The University of Arkansas had a problem: Admissions staff needed to make quicker decisions about transfer students and needed to reach students in new markets, but a backlog of transfer credits slowed progress.
After a state lottery bill funded academic scholarships in 2009, the university saw enrollment jump. Then, it became easier for students to transfer their associate degree coursework to four-year schools, leading to transfer increases between 5 and 10 percent each year.
Despite these spikes in enrollments and transfer students, the university’s registrar and admissions staff remained the same size, which meant staff had to process more documents and transcripts via legacy technology and manual processes.
Average transcript turnaround time varied between two and six weeks. Sometimes, final transcript evaluations weren’t finalized until a month into a new semester. Data entry took up much of the staff’s time—high school and college transfer transcripts went to the university’s admissions office for review and were manually entered into the university’s PeopleSoft system. Next, transcripts were hand-delivered to the registrar for manual review and posting.
All of these processes meant the university had trouble evaluating transfer credits quickly. This also meant the university had trouble recruiting transfer students.
In 2013, the university decided to replace its legacy document management system, and the registrar’s office helped the university search for a transcript data extraction solution at the same time.