How IDMatch Is Helping Waubonsee Community College Prevent Duplicate Records

How IDMatch Is Helping Waubonsee Community College Prevent Duplicate Records

Waubonsee Community College had a problem.


A good problem, but a problem nonetheless.

See, Waubonsee plays an integral role in its community.

Located about 30 miles west of Chicago, it’s a learning hub for many students in the area, providing opportunities to fit just about any young adult’s educational and career goals.  

Local high school students take dual credit classes through Waubonsee.

Some students use it as an affordable stepping stone to a 4-year degree.

Others get their Associate’s there and then dive headfirst into their careers.

And still others take a few classes for enrichment, continuing ed, or just for fun.

But a bustling community college means a bustling admissions department – and that’s where the trouble lay.

With so many students applying for different reasons and at different times in their school careers, the number of application submissions can get pretty overwhelming. To complicate matters further, students who took dual credit classes in high school often start the application process from scratch again if they want to take regular college classes at Waubonsee – even though they’re already in the database. And sometimes new students begin an online application, abandon it, and then start over a year or two later from scratch – once again creating multiple records in the database.

Waubonsee needed a way to ensure that, no matter what path a student took through the application process, only one record would be created for each student.

And that wasn’t all.

Illinois’s community college tuition rates are based on whether a student resides within a particular community college district or not. So Waubonsee needed a way to differentiate between student applications from their district, and those from different districts (none of which are based on ZIP codes) – without having to manually go through each one to check.

Together, these two challenges made for a situation that just wasn’t able to be effectively addressed without a tech solution.

Enter N2N’s Illuminate platform, and its innovative new add-on module, IDMatch.

Waubonsee partnered with N2N to automate the process, and hasn’t looked back since.

IDMatch is a fully-customizable, turnkey, automated solution for higher ed institutions to check student applications (or any other student data feed) against existing student records, in order to eliminate duplicates and filter based on the data of their choosing, and then integrate into their SIS.  

We worked with Waubonsee to customize the data fields the community college needed to be able to check in order to ensure that no duplicate records were being produced, and students were being charged the correct tuition based on their district of residence.

It wasn’t simply a matter of First Name, Last Name, Social Security Number – this was a much more in-depth approach, including multiple variations and combinations of names and other personal student information in order to definitively prevent duplicate records. We created fields to match by the 1st 3 letters of the First Name and Date of Birth…First and Last Name reversed…Maiden Name and Date of Birth…Residence/District Codes…the list goes on and on.

Since the end of June 2018, when IDMatch was implemented, Waubonsee reports that 64% of student applications uploaded to their system turned out to have duplicate records already in the school database – and Illuminate and IDMatch caught them all, ensuring that no duplicates were created, and preventing confusion for hundreds of students.

64%! Just imagine how long it would have taken to check all those applications manually – and how often human error could have missed a duplicate here and there.

Betty Bechtold, Data Specialist at Waubonsee, shared the following:

“Our registration and records people were super nervous about starting to use IDMatch, but once we got it up and running, they were saying that they had lost all that sleep for nothing! It was a huge relief – beyond what we could have imagined!! We keep discovering little surprises where it goes above and beyond what we were expecting it to. IDMatch is pretty user-intuitive, and the people at N2N bend over backwards to make sure we’re happy with how it’s working. N2N has been so good at working with us to give us exactly what we wanted – the product itself is really, really good, and the customer service might even be better.”

Here at N2N, we’re honored to have the chance to work with schools like Waubonsee. If you’d like to find out how IDMatch can help your higher ed institution, contact us today.

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