Get Ready For Gen Z: The Future of ID Issuance
Campuses must prepare for the next generation of students
- By Jeff Meier
- August 01, 2018
The next generation of students is making its way onto
college campuses. As millennials trade in their caps and
gowns for a spot in the workforce, Gen Z is shopping for
dorm room essentials. When it comes to meeting the
needs of these fresh faces, colleges and universities may
need to look at new ways to upgrade their campus experience.
One of the biggest issues facing Gen Z today is the high cost of college
tuition. Over the last decade, in-state tuition has increased by 65
percent while out-of-state prices have soared by 55 percent. These rising
costs coupled with an aversion to debt have left many prospective
students wondering which colleges are worth the investment. Nearly
seven out of 10 high school students are concerned about taking out
While the high cost of college tuition is certainly a legitimate issue,
it’s not one that most decision makers on campus can control. One
thing they can do to calm the concerns of this tech-savvy generation is
exceed their expectations when it comes to technology. After all, more
than 90 percent of these students consider technology an important
part of developing creativity and preparing for potential careers.
Although plenty of institutions have made an effort to enhance their
educational tools and technologies through smartboards, digital textbooks
and online courses, few have devoted similar attention toward
the overall student experience—including the campus ID. A student’s
campus ID is the central tool to deliver a great student experience
State-of-the-art, all-in-one ID cards can enable everything from
access control, to campus payments and transportation. It can also
exceed Gen Z expectations by catering to their desire for individualized
experiences, while complimenting and even enhancing university
branding initiatives. These innovations along with speeding up the
issuance process, can help cultivate an experience that will win over
MAKE THINGS PERSONAL
At its core, a campus ID card serves as a way to get around campus and
provides access to campus buildings and services. With just a little bit
of personalization, it can do so much more. Eager to celebrate their
individuality, Gen Z students are often on the lookout for ways to
showcase their interests and lifestyles. Campus ID cards offer an
opportunity to do just that.
Pave the way for personalization by investing in card issuance software
that can offer much more than a campus ID number and barcode.
Providing extra options—such as a fraternity or sorority membership,
sports team logo, or a specific school or academic program—can help
personalize the student experience to reflect their unique interests and
personality. These cards can also enhance overall university branding with crisp background images that accurately reflect the “high-tech”
image that your university wants to convey. This can be accomplished
through easy-to-use, drag-and-drop ID design and creation software
combined with state-of-the-art printing technology that allows users
to print high-resolution images on blank card stock.
Beyond images or backgrounds, give each ID a different look and
feel with tactile impressions. This affordable technology creates a
raised image on the card that enhances branding and fraud prevention
while creating a unique and distinguishable card.
ONE AND DONE
Gen Z students are all about multitasking. Consuming information on
multiple screens from multiple sources is commonplace for this group,
a major deviation from any generation that has preceded them. Thinking
about this from an ID perspective, a simple ID card that’s only used
for basic campus identification will not satisfy this cohort’s desire for a
modern campus experience. The campus ID can do more of what your
students have come to expect.
Imagine a one-card campus ID that can be used to pay for meals or
snacks around campus, books, laundry, check out resources at the
library, and provide access to dorms or labs. Additionally, it may be
used for student discounts at local retailers and restaurants and serve
as a transportation pass to get around town. This is the experience that
students are yearning for, and your university can provide through the
use of smart card technology.
ID card software with pre-build smart card templates and compatibility
with multiple databases and printers featuring smart card encoders
make this not only possible, but very easy to implement. This not
only creates a great student experience, but also allows ID program
administrators to streamline processes and integrate multiple systems
BUYING BACK TIME
Given the limitless availability of information and entertainment that
Gen Z students have grown accustomed to, it’s no wonder they don’t
like to be kept waiting. Satisfy this generation’s need for speed by taking
a server-based approach to ID cards.
If left untouched, ID card creation can turn into quite a time-consuming
process. Student enrollment and orientation are key times for universities
to make a great first impression on students that have grown up
rating their experiences on everything from online shopping to their
favorite restaurants. Dedicated workstations for enrollment, capturing
photos and issuing ID cards can create long lines during student orientation.
For a generation of students with notoriously low attention spans,
this can put a damper on one of their first campus experiences.
Shorten the process with ID card software that is installed on the
university server instead of individual workstations. Rather than making
the trek toward an office or building that houses all of a campus’ ID
issuance equipment, students can be enrolled at any connected workstation
or mobile device around campus. Imagine university staff using
tablets to issue campus IDs in the cafeteria, dorms and bookstores.
Printing locally can also help satisfy demand for instant gratification
while batch printing in a main office where students can pick up IDs,
welcome packets and more at the end of orientation can help move
things along. Extensive wait times that previously stalled the student
orientation experience could eventually give way to an efficient creation
and pick-up process that creates a great student experience and
reduces stress points for the card administration staff.
Looking to take things a step further? Try remote monitoring and
management (RMM) software. Although putting together a fleet of ID
card printers may seem like a simple solution, finding the time to manage
all of those printers is often easier said than done. That’s where
RMM software can make all the difference. By offering access to an
entire fleet of printers from a single dashboard, RMM software ensures
all relevant parties have the real-time visibility needed to keep things
running smoothly. Firmware updates are implemented within minutes
while certificates and keys for each printer may be revised just as
quickly and conveniently. Since alerts tied to a printer’s supply levels
and overall health are automatically generated, IT staff members won’t
have to waste their time regularly checking each printer. This helps
maximize printer uptime while streamlining overall processes for IT
departments that are already stretched thin.
Much has been made of catering to millennials, but as this generation’s
time in college comes to a close, another follows in its footsteps.
Well aware of rising tuition costs, Gen Z students expect an experience
that provides plenty of bang for their buck. Meet these demands while
increasing efficiency by investing in the right tools and technologies.
From offering personalization to creating a more seamless student
experience, updated card issuance software and printers promise to
boost the campus experience.
Offer Gen Z students the opportunity to showcase their personality
through a wide range of ID card features, including unique logos, colors,
fonts and backgrounds. This same software can also equip a campus ID
card with multiple uses and cut down on the time it
takes to obtain one. The result, you ask? A five-star
student experience for the Gen Z student that reinforces
the value of their investment in your campus.
This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of CSLS.