Colleges Turning to Wisr to Stay Connected with Students During COVID-19

Cleveland software company Wisr help schools build a digital network around students.

The company’s software has always been popular with earlier adopters and universities looking to differentiate themselves with a strong digital presence. But the current wave of shelter-in-place orders and cancelled college visits has created a new surge demand amongst enrollment and admissions teams.

This JumpStart Focus Fund portfolio company was at the center of a recent profile in Forbes, which examined how colleges are working to build better digital communities while dealing with the isolation of COVID-19.

From the article:

Over the past month, Wisr has more than doubled its list of partner schools, including Yale, Brown, Duke, Cleveland State and more. Higher education is often considered a slow-moving enterprise. But Wisr has been able to onboard those admissions teams quickly. Average launch time has been 12 days, CEO Kate Volzer said.

“Higher ed, it’s like a tanker — you can’t just pivot on a dime. But what the industry has done so far, taking the whole process online, it’s really impressive,” she said.

The company says digital connectivity reduces stress and anxiety for students. For schools, it boosts engagement, it provides a more meaningful admissions experience, and gives a real-time engagement tool to see what students may need additional support.

“Right now, universities are working to create a new normal,” Volzer said. “Creating a dynamic digital campus experience isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’ anymore – it’s a necessity. And some schools are getting really creative with it. The more they can have these fun interactions with each other – it’s not just about lectures, filling out paperwork and all the tactical things that go along with school – the more you can give [these students] a place to be themselves, that’s a good thing.”

This story originally appeared in Forbes on April 20, 2020.