Friday, February 6, 2009

More Students Apply to Publics

February 6, 2009- Remember the Jetsons? Press a button and a machine popped out a 5-course meal. Pull a lever and another contraption dressed you head to toe. Long before PC’s snuck into every household, the Jetsons represented a society longing for an automated future, a tomorrow where technology made life easier. Although Astro is long gone in TVLand, that future has arrived.

OK. So you might still have to cook a turkey 15 minutes for each pound and put your pants on one leg at a time. But don’t take for granted the things that are done automatically with technology. Time saving and cost saving tasks that used to be a burden – like renewing your license or registering for your bridal shower. I know most of you can remember long lines at the registry waiting for number 1, 304 or 2 hours at a department store pricing crystal… don’t even get me started about the time I saved when I renewed my drivers license online last week.

And I’m sure that higher education remembers registering students on handwritten rosters until each section was filled. It wasn’t that long ago when the processes we complete today with the push of a button were labor-intensive and expensive jobs. Unfortunately, some still are.

Processing an application is still costing many colleges thousands of hours of labor and hundreds of thousands of dollars. But not every school calculates the true cost of an incoming application, so we did for them. Our survey shows a range of costs associated with one applicant file, depending on the school’s current automation systems. Clearly, colleges which choose to implement WEB SERVICES to automate the process are saving unprecedented time and costs – over $25 per application compared to the traditional method:

Now more than ever, colleges can’t afford to do things the same way. The new generation of college applicants, coupled with an unstable economy, have changed the playing field and altered even the most predictable yield rates. Why? Students are applying to more schools and re-thinking their reach and safety schools. This has led to admission offices processing more applications for the same amount of spots. Is anyone considering ROI or how to fund the ballooning application process while in the middle of a recession?

On top of that, consider the fact that more students than ever are applying to PUBLIC institutions – where they aren’t likely to build more dorms or add more students quickly, but are spending more money processing applications of students that will never pay a penny in tuition. ConnectEDU has determined that during this admission cycle, more students are applying to public institutions at a staggering 10% increase in just one year. If we continue to process applications the same old way, it means more labor and compounding costs. Who will pay? It’s time to modernize the process with technology. Save time. Save money. And make sure, in the future, students are given the same opportunities, automatically… just like Astro would want it to be.

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