Regardless of size or geographic region, higher education institutions need efficient and flexible solutions to serve several unique populations. At a college or university, everyone from potential students, to adjunct professors, to full-time administrative and technical staff need the right tools and platforms to make recurring processes even more simple.
One of those processes involves the use of applications to collect, send, and manage data. With FormAssembly, institutions can revamp standard application processes so that they’re more connected, productive, and secure.
Mid-summer is a great time to prepare for the upcoming academic year, and there are many exciting events for higher education professionals throughout this season. If you’re a higher ed professional looking to brush up on your form-building skills or knowledge, keep reading.
Why should you use a data collection platform for applications?
Despite a year of change and uncertainty, recent data shows that applications for incoming higher ed students are on the rise. This is particularly true at exclusive universities and colleges that accept fewer students for admission.
In addition to general admissions applications, higher ed institutions regularly collect and manage data for other kinds of application processes. There are several reasons why FormAssembly is the ideal choice for modernizing these procedures, including:
- Powerful features and integrations make it easy to connect with other applications
- Pre-built templates (found in the Template Library) save time and effort by offering pre-made solutions for many types of application projects
- Compliance with GLBA, GDPR, FERPA, and data privacy regulations give colleges peace of mind while navigating tough privacy legislation
- Encryption at rest and sensitive data controls allow universities to safeguard sensitive student data and financial information with ease
- Having a single source for data collection unites an entire organization, providing visibility and transparency throughout the student journey
Types of higher education applications
When it comes to application uses in higher ed, it’s time to think outside the box. College staff regularly need more than just admissions applications to continue the important work of educating and connecting with students.
Below are several additional ideas for recreating the standard application experience with intuitive web forms.
Pre-enrollment interest forms
Does your recruitment team need a reliable system for gathering data from interested students? Whether you choose to incorporate a branded form on your website or collect data on-the-go at recruitment fairs and events, connected web forms can make the job easier.
Graduate and undergraduate admission applications
The standard application form is relevant for any level of degree or program, including graduate and undergraduate degrees. FormAssembly allows users to submit personal contact details securely, upload required documents and attachments, and submit longer responses as required by the application process.
Most higher education institutions offer some type of scholarship or grant to qualifying students. To make the process easier, staff can use FormAssembly to create and distribute scholarship application forms. After students submit these applications, any approving staff member or panelist can see, respond to, and act on incoming applications.
Executive training applications
Many colleges and universities offer outside education offerings to individuals who are not full-time students. This includes executives and other adult learners who may come to campus in the off season to enroll in short-term courses or professional development opportunities. Institutions can manage who is on campus (and who may need temporary on-campus housing) with advanced application forms.
Grant and financial assistance applications
Financial assistance is a regular need for most full-time college students, but the application process can often be overwhelming. Simplified forms bring peace of mind and easy access to students who want to pursue grants and financial assistance directly from their school of choice. Additionally, staff members who manage these steps can gain better visibility into when these applications are submitted.
Basic application form steps
It doesn’t require advanced training or technical background to get up and running with FormAssembly for collegiate application forms. Staff members from any office or role can produce, send, and manage forms in a short amount of time. This ease of use means that overburdened IT teams can pass the baton to any qualified staff member who has access to FormAssembly.
What we were really able to do with [FormAssembly] is to take stuff off the plates of Salesforce Developers who are extremely backlogged.
Cornell University’s SC Johnson School of Business
Your college or university can start to enjoy the same results by following the simple form creation steps outlined below:
Step 1: Build and customize
With FormAssembly, each user can create forms that are as simple or complex as needed. This includes the ability to use custom code, branding, and specialized features.
FormAssembly’s drag-and-drop form builder is designed to be user-friendly yet powerful. Take advantage of these features to create forms that look and function exactly the way you want them to:
- Add and edit content, including fields, pages, and paragraphs
- Organize form fields and control the layout of each page
- Use field options to further customize with text validations, conditional questions, and menu dependencies
As always, FormAssembly’s comprehensive Resource Center is the best place to learn about form creation, customization, and more.
Step 2: Send forms to students, faculty, or staff
No matter who the recipient is, FormAssembly makes it easy to send and distribute new application forms. Whenever you create a new form, choose from a variety of ways to publish and send:
- Send direct links to FormAssembly hosted forms via email or SMS
- Embed on your webpage with HTML
- Publish using an iFrame
- Use a custom URL to share with respondents
Step 3: Seamlessly upload data to a CRM
Once respondents submit their personal answers and information, FormAssembly’s powerful integrations make it easy to see that data in real time. For institutions that also leverage Salesforce, the possibilities are nearly endless. Using the Salesforce Connector, information flows easily from respondents, to forms, to CRM to create up-to-date contact records for each student or applicant.
Application examples and use cases
Features and functionality are great, but the real question comes down to whether they actually work. The good news is that hundreds of higher education institutions have trusted FormAssembly with their data collection needs to the benefit of both staff and students. Read on to learn about real-world higher ed institutions who are experiencing application success with FormAssembly.
Western Connecticut State University
Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) was previously using a complicated string of paper forms to complete administrative processes. Not only was this a hassle for students, but it also led to extra work for busy staff and administrators.
A revamped admissions application form relieved some of the pressure by creating a system that worked on autopilot. This form alone has saved staff over 1,600 working hours and has collected responses from nearly 10,000 applicants.
Creating an engaging recruitment experience is a primary goal at Maryville University. When staff realized the potential for powerful yet engaging web forms, they began to use these applications to learn more about potential and incoming students.
Aside from making it easier for students to apply, recruiting staff found a way to standardize the data they collected from prospects so that they knew as much as they could about each person. As a result, everyone on staff has accurate and reliable data about potential students.
University of Florida
Even in times of unexpected crisis, higher ed institutions need a reliable and secure way to collect student data. This is particularly true when there are resources and aid available to help.
At the University of Florida, staff members created easy-to-use application forms for a financial assistance program called Aid-A-Gator. This program used emergency funding to help students manage financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The form connected to Salesforce, allowing staff to see incoming applications and act quickly to disperse funds.
With the help of this application process, the university was able to award and distribute over $10 million in emergency funding to members of the college community.
Accomplish more with FormAssembly
Application creation is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using FormAssembly to solve higher education challenges. Are you ready to see what else it can do? Check out our on-demand webinar below to discover even more ways to transform higher ed with better data collection.