But first, you need to know what you are paying for…
What’s the difference between Student information System (SIS) and School Management Software?
It is often used interchangeably but the difference is important because obviously the pricing will differ.
Student Information System or SIS is usually a subset of a school management software. A student Information System is a fully computerized system stored on the cloud so that it can be accessible from anywhere, as long as you have the right credentials. The SIS contains all information of the student spread across different modules. Functionalities like student enrollment, admission, billing, financial aid, exams and results can be built in as required.
SIS software, is not only used by teachers and school administrators – it often has apps or portals for parents and students too, making it an effective tool for communication
The School ERP System or School Management Software has a broader scope. It is a platform that automates day to day academic as well as administrative operations and includes SIS as well as advanced features such as human resource management, transport management, account management, library management, data management etc.
Normally, schools begin with student information modules and then start using advanced modules to fully automate school operations
Is a school management system exclusive for schools?
The term “school” is used very broadly. This is a terminology that follows the American way, in that even universities are called as schools. A well-designed school management system works for both primary as well high school operations. Not much of customization is required.
When it comes to universities, the operations become more complex, with multiple courses and different levels. A school management system usually has a higher level of customization when integrated at college and university level.
A school management system usually has a higher level of customization when integrated at college and university level.
School Management System Pricing
There are a number of school management systems that are available in the market. Many of them are touted as free, most are paid or subscription based. Some are suitable for small set-ups and others for multi-school groups. A little more about the different options
1. Free school management system
Nothing in life comes free, it holds true when it comes to the so-called school management software that’s free. It’s free if you are a small school with only 50 students. However, as your usage increases, you will have to pay to continue to use the software. Many of the free versions will be available with a limited set of features that will not be enough to provide full value to your operations. The purpose of free school management systems is usually to provide educational institutions a first look at the product and get comfortable with it.
So-called free school management software is free if you are a small school with up to 50 students. As usage increases, you will have to pay to continue to use the software.
2. Open source school management software
Open source software is what it implies. Educational institutions can purchase the software, download it, make modifications if needed to the code to customize it for their use. The software must be uploaded to the school’s servers. To use open source software, the school must have its own technical team. This limitation makes it unviable for educational institutions since maintenance and data backup is an ongoing requirement.
3. User based pricing
Subscription based paid school management software has a variety of pricing plans. This can range from 12 – 40 INR per user. If you have 500 students or 5000, the features offered will be the same but the pricing will differ. For example, if you have 1000 students you could pay 12,000 INR per month, billed annually.
If you want parents to also have User Ids apart from the students and staff, then the pricing may go up. Many of the subscription-based models charge only by the number of students and not the Ids, so look into the terms of the agreement. Also, the vendors are open to negotiation when the student numbers exceed 2000. It is important to clarify if the licenses are renewed yearly.
Some vendors provide a flat fee for institutions, irrespective of the number of users. For larger educational customize institutions, this is the most cost-effective solution.
Different User Types in School Management Software
4. Module/Feature based pricing
Some vendors charge according to the number of modules you want to integrate into your school management system. Smaller schools might not need as many features as a larger school might. It is best to get a demo from your vendor before you decide on which features will be best suited for your institution’s requirements.
When it comes to multi-group institutions, colleges as well as large single set-up institutions, it is best to consider buying a school ERP software, that the vendor will be able to customize as per your individual needs.
School ERP Software price works out to be more manageable considering the customization offered and 24×7 support.
Additional Pricing often overlooked
- AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract): Most educational institutions get caught up with the pricing of the purchase and installation that they forget that all software needs maintenance. Asl your vendor what are the services offered in the second year in the AMC contract.
- SMS /Email: Communication with students and parents is usually through bulk Email and SMS. Both these carry a cost that will be a recurring monthly expense. Check with the vendor if this is part of the package or what is the expected cost.
- Hosting charges: Most SaaS products will be hosted by the provider but if you are buying an Enterprise product then there is a separate hosting fee.
- Mobile App: This is often at an additional costso make sure you clarify with the vendor if it is included in the package cost or not.
- Other costs like Barcode/RFID (for library management) or GPS tracking (Transport management) require a separate hardware and installation features. Data backup is an important aspect that must be included in the package cost.
Once you have decided that your institution needs a school administration software, it can get overwhelming to decide on the different options. Contact our experts to clear all your queries. ITech’s Edumate ERP is the solution chosen by leading educational institution and group institutions in Tamil Nadu. We have distinct product offerings for different segments from schools, colleges and coaching institutes. With a large team of technically qualified professionals and mentored by educational experts and technology architects, we are recognized for our cutting-edge ERP solutions. Message us today or mail salesATitech-india.com to know more about how our solutions can fit your needs.