With nearly all higher education students using electronic devices to manage their day-to-day life on campus, including uploading assignments to their ePortfolios and managing their course schedules in the institution’s portal via the student information system (SIS), the digital life has become the de facto replacement for paper and pen. Further, students’ expectations—particularly the Gen Z crowd—to manage all of their needs online has led senior institutional leaders to re-examine their processes, chiefly the back office or administrative tasks, enabling self-service capabilities and offering the next generation of paperless functionality.
Implementing new or expanding the use of existing technologies, such as enterprise content-management tools that provide access to e-forms and reduce paper processes, can yield increased efficiencies and productivity, and offer value that improves the overall student experience.
The student-facing side of paperless administration
As universities offer more and more varying degrees, access to financial-aid assistance, and continuing ed or life-skill courses, the sheer volume of paper and document management can be overwhelming. From admissions and financial-aid applications to change of major and transcript requests, students can access, complete, and collect required documents and signatures seamlessly. By offering online self-service pathways to bureaucratic chores, institutions can reduce lost or error-ridden paperwork, benefit from detailed audit trails, and eliminate manual-processing bottlenecks.
(Next page: The need to extend self-service functionalities)