Why schools need more than a generic CRM with an enrolment form

Adding an enrolment form to a CRM doesn't make it into an enrolment system. You can do it with Zoho, Hubspot, Salesforce etc. You can even slap one onto your website and collect info into something which looks like a CRM. But a true online enrolment system is much more than that. Continue reading to find out why.

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So, after we signed-up a large Melbourne school last month, with a population of around ~1500 students, we started chatting about why they selected EnrolHQ. The school was open about the fact that we were in bake-off with several other solutions...and trust me, these guys did they due diligence. The first time they reached out to us was over two years ago.

We got talking about "why us" and here's what we came up with:

  • This school has a loooong waiting list. They're full for 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025. Because of this, they don't really care about this generic CRM stuff like leads, lead conversions, 5 step automated email prompting them to submit the enrolment form (as a note, we do offer these features, but that wasn't a consideration).
  • The school wanted parents to keep their details up to date and also to be able to collect data from them occasionally, or show a promotional video and some news, while they're patiently waiting for the enrolment offer. We're pretty much the only ones with a decent future parent portal that can do all this. With EnrolHQ, parents log in into EnrolHQ's parent portal and watch and read the material provided by the school, or fill in a form or two, as well as keep their details up to date.
  • We have the full parent journey implemented, from the first touch with the school, through to review, interview, document re-upload, additional information request and the push into school's student management system. We've covered everything, and we've covered it in depth. If you want to know how deep this baby goes you can see some recent update notes here and here.
  • Our knowledge of the enrolment process is second to none. You could attend one of our weekly webinars to see how we understand both the role of the admissions team and the complete parent journey.
  • Even though all the exchanges with this new client were via Zoom and email I think they felt our firm handshake. Openness and genuineness are part of our culture. For example. we're one of the rare companies in Edtech who display their pricing on their website.

Whoops! This post started about generic CRMs with an enrolment form and then I went off on the tangent. Sorry.

To get back to it, you can add a web form to anything and call it an enrolment system. You can do this with Zoho, Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, Salesforce etc. The devil however is in the detail. And here are some questions you can think about when choosing an enrolment system for your school:

  • How are split families handled? Anything from split signatures to revealing the information between the parents.
  • How do parents keep their information up to date while on the waiting list?
  • Can you present different information inside the parent portal, depending on the year and other status info?
  • How do you collect additional information from the parents, such as custom onboarding forms?
  • Can your onboarding forms target individuals or certain groups of parents - and have reporting capabilities?
  • Can your system handle scholarships?
  • Does it have a form builder for you to self-manage?
  • Can you update the forms by yourself and include/exclude fields and even steps inside the forms?
  • Does your system have interviews and can parents book themselves in? Can you offer only certain spots to certain parents, depending on the info they supplied inside their enrolment form?
  • Does your system offer acceptance workflow with different pricing for different years or different relationship scenarios (eg staff children), payment gateway integration etc.
  • Is your system integrated with your SIS?

That should be enough questions for now so you can start evaluating your processes and CRM.

That's it from me. Bye for now.



Published: 13 Jul 2021

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