Improve the Higher Education Student Experience: Go Paperless!
By Cathy Yamada, Higher Education Alliances Manager, DocuSign
Higher education is known for paper: paper forms to sign up, paper statements for bills from the bursar, and let’s not forget heavy textbooks! However, because paper isn’t the best way to get a 360 degree view of your students, and today’s students expect their school to offer simple, digital experiences, leading universities are moving to the cloud to improve their higher education administration processes. One example of this is in agreements.
Paperwork for agreements are everywhere in your school’s day-to-day processes, from admissions and financial aid to campus life to alumni relations. These high-volume agreements affect student experience—and they also affect your institution’s operational efficiency.
A list of typical paperwork involved in higher ed front office and back office operations
Let’s take a look at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. UNLV is an R1 research institution with total enrolment of 30,000+ students. The grad school at UNLV has a complex offering and operating environment to go along with it. Their graduate offering includes 155 programs, and 500 concentrations and tracks – the result is that each individual completes multiple applications throughout their tenure. To support this, the university had multiple integrations and legacy systems processing the paperwork for the programs. Meanwhile, students turned over regularly and there was uneven continuity in faculty and staff. The complexity affected their organization and their ability to serve students effectively. Students would download a PDF, complete the form, print it out and hand deliver it to the first signer. Then the form would be physically routed within the department, going to all the required signers, and finally be sent to the Graduate College for approval. Forms were often lost and there were long turnaround times – the process was slow and inefficient.
UNLV turned to the DocuSign Agreement Cloud + Salesforce to build a system of engagement across the student lifecycle with Salesforce as the CRM and DocuSign as their system of agreement. After implementation, the school reduced time to completion down to one day and gained the ability to track the progress of the forms.
Staff productivity and happiness helps students have a great experience using the latest technology and makes the most of your staff’s precious time. Here’s how you can get more from Salesforce.org Education Cloud by integrating with DocuSign.
Prepopulate Agreements with Data from Salesforce
By using the data already stored in Salesforce, you can quickly create pre-populated agreements. This saves staff time spent re-keying information and reduces errors and rework.
Prefilling agreements not only improves staff productivity, it can also boost the student experience. According to a recent DocuSign study, 92% of students report feeling frustrated when they have to reenter information they have already provided their institution. Prepopulating students’ information dramatically improves the student experience at key touchpoints.
Update Salesforce automatically once agreements are signed
Remove the need for staff to go back into Salesforce once agreements are complete and all parties have signed. For instance, when a student has accepted an admissions offer, their status can update automatically. With the pre-built DocuSign integration, Salesforce data can be automatically updated, and agreements uploaded and attached to a contact.
Create dynamic agreements
Go beyond standard forms to generate dynamic agreements that vary based on Salesforce data and rules. For example, create different offer letters based on which program the student has applied for, or manage internship and work/study agreements that depend on the individual’s employment eligibility. Dynamic agreements remove staff legwork to prepare the right agreement, and speed up the agreement process.
Whether you’re looking to solve many of the challenges campus leaders face in recruitment, retention, or fundraising, keep learning here for how colleges and universities are using Salesforce.
About the Author
Cathy Yamada is the Higher Education Alliances Manager at DocuSign. DocuSign helps organizations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on, and manage agreements. Cathy works with integrated ed tech partners to create an ecosystem that provides schools the intelligent administrative tech stack they need to deliver a seamless user experience for students and faculty.
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