August 2, 2017
How Student Portals Support Admissions and Retention

Creating great web experiences for prospective students, parents, and alumni is top of mind for all higher education institutions. As a result, the marketing and communications teams spend a great deal of time and effort to ensure those experiences are engaging and help drive conversions. So, what happens once a student decides to attend your institution? How do you seamlessly shift focus and effort to admissions and retention? A student portal can help.

What is a Student Portal?

A student portal is a place where current students can go to access everything they need during their time at school. This can include institution communications, news, and notices, event information, content from various groups across the institution, and/or a directory of contacts. It provides links to commonly accessed student applications such as learning management, financial services, classroom discussion groups and more.

Essentially, it's a hub, like a digital workplace in a company: communications, collaboration, and easy access to commonly used applications and services.

How the Student Portal Supports Admissions

How does the student portal support admissions? Onboarding a new student is a detailed process. The student has many forms to complete, including financial information, requests for housing or part-time jobs. She has to select her courses and will want to read course profiles, professor’s profiles, hear from students who have taken the course and view class locations.

All this information is located in different applications, making it a complex process to find the information and perform the processes required for admissions. For new students, making the move from high school to college is stressful enough without being forced through a complicated admissions process. Returning students can also benefit from a smoother admissions process.

With a student portal, institutions can integrate the various admissions application, wrap in additional content around professors, student communities and other content that takes away the complexity and results in happy, better-adjusted students. 

How the Student Portal Supports Retention 

Retention is another area where the student portal plays an important role. Happy students are loyal students. If you provide them with the tools to make their school life easier, they are not only satisfied with their student experience, but they'll share the positive experience with others, becoming advocates for your school.

Are there specific parts of the student portal where retention is strongly supported? All capabilities can drive improved retention, but some capabilities that we can draw specific attention to include:

  • Student communities where you can connect with other students by shared interests, such as degree, program, classes or extra-curricular interests.
  • Easy access to courses and class information, including easy collaboration with other classmates on projects and assignments, notifications by professors and links to required study resources.

Make Your Institution Stand Out

The student portal is often a competitive differentiator in the recruiting and enrollment process. When you can show prospective students that there is a place where they can easily access everything they need for their school life without have to remember half a dozen URLs and logins, where they can communicate with others, collaborate with classmates and professors and get access to a wide range of school-life resources, it shows them you understand their needs.

So if you aren't thinking about the Student Portal, it might be time you did. We can help. Download the Ingeniux Platform Overview for Higher Education to see how Ingeniux supports the development of Student Portals.

Posted by David Hillis
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