Choosing an Online Registration Software System for Schools?

According to Besa Pinchotti of Capterra Software, choosing an online school registration system that considers the needs of students and teachers – not just employees – is important.

Online registration can be right for you if you currently process student enrollment and registration manually or with an outdated computer system. Are you (and your employees) working overtime during peak enrollment weeks? Perhaps you would like to expand your institution and enroll more students, or you find that your school administration system is pushed to the limit by relying on manual forms of data management, like forms or Excel spreadsheets.

When looking for a school online registration system, make sure you’re inclusive with representatives of the student body, staff and parents involved in the discussions. Parents want registration to be quick and easy, while administrators want a lot of information. If you have a registration week for students to bring in their forms, you should ask whether the system helps reduce time spent in line. You should also ask whether online forms can be used year-round.

Registration can be a good time to do fund-raising, so you should check to see if the system has built-in ways to solicit donations. That way, these systems can pay for themselves, as well as make money for the schools.

Any company can create an online registration system, but companies that specialize in K-12 schools know the needs of those schools, such as residency verification alerts, recouping fees for lost text books or providing custom student messaging. Also, a community college or a university will have different needs from those of public schools, private schools, charter schools or independent schools. For example, colleges and universities have to deal with credit hours, and are likely to have a much larger list of potential classes to choose from.

Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the system you choose integrates with the school management software you currently have in place at your school district. How will the school online registration system interact with your current accounting software, or your student information system? You could find your valuable time taken up by downloading data from one system to another, which can also lead to manual errors. When you talk to software companies, tell them about the software you’re already using, and ask how their system would integrate with it. Of course, having a knowledgable staff and IT support system will go a long way towards making the transition easier.

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