Populi is a web-based school administration solution designed to serve small to midsize colleges. The product helps track details related to academics, billing, reporting, admissions and people management and library functions, among others.
Populi has the capability to store documents in various formats, such as spreadsheets, video, audio and pictures. To manage classes and students effectively, the product’s pricing plan also offers a fixed number of free SMS messages.
Populi can be accessed only through SSL-encrypted connections. It also prevents against any type of data loss with the help of backups in real-time that are securely stored in a cloud. Critical data is further encrypted and moved to a blank vault once every six months.
Populi allows its users to view daily activity logs and set appointments through a smart calendar that can be synced with Google Calendars. Major clients of the product are the Baptist Theological Seminary, Calvary Chapel Bible College and Visible Music College.
Donna from Southwestern College
Employees number: 11-50 employees
Moving our Student management to Populi was the best decision for our small graduate school. Pricing is scaled to size. It is feature rich and has quickly become the center of our universe. The Populi support team was with us from day one. They converted all of our data and we have never looked back. The data reporting features are flexible and easy to use. This is the best decision we ever made.
This system was specifically designed with small to medium colleges in mind and it shows.
This team understands your business and quickly becomes an integral part of your organization.
Abdullah from Respect Graduate School
We've been using Populi since 2013. When we started a new school, we searched for an affordable college management solution that can offer an integrated solution for our basic needs such as admissions, financials, library etc. Populi was our decision and we are extremely satisfied with the product. I used a number of similar software as a student, and I don't know as an administrator's perspective but in a student's perspective I think Populi is the easiest to use. The design is very clean and modern. I think the young students want to see stuff in a particular way. Redundancy is a big turn off. It's hard to explain but for example people don't want to click save for every step of their admissions. It's like these subtle thinks that you don't really think about but when you see it you makes you pleased. The designers at Populi does that. Mobile app is available and
Customer support is phenomenal. They answer fast and answer good, with screen shots and all. Fast and to the point. They listen. The users can request new features and see them getting worked on and implemented. Some users may find some features missing or hard to use and I understand that. But I can always say that, from my personal experience , the support team is there to help.
Pros: Customer support, price, design, extent of features, ease of use, frequent updates for new features.
Cons: Nothing that I can think of.
Rob from Wesley Biblical Seminary
Employees number: 11-50 employees
I wanted to drop a line to you guys and gals at Populi. To be honest, Populi has been one of the most beneficial blessings we have at WBS. You all have given us superb support, data migration, and professionalism. Everyday our team is enjoying the process of learning how to use it more efficiently. Thanks so much.
Customer Service superb
User Friendly SIS
Library System not compatible with the MARC system yet.
I would recommend this software to any small college, seminary, or educational group. Populi has been a huge blessing to us.
Ozlen from American Islamic College
Employees number: 11-50 employees
Even though, I had some trouble with pulling data previously with customer support we had overcome most of the obstacles. I believe with right training the program can accommodate most of our needs as small institution. I highly recommend populi to small institutions like us with an advise to inquire and receive proper training when you initial start using it. Don't hesitate to ask for training and make sure to allow your staff a time for training.
Accommodates small institutions with very reasonable pricing.
Customer support is very responsive to inquiries.
Learning how to use efficiently needs a proper training by Populi expert.
It is difficult to learn by self training through videos and tips.
Tammy from New College Franklin
Employees number: 11-50 employees
Excellent Customer Service. Staff very helpful and resolve issues promptly.
Support staff very knowledgable about the product.
Chris from Carolina College of Biblical Studies
Employees number: 51-200 employees
We have loved Populi from the very beginning. Great program. Great support. Great choice for all your LMS and SIS needs.
Integration of the LMS and SIS. Ease of use. Video tutorials are great...keeps me from having to make them myself.
Waiting for a plagiarism integration.
I'd recommend Populi to schools small and large.
Mark from Olivet University
Employees number: 11-50 employees
This solution is smartly designed and offers all of the tools necessary to operate a small or medium sized school. We have about 300 active students in our system, at multiple campuses, with both online/residential students, and Populi can handle our needs well. A few features are lacking that would be of interest to larger schools, such as an integration that will allow batch processing for our F1 students in SEVIS, or in-depth form builders, but the core functionality is certainly there.
Good and reasonable pricing, well designed, easy to use, and excellent support.
