Electronic Services: A Fast, Trustworthy Approach to Benefit Students and Reduce Your Administrative Burdens
By Dr. Michelle H. Brown-Nevers, regional consultant for the National Student Clearinghouse and former Associate Vice President for Student Services at the University of Pennsylvania
Given the technological revolution, why are schools still processing paper forms? As a former registrar, I urge you to use electronic services to quickly serve student requests and reduce the administrative load.
Under my leadership at the University of Pennsylvania, my staff implemented the National Student Clearinghouse’s DegreeVerify service to eliminate the manual work involved with handling thousands of degree verification requests each year.
Before DegreeVerify was implemented in 2009, it would take up to three weeks before a request was honored. In some instances, students had to wait until this tedious and manual process was complete before they could begin work. This resulted in the Registrar’s Office being flooded with calls from students wanting to know the status of their request. In many cases, these anxious students could not begin work until their request was processed. The staff were so backed up with paper requests and manual processing, they could not meet the demand.
Once the smooth implementation took place, the Registrar’s Office received many words of praise about how quickly the process went – minutes, if not seconds! Further, staff were freed up to handle other tasks that were competing priorities when this process was manual.
The office only had to handle cases where data was not in the system. This was usually the result of conflicting information such as a name change. The employer making the request, pays for the service, not the student.
As a former registrar, I urge you to use electronic services to speed the delivery of student requests and reduce the administrative load.
Dr. Michelle H. Brown-Nevers
Former Associate Vice President for Student Services at the University of Pennsylvania
In addition to DegreeVerify, registrars and institutions should review the Clearinghouse’s other services:
Transcript Services provides the fastest and easiest approach for ordering transcripts. Your students and alumni can quickly and securely order their transcript wherever they are, whenever they have a moment, so they can get back to their lives and you don’t have to interrupt yours.
Enrollment Reporting is an easy way to offload the burden of providing status information on student financial aid recipients to the education finance industry and the Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Gone are the days of processing paper-based deferment and enrollment verification forms. The Clearinghouse provides secure, electronic data exchanges with participating guaranty agencies, lenders, and servicers. All NSLDS Student Status Confirmation Reports are automatically processed. Enrollment Reporting improves compliance, reduces administrative burden, and improves service to students.
StudentTracker allows staff to see enrollment trends and query the Clearinghouse’s participating institutions’ student data to perform all types of educational research and analyses. This is a fantastic service for institutions that lose students and want to see where they eventually enroll. It can also be used as a recruitment tool to locate students who left and are not enrolled in college.
There are many exceptional services offered by the National Student Clearinghouse that can improve service and reduce your administrative workload. To learn more, contact your Clearinghouse Regional Director to learn about these and other available services.