Two new process improvements make it easier than ever for students to become part of IU Online.
To gain admission to IU Online programs, students must submit their transcripts as part of the application process. For many transfer students, this usually requires requesting (and paying for) transcripts from two or three (or more) other institutions. Getting all these transcripts often presented a significant obstacle for applicants. Many had been out of school for a few years. Others had attended multiple institutions, and finding out how to get a transcript from each took a significant amount of time. Throw in the costs of ordering transcripts, and you can understand why many applicants failed to complete their application.
This year, the Office of Online Education, through its admissions partnership with IU Kokomo, piloted a transcript request service on behalf of students who grant IU the permission to obtain their records. There is no cost to students. They simply opt in to the service when they apply using the IU Online application form.
The service collects transcripts quickly and securely. Students can track the status of their requests, and they receive alerts about any transcripts they must retrieve on their own. The service will soon be available to graduate students.
As of July 20, just over half the students who applied to IU Online for the fall 2020 term had opted in to the transcript request service. Opting in seems to have increased the percentage of students who progressed in the application process. Sixty-four percent of students who opted in completed their applications, compared to the 57 percent who completed their applications without using the service. Students who used the transcript service were also admitted at a higher rate. Forty-nine percent of those who did were admitted to the university, compared to the 43 percent admitted who did not.
Until recently, students wanting to "temporarily transfer" from their home campus to another IU campus or campuses to take a class or two had to navigate a convoluted process that required them to submit lengthy forms to each "transfer" campus. The process repeated itself every semester a student wanted to take courses from another campus, even if the student had previously taken courses from that campus. This intercampus transfer process was a roadblock for students looking for online classes that their home campus did not offer. As a result, students often enrolled elsewhere to take the course.
To address the issue, the Office of Online Education collaborated with University Student Services & Systems (USSS) to develop a simplified process that takes a mere 30 seconds to complete. A form that covers all campuses and all modes of instruction guides students. Said one student, "The intercampus transfer form is by far the easiest thing I've had to fill out during my time at IU. The form was straightforward, and I got prompt emails that allowed me to enroll in my class the next morning."
Although most students would like to take courses through their home campus, it's advantageous to provide students needing to enroll at another campus an easy process for doing so.