St. John's U Outsources Admissions Document Management to DataBank

Following on a business process management analysis across multiple school operations, Queens, NY-based St. John's University has decided to outsource its admissions application process to DataBank, a service provider that performs document scanning and management. The school was compelled to find an outside vendor after experiencing a 65 percent increase in admissions applications over a five-year period.

In the admissions department, St. John's initially made a decision to begin implementing an in-house solution to manage all mailroom operations and document scanning. DataBank was selected to provide the consulting and professional services required to integrate document imaging with its Sungard Banner Xtender module (a variant of an EMC Documentum software product) that would serve as the vehicle for importing digital images and data into the Banner software. After an assessment of the complexity, labor and resources required to perform the functions in-house, St. John's revised its original approach and decided to outsource the process to DataBank.

DataBank functions as the digital mail room for applications submitted to St, John's and identifies 30-plus document types and their indexing requirements. Incoming documents are grouped by applicant, noting which documents are originals and which are copies. The service provider scans documents on high-speed Kodak scanners with integrated image processing software. All images and data are uploaded to the university's workflow where processing by Banner software takes place.

"St. John's University now has a paperless Office of Admissions," said Maura Woods, executive director of applications, imaging and IT. "DataBank has aided in the elimination of lost and misfiled documents, eliminated the need for St. John's to hire and train temporary employees, and our staff is now focused on higher level tasks, all while improving the student selection process. With DataBank's established track record of performance, we are expanding the partnership to include processing of all financial aid documents."

The company provides similar services to Boston College, Northeastern University, and Carnegie Mellon University.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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