Jennifer Christensen
, September 5, 2023
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Higher education admissions processes are as varied as the almost 20,000 higher education institutions worldwide. These processes are often complex, consisting of various activities and touchpoints with applicants that need to be managed by admissions staff. Common activities during the application and admit phases include:

  • Application data intake
  • Checklist management
  • Receiving data from 3rd parties (test scores, transcripts, recommendations, etc.)​
  • Interview and/or audition management​
  • Committee reviews of application files
  • Articulations management​ and transfer credit evaluation
  • Eligibility determination and applicant ranking
  • Communication​ with applicants

With each of these activities there are inherent challenges that admissions offices face. Chiefly among these are disparate systems, increasing application volumes, and scarcity of support staff (both within the admissions office and information technology services).

At many institutions, a myriad of software platforms are utilized to manage the various parts of the admission process which can create several challenges. For example, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is used to manage marketing, event management, and prospective student data while admission application data (usually collected by a different third-party software) is exported and stored in a Student Information System (SIS). Meanwhile, test score data, transcripts, recommendations, portfolio submissions, and audition information are generally gathered (and may be housed) in separate third-party systems respectively. Using disparate systems causes institutions to have to create and maintain integrations or develop processes to export and import the data on a regular basis. If the integrations or imports are not real-time, there is an additional challenge to keeping data in-sync and up to date. These challenges greatly impact applicants who not only have to navigate through different systems for various document submissions but also do not receive instant feedback that what they submitted counts toward their application requirements.

Moreover, higher education institutions are seeing a record number of applications with an increase in volume each year while at the same time dealing with a decrease in the number of support staff available to review application files. This, in turn, causes delays in determining applicant eligibility, admissions ranking, review of transcripts for transfer student admission and transfer credit, and providing timely communications with applicants. While many institutions explore the option to automate some of these functions, complexities in processes or calculations paired with the use of varied systems create challenges in fully automating the admissions process.

While Admissions Offices face challenges as those described above as well as a multitude of other difficulties, as a leader in higher education consulting and a premier Microsoft and Oracle partner, Alithya is well poised to assess your institution's unique situation. We are a trusted partner that will offer solutions tailored to your needs that will alleviate your current technology limitations and look forward to collaborating with you. 

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