Preparing for the Class of 2021: The Next Generation of Student IDs

New technologies that help to meet changing demands

Colleges and universities face an increasingly competitive environment for attracting and retaining students. These challenges are further complicated with tighter funding constraints and the need to keep up with the latest technological advancements to remain competitive. Student ID card systems are not immune to these pressures; outdated ID technology can result in increased costs, long wait times for students, as well as privacy and security issues.

This web seminar outlined some best practices for streamlining the card issuance process to better prepare for the class of 2021, and profiled the new generation of student IDs, which have features that can reduce student wait times and ensure the institution’s ID system is flexible to adapt to future changes or demands.

Jeff Meier

Director, IAM Solutions Marketing

Entrust Datacard

Dominic Louwagie

Senior Product Manager

Entrust Datacard

Tim Nyblom

Director, Education Group


Mark Degan

Director, Corporate Marketing


Dan Sanden

V.P. of Software Solutions

Entrust Datacard

Jeff Meier: New-generation college students have never been in a world without mobile technology and the internet. They think differently than many of the other generations that have preceded them. They process information using apps like Snapchat. Thus, their attention spans are significantly lower than previous generations. But they are also better multitaskers. They can create a document on their school computer, do research on their phone or tablet, while taking notes on a notepad, then finish in front of the TV with a laptop, while FaceTiming a friend.

Generation Z also has high expectations. Slow internet speed is absolute torture. They expect that things will work and be efficient and streamlined in every experience they have.

They’re also very brand loyal and have high expectations of the brands that serve them. That truly plays into the university space and how you’re representing your brand to these students.

What does that mean for identity and access solutions? Students are expecting a greater user experience with all touch points, with multi-use cards becoming more and more prevalent across campuses.

Dan Sanden: We’re seeing a lot of campuses looking at how to bring IDs to where the students are, versus requiring them to come to certain administration facilities to print the card. With some updated technologies, we have the capability to install once and print in lots of different locations. That helps alleviate a lot of the line issues.

Brand reinforcement and personalization kind of go hand-in-hand, so the more sophisticated marketing departments in universities are starting to figure out ways to show their brand prominently on the card, as well as allow students to express their personalities with pre-approved images.

Relative to multi-use, one card with chip technology could be used for everything from physical access control to cafeteria to reimbursement to all kinds of identification usage. And durability is important. We actually saw some videos of students using cards to open cans, for example. So you want cards that can be used for purposes they might not have been designed for. Four years is a long time for a student to be in school, so we want to ensure durability and keeping the brand look and feel.

Dominic Louwagie: We have launched our ultimate identity platform, built around strong pillars that are key to any identity. That’s a combination of having a good image that’s printed on the card, being able to have that done reliably and consistently, being able to have that durability of the image, having a modular solution.

Also, to have versatility in terms of how you want to deploy it. Where do you want your printers to be on the campus? Lastly, it’s focusing on the future—being able to provide a mobile credential integrated with our True Credential software.

There are different ways to put security features into the card to help prevent some of the fraud that may happen. Is security important? Yes. Being able to have security in your card issuance program is key. We have our solution that provides the reliability, and we have experience with our certificates and keys and authentication capability to provide not only a better user experience, but also to build security into that platform and into that student ID.

Tim Nyblom: It is mission-critical to be able to print cards for your students and staff, so we’ve been able to roll out what is called our choice program. It basically fits what our end users want—you can choose from a variety of options, so if there’s something that’s very important, then we can provide it.

We lay out a suite of offerings and let the university choose what best fits their needs, fits their budget. There’s no faster response time, there’s no more waiting. All of our technical service folks have been certified. Our center is a repair shop service center for data card printers, and with one call to our tech support services, we can get the ball rolling to get our customers back up and running. 

Some customers want installation, and some customers want training, whether that’s once when new printers or new software arrive or whether it’s ongoing training. Some customers want preventative maintenance—the better the printers are taken care of, the better their performance. And eventually, in our next release of our choice support program, we’ll be including the remote monitoring and management software.

Mark Degan: The monitoring and management software is designed to enable your IT operation and help desk to do more with less. It has a great dashboard showing which printers are online and offline, what their statuses are, and the ability to configure that dashboard based on how the help desk wants to see it. Monitoring and managing those solutions from one location versus having to go out there and see what’s going on is a huge time-saver. We want to make IT happy, so they can manage things centrally. It takes a lot of stress out of the operational care and feeding.

We want to be there for you. It’s critical that in order for us to help you in this space, that we probably need to have a joint relationship with the access control provider as well as a ColorID from a service perspective to make sure the system works for you. If you have any mobile university apps and you want to authenticate the user logging, we have technology that allows you to do that, even outside the card issuance space.

With our security technology, personalization and branding optics, we think we have great solutions to offer, and in partnership with ColorID, we think we have a winning combination to serve you well into the future.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, visit


Most Popular