Competing for students is the bottom line reality in Higher Education. In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, colleges and universities need to respond to the various demands to attract and keep the best students through the entire student lifecycle, while keeping costs as low as possible.
Student Lifecycle consist of the following phases:
• Prospect
• Recruitment
• Course Registration
• Progression
• Graduation
• Alumni
• Donor

To increase efficiency, adoption of software technologies is necessary to manage and improve the student lifecycle. Administrative staff can now obtain student information on demand from a secure single source. Self-service portals allows students access to grades and ownership of their payments. This frees up resources to focus on other responsibilities, such as facilitating the student to graduation and becoming a satisfied alumni. The institution desires to have the graduating individual feel their degree was worth the effort and financial investment.

The progress, financial savings, efficiencies, and software solutions to manage the student lifecycle have been well documented, but is the challenge greater than the student lifecycle? The role of the administrative staff is complex, and challenging. Administrators are expected to ensure students receive a rich, and valuable educational experience, while serving the goals of the institution with an ever sharpening public focus on accountability.

A few questions:
• As institutions face legal, financial, and governance challenges will they be able to continue their deep focus on the student lifecycle?
• Will they be required to direct their attention to demonstrating their competence, and justifying their credentials?
• While institutions develop technological strategies and adopt solutions to address the ever changing sea of challenges facing higher education, will these solutions be able to address these challenges?
• Are these technologies simply non-competitive stop gap solutions, and don’t address the strategic direction of their institution?

As colleges and universities tackle these challenges we want to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments on what your solutions could do better today and in the future to address the challenges.

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