Ask any college student, parent or administrator what the number one hassle is when it comes to enrolling in classes, requesting financial aid or filing applications, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: red tape. Today’s universities are centers of teaching and research, but too many are woefully inefficient at handling the paperwork that keeps the whole school running. But not for much longer.
From Silicon Valley to the Ivy League, colleges and universities are finally starting to embrace the information age in the form of a revolutionary new approach: education technology.
Tech Outside the Classroom
Professor and deans have long recognized the usefulness of technology in the classroom, but now a host of new high-tech tools, called “ed tech,” are helping administrators as well. These software solutions streamline admissions, enrollment, financial aid, registration and even student health care.
Ed tech expert Audrey Watters noted colleges have been resistant to accept technological solutions for years, but now the barriers are coming down. Thanks to proven software and massive improvements in efficiency and student satisfaction, more and more higher education institutions are looking to technological solutions for administrative challenges. Venture capital firms are taking note, pouring billions into education startup firms.
Colleges and universities love the next generation of ed tech for the same reason as Wall Street: it works. New software allows financial aid offices to save thousands of hours they would have spent chasing down FAFSA forms and processing paperwork. Academic advisers can show their students online tools outlining graduation requirements in an easy, user-friendly format instead of pouring over thousands of pages of Byzantine transcripts.
The new wave of technologies saves administrations time and money and makes students and parents happier with their educational experiences. It’s no wonder ed tech companies attracted $1.87 billion in venture capital funding last year.
Ed Tech Disrupts the Higher Ed Industry
Education technology is changing higher ed; there’s no hiding from that fact. Check back all week to learn more about the fascinating and up-and-coming industry of ed tech, with our articles How Ed Tech is Changing Higher Ed and Ed Tech Companies to Watch.