your way!

    Today, I’d love to give you an update on a new student transfer system we’re working on that will give you an even easier way to transfer students between classes in CourseStorm.

    Read more

  6. Financial Flexibility and Time-Saving Reporting

    Hey everyone, Matt here!

    As you may know, we kicked off this year with a driving focus: to talk to as many customers as we can to learn more about what you like and don’t like about using the CourseStorm product. I can’t tell you how much I love talking with customers and appreciate the treasure trove of feedback that you all have given us, both good and bad!

    Read more

  7. Behind-the-Scenes Performance Updates

    Today, I’d love to tell you about some work going on under the hood to improve the performance and security of CourseStorm for all of you. It may get a bit nerdy, but I’ll try to keep things brief!

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  8. Coming This Year: Text Message Reminders

    Everyone here at CourseStorm hopes you had a great October! The team here has been hard at work launching new features and updates and we plan to continue that habit with another feature launch before the end of the year.

    Text Message Reminders

    It’s no secret that for years now, folks have been relying more and more on their mobile phones as their primary means of communication. Email is great, but nothing beats a nice, short text message for a quick notification.

    So it gives me great pleasure to let you know that before the end of the year, we’ll be releasing automated, text message reminders for students!

    Read more

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