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The 3 Golden Rules of Document Management for Higher Education

Higher Ed offices get busy. Every day, there are students to support, emails to respond to, events to coordinate, tours to schedule, documents to file, and the list goes on and on.

Some of these are quite exciting, like showing accepted students where their freshman dorm rooms are going to be or helping a soon-to-be graduate build their professional network as they prepare to pursue their dream job.

Others, like document management, might not seem quite as exciting on the surface level. A streamlined and well-functioning document management system is one of those things where you only really notice it when it’s not working properly. 

However, we believe that Higher Ed professionals should be more intentional about document management and incorporate it into a larger strategy that focuses on increasing efficiency and improving the student experience.

So, if you want to level up your approach to document management, here are three guidelines to stick to.

1. Document Security is Paramount

Document security as a priority probably sounds obvious, especially when you consider all the PII (personally identifiable information) of your students and their family. Addresses, financial records, social security information, bank statements, and the list goes on and on.

However, there’s a lot more to document management than simply keeping those documents secure.

The key is to find the balance between security and accessibility. If documents aren’t easily accessible and usable, then they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do.

It’s important that your students, staff, and faculty be able to access their documents with ease. If they are forced to either manually search through paper files or jump through security hoops every time they need to find a file, that office is not going to function very efficiently.

This is especially true when a school gets audited. When that happens, schools value the ability to search, print, and organize their records in bulk—all while keeping them secure. Whether it’s academic information, change history, notes, or other activities that are considered supporting documentation for audits, ease of access is paramount.

That’s why creating a paperless campus is becoming the standard. With the right paperless document management system in place, all of your files will be secure, organized, and easily accessible.

2. The Better Your Document Management Process, the Better the Student Experience

There are few things more frustrating for students than not being sure where different records are stored or having to log into some different portal every time they need to access them. Viewing their transcripts requires a log-in to one piece of Higher Ed software, but accessing their schedule or financial records requires different log-ins to different portals. It can be hard to track.

So, it’s important to allow students to access everything they need in one location.

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This includes:

  • Grades
  • Transcripts
  • Schedules
  • Course registration and enrollment
  • Payments

The all-in-one platform reduces the headache of not knowing where to access important information or having to save paper copies of everything—which is an easy way to get important information lost or stolen.

We know that document management isn’t the most fun or exciting project a Higher Ed professional can work on, but the truth is that this can have just as big of an impact on how your students perceive their school as events, giveaways, and other fun things. So, yes, it’s worth taking seriously!

3. You Need the Proper Higher Ed Software to Get it Right

Document management and paperless campus go hand-in-hand. If you join the growing trend of colleges and universities going paperless, you’ll inherently have a stronger document management system in place.

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With the right document management software, you can:

  • Build and manage the inventory of enrollment surveys and forms
  • Configure required documents and signature workflows
  • Monitor applicant progress, and approve or deny applications
  • Store and instantly access applicant and student documents
  • Follow easy steps to complete the application and enrollment online
  • E-sign documents with signer workflow configuration
  • Pay online application or enrollment deposits and fees
  • Check on application status, view, upload, and download documents

Verity Student allows you to do all of these things with the click of a button. As software built for Higher Ed professionals by Higher Ed professionals, we’ve designed a streamlined, efficient tool that enables teams to increase efficiency while delivering incredible student experiences.

See it In Action

You should also check out The Power of One: A Higher Ed Roadmap to Effective Student Lifecycle Management. In this extensive guide, we’ll show you the way to increase student enrollment, retention, and engagement at every step of the funnel.

Lifecycle management in Higher Ed