There are a few features that we would appreciate, such as the ability to use the built-in video hosting without having such a high degradation of quality, but overall our experience has been positive.
This is a great solution especially for smaller schools who want a solution they can get going quickly and ramp up with.
Mourad from Toronto Baptist Seminary
Populi has been a great tool for our school. It has helped us to manage our data more efficiently. It has made our job easier in many aspects. It has also given our students online access to their information. One of the great benefits of Populi has been how easy it is to use. The customer service has been great. They are very responsive to our needs.
Erin from Hawaii Tokai International College
We switched over to Populi after using a different software for years. Populi makes it really easy to create transcripts and make sure students are on track to graduate. It's great that we can integrate many different components (grades, discipline, housing, finance, etc.) in one location. It makes obtaining information quick and easy. The different roles are great for controlling who has access to what information.
Also, customer service has been amazing! Phone calls help because they can see what we see on our screen, which minimizes confusion. Even if we email or submit a request online, we get responses within 24 hours. Their staff is really helpful. Their online tutorials are great as well and they've even reached out to us to do demos.
Ozlen from American Islamic College
Easy to register, add students, course scheduling. Fast customer service however, not very satisfying responds.
It is not user friendly, very difficult to customize features. Even sending emails to selected students is a hassle. Adding meeting times to courses is awfully difficult and annoying. If you are a new, small institution and need statistics / have to be able to pull out a data any minute when requested I would not recommend this product. Our application information wasn't transferring to system and we found out after customer service that our application was not set right. The reason for that is Populi updated their admissions feature a while ago but our applications were not adopted to new system. So I had to enter age, gender, address, email etc manually for the each student in the system to be able to have an accurate data. No help offered for an error caused by their own management system! Again reporting features lack accuracy and not customizable.
For accreditation purposes I found this system not reliable, I will start looking for alternatives.
Gregory from Insight University
We've been using Populi's SIS for several years now. Incredibly easy software to use. Sorry I can't rate their service more than 5 stars. If you need something that doesn't come with the service, just ask. We needed customization on the transcript and several days later all we had to do was print the transcript. Nice and neat and very easy.
Dr. Mark from Compass College of Cinematic Arts
Populi provides a high quality, easy to use college management interface that is adaptable, efficient and effective in meeting the needs of small to mid-size colleges. While it may take a moment to input your needed data, the interface is user friendly and the customer service is top flight. Students and faculty celebrate! Populi provides tried and true solutions to your educational needs.
Raul from Holy Apostles College & Seminary
Populi is a great college management system. I have been administering the system for 3 years now and no complaints. The design is sleek and very manageable. Populi developers are amazingly open to suggestions in regards to improving their system with additional features from their clients. Their support team speedily respond to emails and in troubleshooting and resolving any issue. I highly recommend Populi as a solution for your institution!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions (from a user standpoint).
Paul from Divine Word College
I have been using school management systems since at least 1992 and course management systems since 1995. Well over 20 years of a dozen different systems, including all of the big names.
I just wanted to formally express my delight with Populi.
I really believe that on balance, this is the best product I have ever used. It may not be as powerful and have the same smooth work flow as the major players, but for a small school with a limited budget . . . can¿t be beat. The school system side of the program is effective and has handled every need of our very small college and the ease of making transcripts has greatly lessened the work in my office. Populi really shines for course management and even our reluctant faculty have been able to benefit from the grading, assignment and attendance mods. We have a few faculty who have fully employed the Populi lessons section to make both blended and online courses. I have used it for both and the scope of `instructor variation¿ is ideal. The learning platform is complete, without being excessively demanding.
I am very, very impressed with the product. I actually enjoy using it for my classes.
Sean from Xingwei College, Shanghai
We've been working with Populi for about 10 months at a small liberal arts college in Shanghai, China, and we've found it remarkably full-featured; its suite of tools -- it handles everything from online registration to interactive course shells to finances/student billing -- offers more than we're even using. Access to the system is based on user-roles, with roles ranging from student through system admin. Because it's web-based, it works anywhere (including in China) on a variety of browsers (we've used Firefox, Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Midori).
I could go on. To get a sense of everything Populi has to offer, it's worth visiting their site. Before we started working with Populi, I researched traditional SIS systems and software, and learned that we'd never be able to afford it for a program our size. Populi is designed for colleges like ours, and the pricing is reasonable and scaled to institution size. Frankly, I it's hard to believe what we get for the money.
