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Speak Their Language: Benefits of Translation in School Admissions
Connor Gleason

For the 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, a language barrier was just one of the many obstacles between them and their futures. Gaining entry into the US was often hectic and complicated — a process made even more challenging for non-English speakers.

Fortunately, interpreters were available, with some speaking more than a dozen languages to assist families in finding their way.

School admissions and enrollment can sometimes feel equally confusing, but regardless of their comfort with English, everyone should have an equal chance to be part of your community. When non-English speaking families try to make big decisions like enrolling in a new school, they need translation capabilities, too — clarity when it's needed most.

Schools need to accommodate students and parents from all walks of life. The US Census Bureau reports that the number of people in the United States who speak a language other than English at home increased by three times between 1980 and 2019, and today, about one in five people in America speak a second language at home — that’s 68 million people.

One of the best ways to streamline the admissions process and break down the language barrier is to incorporate translation features in your school's website's admissions and enrollment sections.  

Why is this small but powerful feature so crucial? Let's find out!

The Importance of Translation Features in Your School's Admissions and Enrollment Journey

1. Embracing Inclusion

First and foremost, translation features signal that your school is committed to inclusion. During a time when schools are becoming increasingly diverse, with students coming from a range of backgrounds and countries, it's crucial to meet everyone's needs. Translation options help prospective students and parents feel seen and respected, regardless of where they call home. People who feel included are more likely to engage with your school.

Keep Reading: Fairness, Access & Inclusion in Private School Admissions

2. Encouraging Parental Involvement

Parents play a key role in education, but what happens when there's a language barrier? Parents who aren't fluent in your school's primary language may find navigating the admissions and enrollment process challenging. Translation features can empower them to understand the steps and requirements better, helping them make informed decisions. 

It can be frustrating and discouraging for parents to navigate an enrollment process they don't fully understand. Still, children of immigrant families may be a little lost in translation, too. According to one recent study, slightly more than half (51%) of children in immigrant families in the US have parents who have difficulty speaking English.

Adding translation features can break down these barriers, making it easier for parents to access information, submit forms in the enrollment management system, and become active participants in their children's education.

Free ebook: The Enrollment Daily Planner

3. Ensuring Accuracy of Information

Imagine the hassle of misunderstandings and mix-ups that can happen during the admissions and enrollment phases. These could be minor annoyances or have serious repercussions, like missing out on scholarships or entering the wrong personal information.

The Learning Choice inquiry page translated

The Learning Choice Academy combines the translation capabilities of Weglot with Finalsite Enrollment to create a welcoming admissions experience for a diverse audience. Accurate and clear instructions are essential for making the enrollment process smoother for everyone involved, and by incorporating these features, you drastically reduce the chances of getting lost in translation.

4. Gaining a Competitive Advantage

Private school admissions can be fierce, and offering a hassle-free experience can be a big plus for many families. Translation can streamline the user experience, giving your school a competitive edge when you need it most. This could be especially important for attracting international students, who are likely comparing multiple schools around the country or the world.

Louisville High Schools translated boarding life

The admissions information found on California’s Louisville High School’s page is made all that much clearer thanks to its one-click translation capabilities with Weglot. After understanding more about the amazing school, families can confidently start the application and enrollment process with Finalsite Enrollment.

5. Building Community

A sense of belonging is critical for any community, beginning with the first interaction during the admissions process. Translation options speak volumes about your school's commitment to creating a welcoming environment. It shows that your united community is more likely to support each other, engage in school activities, and contribute to a positive learning environment.

6. Enhancing User Experience

Nowadays, people expect websites to be user-friendly and straightforward. Add translation features to your enrollment management system system, and you've got yourself an extremely effective tool. Making your website easier to navigate can mean more completed inquiries and applications, which is a significant step in optimizing the enrollment process for your school and applicants.

7. Expanding Your School’s Global Reach

If parents and students get lost in translation during the initial inquiry, why would they expect anything different when they arrive on campus? For boarding schools focused on international students, imagine connecting more deeply with families in their native language.

Thorton Academy Res life page

Translated web pages and admissions software broaden your school’s global outreach. For a day and boarding school like Thornton Academy, language should never be a barrier. With just one click, you’re now reaching families worldwide with your programs, like the English language learning program Thornton offers to incoming residential students.

Key Takeaway

Adding translation features to your school’s admissions and enrollment process gives everyone an equal chance to be part of your community. From increasing inquiries and making the enrollment management system more effective, you’re now making the educational journey more inclusive for everyone involved.

Finalsite Enrollment Tour

Connor Gleason Headshot


Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.

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