Comparing School Administration Software Vendors

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My mom has a thing for houses. Whenever we’re in a different part of the country and drive by a house for sale, my mom will guess how much it costs. Then she’ll jump out of the car, grab a flier, and see how close she got to the real listing price. After many years of playing this game, she’s gotten pretty good. She’s “shopped” around for houses long enough now that she knows the typical home prices in many areas of the around school admin software

Shopping Around for the Best School Administration Software

When you’re shopping for school administration software, it helps to know the typical prices as well. Knowing what you can expect at each price-level will help ensure you make the right purchase and don’t end up buying something you don’t need.

Below is a comparison of three school administration software vendors that target three different school sizes to help you get a sense of the typical price and functionality included at each tier.

Small Schools : 1-500 students

Vendor Name: ThinkWave

Platform: Web-based

Price: $14.95 to $279.95 per month for fewer than 500 students (up to roughly $3,500 a year)

Basic Functions

  • Report cards/transcripts
  • Access to grades for parents and students online
  • Attendance tracking
  • Upload assignments and handouts online
  • Homework collected online
  • Web-based gradebook
  • School/classroom blog

Why Is This Typical?

ThinkWave is typical of products that cater to small schools. They offer simple, basic functions- nothing that would cost small schools unnecessary fees. The pricing is reasonably low, which makes it more feasible for small schools to afford it.

Free Trial

ThinkWave offers a 30 day free trial , which is common among reliable school administration software vendors. (Note: Make sure you try any product before you buy it. Take advantage of Free Trials!)

Medium Schools : 500-1,000 students

Vendor name QuickSchools

Platform: Web-based

Price Ranges from $.99 to $2.99 per student/month (up to roughly $36,000 year)

Basic Functions :

  • Student information (contact info, discipline records, extracurriculars, etc.)
  • Parent portal (parents can view student progress)
  • Teacher information (teacher information, addresses, etc. for parent access)
  • Scheduling (view schedules by student, teacher, or classroom)
  • Report card
  • Gradebook
  • Attendance
  • Extra functions include

o Unlimited user access

o Chat/email support

o School fee tracking

o Lesson planning

o Sports tracking

o QuickBooks integration

o Mass parent messaging

o Phone support

Why Is This Typical?

QuickSchools software is typical of most products that cater to medium schools in that they offer the basic functions of school administration software while also offering extra features that you wouldn’t use as a small school, such as sports tracking and integration. They also make it easy for you to scale up, receiving discounted prices as you grow.

Free Trial:

QuickSchools offers a 30 day free trial.

Large Schools : 1,000 and more students

Vendor Name: Open SIS

Platform: Hosted or Web-based

Price: The openSIS website does not list its pricing unless upon request. However, the typical pricing for software like OpenSIS is usually around $40,000-50,000 a year for more than 1,000 students.

Basic Functions:

  • Student demographic tracker
  • Goals and progress app
  • Contact information
  • Scheduling
  • Gradebook
  • Report cards/Report designer
  • Transcripts
  • Health records
  • Attendance
  • Parent portal
  • User customizable preferences
  • Discipline records
  • Library services
  • Student billing
  • State reporting
  • LDAP/ active directory integration

Why Is This Typical?

OpenSIS is similar to most products catered toward large schools. The functionality is much more robust than those products catered towards smaller schools. In addition, many included features, such as library services, student demographic tracker, and state reporting, are simply not needed by smaller schools.

Free Trial:

The 90-day trial for OpenSIS is unfortunately not free. However, the costs for a trial are relatively low: $14.95 for 30 days; $24.95 for 60 days; $34.95 for 90 days. This is typical pricing for paid trials when you are evaluating school admin solutions at this tier.

Now that you have an idea of what software vendors offer for a school your size, browse the Capterra school administration software directory for the software that’s just right for you or contact our experts for free, personalized help.

Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.

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About the Author


Julia DeCelles-Zwerneman

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Julia DeCelles-Zwerneman is a Software Analyst for Capterra, a company that loves connecting buyers and sellers of business software. She specializes in construction management software. When she’s not covering the industry, you can find her playing piano, reading obsessively and playing volleyball.


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