There are few drawbacks to using Populi that aren't common to other SIS systems. Among these, role-based access means that non-advising faculty aren't able easily to view course listings for a given term, for example. And few users have access to the full course catalog within the system. However, it's easy to export any of these sorts of things for sharing. More importantly, the user forums provide a place for feature requests, and these are often implemented, as the process of building and improving the system appears to be earnest and ongoing.
Finally, customer service has been great. We've made a few mistakes -- most recently, I managed to delete several months worth of teaching evaluations -- that the support team at Populi were able to help us recover from very quickly.
Luciano from Master's College and Seminary
A note to let you know that your support team has been fantastic in this phase of implementation and orientation. The response to our inquiries are thorough and helpful and your openness to helping us tweak functions is instilling a lot of confidence in our staff. Thank you for your help through this process!
Jason from Bethlehem College and Seminary
Bethlehem College and Seminary is a small Christian college which sprung from Bethlehem Baptist Church and the preaching of John Piper. For over 10 years, Bethlehem Baptist had a non-degree granting institution. In 2009, after John Piper encouraged the leadership to launch a seminary, we realized that managing student data and finances would be critical. This began a search for low cost college management software that was designed for school with less than 500 students.
In 2009, there were few options. In addition to low cost and designed for small schools, we wanted a web-based solutions, because we did not have the resources or personnel to run our own servers. In addition, we are an Apple shop, and most all college management software ran on Windows servers.
Then we discovered Populi. With a flat monthly rate and a low per student monthly rate, Populi fit our financial model. In addition, Populi was web-based. This meant that we did not need to purchase any additional hardware, and all of our staff, faculty, and students were able to access the software without any additional client side software besides a web browser.
The Populi staff worked hard to help us transition our Excel files of student data into their database. They answered the phone in person and assisted us with all of our configuration. The website was simple enough that we learned on the fly. With any new venture, there are bumps and hiccups along the way, but we were able to work through those.
Over the last 5 years, we have grown at nearly 25% per year. Populi has seamlessly grown with us. They continue to improve the product and provide additional services, and so far, have not raised the price.
One recent improvement was additional Admissions applications. Since we are both a college and seminary, it was very important for us to have two different application processes. This solved a lot of headaches for us.
Five years later, this school is still very thankful for Populi.
Sherry from Virginia Baptist College
I have used Populi for a few years now. It is very user friendly and meets all of our needs as a small Bible college. The best part about Populi is their customer service. All the guys in tech support are quick to answer, polite, and very knowledgeable. It seems there is always someone on duty, ready to answer any questions I have. For instance, I work in the finance department and realized I had done some transactions incorrectly. This was very nerve racking as a deadline for a report was drawing near. Customer service was able to fix my error behind the scenes just in the nick of time! The program stands on its own feet, but the customer service is the icing on the cake.
Jeremiah from Elim Bible Institute
I had the pleasure of working with Populi for five years when I worked at a small private college. We were looking for cost-effective college management software that fit our needs. Once we found Populi, we knew we had found the right solution. The user interface is intuitive and well thought out. Students, faculty, and administrators love Populi. It does everything a small college requires and a whole lot more (online courses, academic records, online tuition payments, library, bookstore, etc....). If something didn't work right, or there were features missing, Populi was very good at listening, and often incorporated feature requests into future releases. In my opinion, the best thing about Populi is working with the Populi staff. They are very responsive and a pleasure to work with.
Susan from Arizona School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
I have been using the system for 3 years now and it keeps getting better and better. I liked it from the beginning and it just keeps improving. The developers listen to their customers and add tools that make our life easier. The response time for questions or help is outstanding. There are many learning tutorials in the help section with instructions and videos to assist in the process of learning the system. When it comes to reporting, I find it saves hours when compiling IPEDS data. This year the reporting section was improved to the extent, it cut my research time in half.
There are parts that I do not utilize like financial aid only because we utilize a third party service.
End of the year 1098 T's are at my finger tips. I export the information in to excel. I have not figured out how to split the total tuition paid for those receiving Financial aid and 50% VA benefits that aren't reported on the 1098 T. Maybe being able to edit the totals would be helpful.
Would I recommend Populi to other schools? Yes, I cant see operating without it. The more I use it the better it is.