Grayson College is a premier learning college in Denison, Texas. Having been in operation for over fifty years, Grayson is no stranger to building higher education programs from the ground up. One pillar that sets Grayson apart use of cutting-edge technology to better serve their students and administrative staff.
into their student portal, giving staff and students an easy, fast, and reliable way to complete what were once slow and frustrating paperwork flows.
About Grayson College
Grayson campus enrolls approximately 5,000 students per term. On a yearly basis – including the summer session – they can expect upwards of 12,000. With so many students you can bet that’s a lot of paperwork. Tackling such a high volume of paperwork presented challenges to both students and staff alike.
Casey Ticknor, Grayson’s Sr. DBA/Project Manager, shared:
“Often times during the rush of getting Financial Aid and starting the term, students lose track of deadlines or aren’t aware of documents that need to be signed. They end up visiting the administrative office, waiting their turn, and when they finally get to the front of the line they realize they don’t have the documents they need.”
At best, this adds frustration and stress as the student scrambles to collect and complete their paperwork. At worst, it means the student misses the deadline entirely.
Grayson College wanted to provide their students with an easier way to facilitate paperwork flows.
“We needed to make sure the students had the opportunity to complete these documents before they ran up against a deadline.”
How Grayson Uses HelloSign
So Grayson started the hunt for a holistic solution to their paperwork challenges; one that could minimize manual paperwork while still setting their students (and the administration) up for success. They found the perfect fit in HelloSign’s API. The API allowed them to embed online signing flows right onto their student portal.
“We initially embedded HelloSign within our student portal so students could sign a common document like the FERPA Release Form from their online dashboard. We set up the integration so that Financial Aid office would also be notified when the form is signed, and a completed copy of the document is attached to the student’s dashboard.”
The initial integration worked so well that “[Grayson] has since rolled out registration forms and other forms.”
As of today, Grayson uses HelloSign to facilitate ~100 out of roughly 239 forms.
Some of the most common being:
- FERPA Release Form
- Financial Aid Forms for Dependent and Independent
- Change of Circumstance Form
- Work Study Applications
- Loan Applications
Ticknor said, “For the first time students can do things like enroll and get financial aid fully online. It’s huge.”
Behind-the-Scenes of the Integration
The integration of HelloSign’s API into Grayson’s student portal was a snap. It took roughly three weeks to go from nothing to a fully up-and-running integration, “including presenting the project, sharing project details, etc.” said Ticknor.
The flexibility of HelloSign’s API allowed Grayson to customize their integration, so they were able to fine tune their paperwork flows and premium brand the signing experience so that it blended seamlessly into the Grayson website.
When asked “Why HelloSign?” Ticknor shared it came down to two main factors:
- Price. “It was a phenomenal price for what we were trying to do. As you look at competitors you start to see how much more expensive it can get. Having a good price is really important when you’re an educational institution.”
- HelloSign is an API-driven company. “We liked the fact that HelloSign was focused on providing a great experience for developers. The HelloSign API and the documentation are both really excellent. There was more than enough info for every question we might have had. And as we were building we kept realizing there were feature sets to support even more sophisticated workflows. It made for a great evolution of the integration.”
The Happy Results
Of course the most rewarding part of any integration is experiencing great results. The college has already seen a great response from both students and administration.
“I was in a meeting with our Director of Financial Aid and Director of Admissions and Registrar. I asked them for feedback on their experience since the integration went live. The Registrar said that the embedded FERPA release has greatly increased their office efficiency. They get the paperwork quickly and it’s already been signed.”
Additionally, completion rates for the documents have improved:
“The administration office is getting more and more people signing the FERPA form – more than when people were doing it manually. The integration was built to be easy to use and effective. So far that's proven to be the case.”
What’s Next for Grayson College
Grayson plans to continue using HelloSign to streamline paperwork flows and using tech to solve traditional challenges. They’re thrilled to be on the forefront of the paperless movement in higher education.
“I really think higher education will become a big space for eSignatures. After talking with several other schools at a conference recently, I saw the amount of interest it generated. Since that conference, three colleges have reached out to me to learn more about the process. Schools are ready to start the process of moving things online. It’s exciting!”
To learn more about Grayson College and their programs,
To see how you might integrate online signing flows into your programs, check out the HelloSign API.