With roughly 500 full-time students enrolled and living on its south-central Kansas campus, Pratt Community College maintains a vital role in shaping the educational and technical skills of the regional workforce.

Despite its smaller size compared to other institutions, the college has made the business process and student services innovation a campus-wide priority.

With the selection of the Softdocs platform, the internal IT team decided to tackle the student services area with the largest volume of paper documents and forms inefficiencies—Financial Aid. Working with department staff, IT was able to transition 50 essential forms into online format, simplifying and accelerating the financial aid application and award processes.


Taking Complexity Out of Program Applications

Seeing the advantages of Softdocs document management and workflow at work in Financial Aid, one of the college’s most popular technical education programs wanted onboard. The Electrical Power Technology program (EPT) is one of the most comprehensive Electrical Power Lineman Programs in the nation and one of only two in the state of Kansas. This program offers students a variety of ways to attend classes, including on-campus courses, distance education and on-the-job training.

Admission to the program comes with several requirements and document submissions. Also, students often have jobs in the field while they are taking classes, so work agreements with employers are necessary, along with a record of hours in the program. With Softdocs, staff deployed 20 electronic forms, replacing previously paper-based processing and allowing instructors to easily see whether students have completed/submitted all needed forms. Admissions officers can pull up a current or upcoming academic year report and know where each student stands in providing the necessary documentation.


Stripe Integration Improves Payment Processing

For years, the college’s Residence Life department had struggled to encourage early deposits for student housing and easily reconcile housing applications if/when payments were made. Pratt’s IT team addressed this challenge through a unique API integration connecting the Softdocs platform to their Stripe payment platform.

“We are not actually handling the student or parent’s credit card at all,” said Nathan Buchmueller, Data Management Specialist at Pratt Community College.

“We have a link to a pre-created product page with Stripe, and in that link, we can embed two pieces of information, the client reference ID (or in this case, student ID) and an email address. This is how we know who is filling out these forms and who’s paying.”

The Softdocs integration with Stripe allows Residence Life staff to view and confirm a student’s payment status, knowing immediately this student is now approved to submit their housing application. It’s also a valuable new process for students because of the “first come, first serve” basis for selecting on-campus housing.

By providing payment status visibility to everyone who needs it, coordination between departments is much easier. “Now the Business Office receives live updates of student payments when it used to take weeks or months to resolve,” said Buchmueller.

With more than 150 active forms across campus and nearly 100 workflows, Pratt Community College is proving that institution size doesn’t matter when creating meaningful efficiencies to improve student services.