The Month in Review: March 2022 Feature Releases 8288

The Month in Review: March 2022 Feature Releases


Wait, is it April already?! Where does the time go? Well, with a new month means it’s time to look back at what happened with the Education management products for March 2022.

In the blink of an eye, a new month has arrived. If you’ve been with us for any length of time, you know what that means!

At the start of a new month, it’s time to take one last look back at everything that happened in the previous month. For this one, we’ve gone in like a lion, but going out like a lamb with rounding up all of the details for your convenience. So, without further ado, let’s explore all of the updates that arrived for each of the different products.

As usual, March was another busy month for the Academics teams. We’ve added a Enrollment counter on the manage classes page, which displays the number of students enrolled under the Student subheading. This number will update as student enrollment is adjusted, and it will not include students who are Dropped or Errored out of the class.

Time to check your spelling! We’ve enabled browser-based spell checkers for Official Notes in the Gradebook. You do not need to do anything to enable this setting as your internet browser’s built-in spell checker will work automatically within the text window.

Other updates in March:
  • Course names now support the use of Unicode characters.
  • When using Manage classes, full block names will display. Previously block names were being cut off at 10 characters.
  • Standard code and Equivalent standard code column options have been added to the Report card grades list. If your school uses Canadian standard codes for courses (and/or equivalent standard codes for transfer grades), you can search or sort the list by these columns.
Billing management
This month for Billing management, a number of enhancements were applied to the Payment plan workflow. Here’s a rundown of what’s changed:

Under Included charges when viewing a Payment plan:
  • Change included charges was renamed to Add charges and now involves a two-step process:
  1. Select which available and unused charges are added to the Payment plan.
  2. Specify the charge allocation amounts for each forthcoming installment.
  • Charges are now removed by selecting the context menu on the row of the appropriate charge and then choosing Remove charge from the drop-down.
Under Payment plan when viewing charge details:

o Under Payment plan, charges that are not applicable to specific installments are recorded as $0.00.

Want more? Here are the rest of the updates this month:
  • The Transactions list now features a new default column, Post status. Post status provides Billing clerks with a quick view of transactions that have not yet been posted to the general ledger.
  • Canadian payers now have access to the direct debit payment method. Direct debit payments originating from Canadian accounts are held for 15 before being processed.
  • Payers now see transaction comments under Recent activity when viewing their Current bill.
  • The Blackbaud Billing Management credit card surcharge fee can now be included on Billing Management integrated contracts.
  • Billing management integrated contracts can now include Enrollment fees. Enrollment fees are paid when the contract is processed.
  • The Not yet due column now accurately displays remaining balances still owed beyond the report run date.
  • The Aged accounts receivables report now uses revised calculation criteria to offer an entirely different experience for Billing clerks. The previous report used application dates to calculate aging period balances. Now, aging period balances are calculated based on transaction dates, thus aligning accurately with the report date and user expectations.
Friendly warning! Platform managers will notice additional information on their home dashboards. As of July 26, all users must login with Blackbaud ID instead of legacy usernames and passwords. A countdown for this deadline and a link to instructions now appears on the Blackbaud ID tile. Review the tile to monitor your school’s progress for migrating users to Blackbaud ID.

We’ve also updated the Students list. Now, when list managers use the Students List within Core and Academics, they can select to include a column for Parents’ wireless phone information. When parents have multiple cell phone numbers, all of them appear in the list. Information for individuals who are marked only as List as parent or as No Contact don’t appear in the new column.

Also released this month:
  • We’ve updated the list platform managers use to manage users who are still unregistered.
  • In conjunction with our partner, GoodData, we’ve made a cosmetic change to Dashboards and Insights. In the user interface and help documentation, the term Measure(s) is now Fact(s) and Calculated measure(s) is now Calculated metric(s). The functionality and workflow remain unchanged.
Enrollment management
This month for EMS, contracts got an update. For Re-enrollment managers, the mirror secondary email property for a Blackbaud Tuition management family enrollment is automatically set to True when a secondary email is present for families that enrolled on or after 12/21/22.

This month also brought plenty of list updates as well:
  • We've added Preferred Name as a selectable column in the Contract list.
  • Admissions managers can now add the Place of birth column on the Candidate list.
  • We've added School level and Parent Phone number columns for the Visits, Interviews, and events list.
School Website
While assisting development in other products, the School website team did make a quality of life update to events. Specifically, when managing individual dates or viewing events in a category, the date field has been extended so the entire date can be seen.

Tuition Management
For Tuition management, we’ve made a number of enhancements to reporting. The static Enrollment Updates report now includes a Repeating Schedule option for Upon Activity. When Upon Activity is selected, the report is only sent when there is enrollment update activity to include. Previously, the report was sent as scheduled with blank information if there was no enrollment update activity to report.

In addition, the static Failed Payments report now includes a new Repeating Schedule option for Upon Activity. When Upon Activity is selected, the report is only sent when there is failed payment activity to include in the report. Previously, the report was sent as scheduled with blank information when there was no failed payment activity.

Financial Aid Management
For Financial Aid management, we made a change where all parent application fees are now paid via Blackbaud Checkout including the option to pay fees via direct bank account drafts. Parents still have the option to pay via credit card.

This option is available on the final step of an application. When a parent arrives at the Submit tab, the Application Fee tile now has a drop-down menu under the heading I’m paying with. Select ACH (debit your checking or savings account) to pay via direct bank account draft (ACH stands for Automated Clearing House). Alternatively, to pay by card, select Credit Card.

If you want the full and complete details of everything we’ve added to the Education management products in March, make sure to visit our What’s New letter. Use the Recent option at the top of the page to view past and archived releases. Want to stay updated whenever we have a new release? Get notified via email by signing up for our mailing list here.

That’s all for today’s blog, but I highly recommend you stay tuned as we have some big announcements to share in the coming weeks. That’s all I can say for now, so make sure you’re subscribed to stay up to date on all the latest content. See you next week!

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