4 Steps to More Helpful College Enrollment Checklists

Four steps to more helpful college enrollment checklists.

Let’s face it: the to-do items that incoming students must complete before matriculation are often involved and confusing:

Submit Form B to Office X, but only after getting confirmation from Office Y that they have received and processed Form A.

Typical student responses to such instructions:
"Wait, what do I need to do?"
"But where is Form A?"

With acceptance letters starting to roll in and College Decision Day approaching, now is the time to make sure your 2016 enrollment checklist is optimized for the best possible student experience. Make it easy for students to complete pre-matriculation tasks by asking yourself these four questions about your enrollment checklist. 

1. Are to-do items listed in the order in which they should be completed?

The most helpful checklists not only let students know what tasks they must complete, but also make it easy for students to know the order in which tasks should be completed.

For example, let’s say students at your college cannot register for orientation until they have submitted proof of insurance. In this case, information about purchasing and submitting proof of insurance should be listed before information about registering for orientation.

2. Is the deadline for completion of each step stated?

This should be a no-brainer, but there are still many enrollment checklists out there that provide little information about deadlines.

Make sure each item on your enrollment checklist is accompanied by a deadline. If there are multiple deadlines or priority deadlines, be sure to note those as well.

3. Are direct links provided for all required forms and documents?

One of the most frustrating parts of the enrollment process is hunting down the myriad documents and forms that must be submitted. Many of these documents are buried deep in various office or department websites, making it more difficult for students and their families to locate.

To simplify the process, ensure your checklist links directly to a PDF of the required forms, or to a site where those forms can be submitted electronically. If you send students paper checklists, include the complete URL to each form or document on the checklist.

4. For each step in the process, is the name and contact information of someone who can help clearly listed?

No matter how hard you work to make your enrollment checklist as helpful as possible, questions always come up.

It may be tempting to instruct students and their families to "contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance." But if you're looking to streamline the process and give students the best possible experience, let them know exactly whom to contact if they need some help. Be sure to provide that person's email address and/or phone number so students don't have to look it up.

Ready to learn more about optimizing your college's enrollment checklist? Contact our campus consultants to talk through these tips and get suggestions for giving your admitted students the best experience possible.


Nika Strzelecka

Nika is a Senior Campus Consultant for Campus Bubble (CB). She worked in education for nearly nine years before coming to CB, first as a teacher and then as a college administrator. She thought about pursuing a Ph.D., but decided she could more effectively share information through webinars, blog posts, and social media. She enjoys thinking, researching, and writing about college admissions, higher education marketing, student engagement, and using technology to expand access to higher education.



February 29, 2016