Paper Jams the Admissions Process

For years, Francis Tuttle’s admissions team struggled to find a document management and workflow system to effectively support a complex high school application process. They needed a solution that would simplify enrollment for students, improve communication with high school counselors, students and parents; and reclaim precious time in the workday for Admissions and Registrar staff.

Prior to using Etrieve, “working the student application” meant a series of paper-based, manual steps that was all-consuming for Francis Tuttle staff.

“Everything was paper. For larger schools, paper applications could sit in stacks with advisors stapling transcripts, attendance, and more documents to them,” said Emily Steele, Director of the Career Planning Center. “Then the stacks would go to the Registrar’s Office for manual entry into our custom-built SIS. Of course, things could get lost along the way with all those hands touching it.”

“When we accepted or wait-listed a student, we sent them a letter via snail mail. We had envelope-stuffing parties in the conference room,” said Steele. “We hoped we interpreted their handwritten address correctly, and if in six months, the letter came back to us, we hoped the student knew he or she was accepted because they never got their letter.” In short, the process was far from ideal.


Simplifying the Student Experience

Integrating Etrieve document management, eForms, and process automation with the campus’ unique SIS changed everything. No longer burdened with paper pushing, Francis Tuttle Admissions staff could refocus their energies on increasing student enrollment and offering students additional guidance during this stressful time of year. Etrieve lets students own their enrollment process to a large degree, instead of relying on high school counselors to apply for them.

“With Etrieve, students can complete and submit an application on their own, even using their phone,” said Steele. “Our recruitment team will bring in high school students for campus tours. Now we provide them with a QR code to scan, and they can create their Francis Tuttle account right then and there. That step is complete, so when they get back to school or home and log in, they can dive right into completing their application.” By simplifying the application process in this way, admissions staff anticipate a future increase in the number of high school applications.

“Since implementing Etrieve in December 2022, we have processed roughly 1,700 high school student applications,” said Rich Coombe, Database System Administrator. And the challenges with sending student letters via traditional mail? Eliminated. “Now we can quickly pull the right email addresses and send acceptance and wait-list letters to both the student and the parent,” said Steele. “We’ve never been able to do that before.”


Making High School Counselors’ Lives Easier

Enrollment season is a busy time for counselors charged with re-enrollment master schedules that inform their high school’s staffing needs. The faster they know how many students will attend Francis Tuttle, the sooner and more accurately they can balance existing teacher workloads and recommend additional hires if needed. With Etrieve’s automatically generated enrollment reports, counselors receive this information via email in record time. “Anything we can do to help them and make their lives easier is a win for us,” said Steele.

When it comes to tracking a student’s application status and responding to counselor inquiries, Francis Tuttle has answers in seconds. “Now, we simply pull up an application from wherever we are. If I am working at home at 9:00 p.m. and I need to reference a student’s application, I can do that,” said Andrew Hammontree, Director of Student Administrative Services. “And for the Admission team, they don’t have to walk across campus to the Registrar’s Office to find a copy of the application they need.”

Etrieve doesn’t just save time for staff, it gives them the answers they need the moment they need them. “Just this week we had a high school counselor ask us, ‘Why am I not seeing a status for this student’s application?’” said Steele. “I was able to quickly pull up the application in Etrieve and see in the notes where it stated, ‘High school counselor emailed need to cancel this app due to truancy.’” Instant access to application status and insights is a win-win for admissions staff and counselors.


Clean, Accurate Data Tells a Story

Another significant win for the Francis Tuttle team is clean, accurate data made possible by Etrieve automated forms and processes. “Previously, our Registrar’s Office would manually enter all the data from the student’s application. Now with the click of a button, they can import the data rather than typing it all in,” said Hammontree. “The less manual intervention we have, the fewer errors we will have and that will lead to cleaner data.”

“With the more accurate data we capture via Etrieve, we’re able to organize it and build out useful student enrollment reports. Something we could never do when we relied on paper,” said Coombe.

“It’s been a long-time goal of ours for staff to spend less time entering data and more time analyzing the data,” said Hammontree. “From an administrator’s perspective, I want to see trends in our student application numbers and know actual ratios and percentages, not guesstimates or anecdotal stories. With Softdocs, the data tells the story.”