Wesleyan University.

A Private, Highly Selective Liberal Arts College.

Close your eyes and imagine a small New England private college with classic academic buildings and beautiful fall foliage. Got it? You’re probably picturing something like Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

The Challenge

Wesleyan is a quintessentially beautiful college campus. It’s also consistently regarded as one of the very best liberal arts universities in the country.

But setting up Slate doesn’t magically get easier just because you’re a storied institution of higher education. In fact, the longer you’ve been around, the more idiosyncratic your processes and operations have probably become.

That was certainly the case at Wesleyan when we started working with their Continuing Studies division. While most of our engagements at Waybetter involve helping clients use Slate to communicate with prospective students, at Wesleyan we were helping their team better connect with current undergraduate students who might be interested in signing up for Winter and Summer Term courses—an important revenue stream for the University.

Prior to acquiring Slate, Wesleyan had done their best with the tools at their disposal, but over time the system had become onerous for everyone involved. Our comprehensive audit revealed that they had come to rely on a patchwork of Google forms and manual project management to do everything from collecting financial aid applications to processing and approving admissions applications and enrolling students.

As is often the case, friction at key points in the student journey slowed everybody down and even prevented interested students from getting where they wanted to be.

The Better Way

We knew right from the start that we wanted to help Wesleyan build a Slate instance that made all of their lives easier and that helped everyone achieve their goals. We started by conceiving a framework that would bring Slate’s powerful automation capabilities to bear on complex burdensome processes. Following our recommendations, this work has included:
  • Transitioning from Google forms hosted across a number of web locations to centralized form management in Slate.
  • Building a series of triggers to students to let them know when they need to complete a certain action in the application and enrollment processes.
  • Building a series of triggers to faculty to let them know when they need to review or approve parts of the application and enrollment processes.
  • Building an automated drip campaign to admitted students that shepherded them toward completing crucial actions, like completing the financial aid application, without which the team wouldn’t know how much to charge for the course.

Results

We’re so proud of the work we’ve helped Wesleyan accomplish to date. We’re even prouder of the results: They saw a 49% increase in Winter term aid applications over the previous year. In addition, a fully-automated enrollment process is set up for Summer 2022.

In addition to these results, we’re also glad to report that they were achieved while lightening the workload for everyone involved—for students, for admissions, and for faculty alike.

0 %
increase in Winter term applications

Waybetter has helped to rebuild our Slate instance from the ground up.

Along the way they have made many of our systems and processes so much better and more seamless. Our jobs are easier, and our faculty and students are being served better and more efficiently. And we are seeing results! A quick example: Waybetter helped us overhaul our Winter Session Aid Application process. From their recommendations, we #1 moved the form to Slate, #2 used prospect ID to autofill information we already knew about the student, and #3, also set up a drip campaign to encourage students to fill it out! The number of aid applications increased by almost 50% compared to last year! So, better UX led to higher conversion, and it was better on the back-end for management since it was all in Slate (and not hosted in Google)! A huge win all the way around.

— Mary G Kelly, Senior Associate Director, Wesleyan University