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“It doesn’t matter if it’s one transcript ordered or 100. Every transcript flows through exactly the same. There’s consistency”

Robert F. Fitzgerald, University Registrar at Brown University

Early Adopter Brown University Embraces Ellucian eTranscripts


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How we helped!

  • 26 transcripts processed while office closed, just days after implementation
  • Increased electronic transcripts 60%
  • Provided instant gratification for students
  • Enabled electronic transcript delivery to American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and Law School Admissions Council (LSAC)
  • Reduced turnaround from 3 to 5 business days to 15 minutes
  • Completely eliminated data entry

“It’s a good move for the institution and a great move for students and alumni for getting instant gratification or close to it.”

Founded in 1764, Brown University is one of the oldest colleges in the country. A Carnegie one classification Ivy League institution, the university caters to a diverse population of 8,500 students representing undergraduate, graduate, PhD, medical, and professional degree seeking students, as well as pre- college, non-credit earning high school students.

Their driven approach to provide quality services to students and alumni led Brown University to become an early adopter of Ellucian eTranscripts. In a first-of-its-kind approach to end-to-end transcript ordering automation, the Clearinghouse’s partnership with Ellucian offers “touch-free” electronic transcript processing and delivery through eTranscripts.

“We wanted an interface of Clearinghouse services into Banner for a number of years,” recounts University Registrar, Robert Fitzgerald. “Once the Clearinghouse partnered with Ellucian for eTranscripts, it saved us development costs and resources to do that internally as a customization or local modification. We waited for this process to be delivered.”

eTranscripts Brings New Positions and New Possibilities

On average, 13,000 transcript orders come through the registrar’s office per year. Before implementing eTranscripts, Brown had four employees assigned to manually input transcript requests while balancing other day-to-day responsibilities.

eTranscripts allows the registrar’s office to handle a high volume of transcripts with minimal staff involvement. So minimal in fact that during a three-day weekend, just days after implementation, 26 transcripts were processed while the office was closed. “They all got delivered by Tuesday morning,” described Fitzgerald. “That would have taken a staff member, before eTranscripts, two hours to key in all those orders…We’ve taken out the staff middleman and time component associated with that part of the equation. It doesn’t matter if it’s one transcript ordered or 100. Every transcript flows through exactly the same. There’s consistency.”

eTranscripts is being used to automate more and more orders, freeing the registrar staff to reallocate resources where needed. “These are still tough economic times. Requesting additional funding from the institution for creating, hiring, and employing a new position is not something everyone is willing to do,” said Fitzgerald. By reducing the three or four full-time employees dedicated to transcript ordering to one or two in the next few months existing salary dollars can be allocated to create needed new staff positions without increased funding.

“Now with this new process, we’re advertising and pushing students and alumni to utilize the Clearinghouse portal so that it eliminates our data entry completely,” said Fitzgerald. On average, when a student ordered a transcript in person, turnaround took three to five business days. Now, via eTranscripts touch-free processing, most orders are done in 15 minutes.

Optimized for the 21st Century Student

While the speed and transparency of eTranscripts reflect an increased growth in the number of electronic transcripts being handled through the Clearinghouse, another contributing factor is that two of Brown University’s largest recipients, American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), accept electronic transcripts from the Clearinghouse.

Additionally, as Fitzgerald explains, students are ordering electronic transcripts because a lot of corporations are only accepting transcripts electronically, citing Google and others as examples that prefer a secure PDF. A trend he does not see slowing down, “I think it’s going to grow as more and more institutions themselves, such as undergraduate admissions and graduate admissions, get onboard with electronic document imaging vs. paper documents that need to be scanned and stored in system.”

For Brown University, eTranscripts, in combination with Clearinghouse Transcript Ordering, provides the easiest and safest way for students to order their transcripts and ensure they arrive at their desired location as quickly as possible. Referring to traditional ordering, Fitzgerald notes, “It’s a function that’s outlived its usefulness for the students and alums,” and students seem to agree; the number of electronic transcripts handled through the Clearinghouse increased 60 percent in the last year alone.

“It’s a good move for the institution and a great move for students and alumni for getting instant gratification or close to it.”

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