In honor of Earth Day, here are 10 reasons to go paperless with online student enrollment.
While the digital revolution has swept through and drastically improved many industries, K-12 education as a whole has been considerably slower to adapt to this digital growth. This slowed growth is especially visible in many schools and districts’ reliance on pen-and-paper student enrollment.
Paper-based enrollment is inefficient due in part to the large number of students and the even larger number of paper files, forms, and documents families must submit — files, forms, and documents that schools must then process, store, and access time and time again.
In honor of Earth Day 2022, consider how much more efficient your enrollment process could be if you went paperless and implemented online student enrollment.
Here are 10 reasons to manage student enrollment online and go paperless with your process!
Reason 1: Return on Investment (ROI)
Implementing a paperless enrollment system has an upfront cost, but it starts to pay off immediately. Once everyone is trained on the new system and all the appropriate online systems are in place, you can sit back and enjoy the cost savings on labor, printing, paper, ink, storage, and lost files.
Reason 2: Labor Savings
Managing paper is time-consuming. Moving paper documents around, organizing files, retrieving folders, and ensuring you don’t lose files all make paper-based enrollment a very labor-intensive task.
Printing hard copies of documents requires paper, toner, ink, the printers themselves, and printer maintenance. And, sometimes, a whole new printer when your existing one(s) suddenly goes kaput and enters the graveyard of electronics.
Since student enrollment applications for a school can range from one stack of documents to seven separate, multi-page .pdf files that require printing, going paperless with student enrollment can save you many, many thousands of dollars on printing supplies.
You and the families you serve can quickly get overwhelmed by the small forest’s worth of enrollment forms that each family must provide for their children:
Health and immunization records
Permission or release forms
Birth certificates and other government documents
Proof-of-residence documents — and more
Putting all this online eliminates your printing costs. If you’re in a large school system, the printing cost savings alone could probably feed a small army.
Reason 4: Photocopier Costs
A photocopier is expensive and, just like a printer, requires maintenance. A paperless enrollment system significantly reduces or outright eliminates the need for a photocopier in your school.
Reason 5: Lost Documents
By securely backing up students’ enrollment forms in a secure, online system, you’ll eliminate the chance of losing or misfiling a document. As a bonus, should a disaster strike (such as a flood, fire, tornado, etc.), all of the forms will be safe and sound in your online system, whereas paper documents may be destroyed permanently.
Reason 6: Email Management
If your staff is worried that a move toward digital will mean more emails, let them know that using a simple strategy for email management will make it painless.
Enrollment staff should create an appropriate email folder for these documents, and then it’s as easy as sorting the files into the appropriate folder.
Plus, remind them how the paper-based process took up more time and had more room for error.
Reason 7: Storage Costs
Here’s something that’s news to no one: paper files take up a lot of space. Many schools must sacrifice valuable office space in favor of file cabinets and boxes upon boxes of documents. Imagine putting that real estate to better use!
You could fit another desk there. Or a coffee maker.
By going paperless, you’ll greatly reduce how much storage space you need for enrollment forms. Imagine the 10–50 forms each student requires living in a single cabinet or completely in the Cloud.
Reason 8: Customer Service
Today, customer service means everything to families who are trying to enroll. When a prospective family comes to you to enroll, they know it’s about to be an endeavor. They may be stressing from the start about locating a printer as well as how they’re going to take off work to fill out and deliver all the forms. Or, if they’re a family without easy access to transportation, they may be concerned they won’t get to apply for enrollment at all.
Imagine telling a new parent they don’t need to print out anything. Imagine telling them it’s as easy as whipping out their phone and enrolling their child in 10 minutes. They don’t need to visit you or print out anything, period.
That’s the reality SchoolMint Enroll creates.
Reason 9: Document Security
Paper documents aren’t as secure as you might think. Even if you put locks on individual filing cabinets, a determined person seeking access won’t have much difficulty getting inside. With an online system, you can see when someone accesses documents as well as what changes they may have made.
Reason 10: When Disaster Strikes
As mentioned previously, fires, floods, tornadoes, and other disaster scenarios create a very real concern for the safety of a school’s documents. Managing your students’ enrollment forms and information online means these forms will be safe in the event of a disaster and will allow for a quick, seamless data recovery.
An online platform makes it easy to eliminate physical forms and manage student enrollment in a timely, cost-effective manner.
If you want to discuss one-on-one how a platform like SchoolMint Enroll can support an efficient, paperless enrollment process for you, click the banner!