The scene is set—the leaves are beginning to turn; it is about midterm in the first quarter of senior year. The process begins for sifting through piles upon piles of paperwork including college and university applications, letters of recommendation, proof of volunteer work, entrance essays, and more. It is time to apply for college!
In 2013, enrollment in degree-granting post-secondary schools was 17.5 million, with numbers projected to be at 19.6 million by 2024. There are two avenues by which students can apply to college: traditional paper application and online. Think of all of the applications each college receives from students who hope to attend! This is a staggering thought, especially if you are in charge of your college admissions process.
A Brief History of College Records
In the 1960s, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) first published guidelines for records retention and disposal. This came at a time when records were kept in large filing cabinets, and it addressed which records to keep and which to dispose of. In 1987, an update was given in regards to retention and disposition of records kept on microfilm and microfiche as well as computer media such as disks, diskettes, tapes, and optical disks. At this time, it was obvious that computer storage was a crucial part of college student record keeping.
During the historical examination of record keeping and disposition, it also became clear that these records were of great interest to historians and genealogists alike long after students graduated and secured employment. Thus, the importance of long-term record retention became a reality.
Receiving and Processing Student Records
As mentioned previously, student applications are received by way of the mail and through electronic submission.
The review and admissions process varies from educational institution to educational institution, but the application and records generally follow the following path:
- Registrars and admissions officers receive each application and create a file for the potential student. At this point, paper documents are scanned into electronic files.
- Admission officers review the documents and verify that the applicant qualifies for admission into the desired program of choice (i.e., degree-seeking versus non-degree seeking, postgraduate programs).
- If admissions are limited, the applications go on to the admissions board for a review.
- If additional testing is needed, the applicant is notified via email.
- Applicants are notified of acceptance or denial.
- Applicants must accept or reject entrance into the college.
- Once accepted, applicant records are tied with student aid, scholarships, tuition payment, class schedules, degree fulfillment, and other such information.
Storing College Admission Records
Space is always a premium when it comes to educational institutions. Records storage is something that is always taken into account when it comes to building design, and millions of square feet across the United States are dedicated to student information storage inside hundreds of colleges. Outside of the physical records, many records have been stored on computer media for at least 3 decades. This digital method of storage helps with space-saving efforts and retrieval efforts, but it does generate possible issues with confidentiality and security.
Retrieving College Records
Student records are retrieved for a variety of reasons by many different people. Upon initial receipt, the student application is retrieved by registrars, admissions officers, testing departments, and guidance counselors, among others.
Student records are later retrieved for any or all of the following reasons:
- Financial aid processing
- Class scheduling
- Tuition payments
- Grade review
- Graduation evaluation
This by no means is a comprehensive list of reasons to retrieve a college record, and it certainly does not include the reasons for retrieval that are made after graduation, such as transcript requests, degree requests, public requests, and more.
Records Storage and Retrieval Solutions
Colleges and universities take great care to keep careful records and to be able to access said records when called upon. But, wouldn’t it be great to be able to have a streamlined and foolproof method to both store and retrieve records without spending copious amounts of time searching for specific records? Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of the mounting physical storage cabinets?
The solution to all of your educational storage needs is found within eFileCabinet’s document management software (DMS). With DMS, you can quickly and securely store and retrieve any document or any file because of the associated ease of use. You no longer need to remember which electronic file each document was filed under and when it was filed—a simple search term will do.
Utilizing this DMS, you can also set up a workflow path to automatically move documents to a specific file or person at a designated time or date. Additionally, because eFileCabinet’s DMS is secure and safe, all files are compliant with educational industry standards.
Take a moment to look over the benefits of a DMS for your student records storage and retrieval needs.