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Populi

Cloud based college management solution for colleges

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Populi Reviews

Reviews summary

Pros

Very satisfied and have experienced a great deal of positive and helpful customer support. Really, no walks through a string of phones tree choices to get to someone who can help.

Kevin S.

I believe it's a good product and it has good potential, given the team's impressive efforts toward meet the rapid changing needs of their current and future customers.

Weinan Z.

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.

Dr. Mark V.

Cons

Even sending emails to selected students is a hassle. Adding meeting times to courses is awfully difficult and annoying.

Ozlen K.

We've struggled with finding some features at times, and in the case of marketing automation, we've discovered that Populi's system isn't quite fully-featured enough for our needs.

Anonymous Reviewer

It is difficult to learn by self training through videos and tips.

Ozlen K.

Overall rating

4.5

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91%
positive reviews
100%
would recommend this app

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57 reviews

recommended

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Great all-in-one SIS

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

This software is very intuitive, and staff, faculty and students have gotten completely up to speed in a very short period of time. Being hosted on the web means students and staff can log in from anywhere with any device and backups are taken care of automatically. The built in LMS features are really robust and have eliminated the need for google classroom, survey monkey, and other fixes we had...

Cons

There are very few things we have found that we wanted that the system was not already set up to do, but for these you can always suggest product enhancements to the support team.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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A solid, straightforward choice for higher-education relationship management

Reviewed a year ago

Populi is a terrific platform for integrating various data silos across your organization. We moved from a number of different databases into Populi recently, and the combination of all of our information in one place has streamlined our communication process with incoming students and allowed us to more easily collaborate in helping students through processes like enrollment and financial aid. We've struggled with finding some features at times, and in the case of marketing automation, we've discovered that Populi's system isn't quite fully-featured enough for our needs. The UI, also, has a dated feel. Nevertheless, it's a solid, stable platform that gives us integrated access to our contacts.

Pros

Populi is very straightforward, and makes it relatively easy to manage a high number of complex relationships with contacts Tracking a contact from first inquiry through to alumni donor is very simple Contacting contacts directly from within Populi works more smoothly than the communication platforms on some competitors Support is extremely useful and quick

Cons

The automation platform is time-based and lacks some of the triggers and sophistication available in competitors Some features are hidden inside of layers behind the straightforward UI, and it can be frustrating to track them down Sometimes, a seemingly simple feature will be missing, and require extensive conversations with support. Support is top-notch and very helpful, but it can be annoying if you prefer to do things yourself.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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You get what you pay for and perhaps a little less!

Reviewed 6 years ago

Pros Easy to register, add students, course scheduling. Fast customer service however, not very satisfying responds. Cons 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...

Pros

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Cons

No cons were added to this review

Vendor response

Hi Ozlen, I didn't realize how frustrated you were after our conversation yesterday! My apologies. I don't remember discussing your difficulties emailing students or adding meeting times. I'd be happy to hop back on the phone to go over that with you! Regarding applications, its true that we updated admissions a couple of years ago and released a bunch of new features. Applications that were...

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Best SIS system for smaller colleges that we have used

Reviewed a year ago

We couldn't be happier. Our sales contact gave us multiple demos of the different modules, trained us and was there for us during every step of the implementation. Everything was done remotely but it works well and there is no additional cost, which is extraordinary. I have helped implement three different SIS systems and the data transfer to Populi was the most efficient and painless I have experienced. The customer support is responsive and goes above and beyond what I expected. Overall they seem to really care about our success and we enjoy working with them.

Pros

It's designed by people who obviously understand the needs of a higher education institution. It is easy to use, intuitive, flexible and fast. You don't have to find ways to work-around problem areas, it just works amazingly well. The integrated LMS is smooth and very capable. The integration of the different modules e.g. student billing and financial aid, is seamless. The customer support is amazing. The implementation costs are next to zero.

Cons

It is designed to be simple to use so reporting and security permissions are not as flexible as our previous system. We have adapted to that though because the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. The customer support team also run customized reports for us when we need them and they are constantly making improvements to the system.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Populi works great for our Montessori training programs

Reviewed 2 years ago

We use Populi as a database for our prospective and current students, alumni, workshop attendees, donors, and general community members. We use it for marketing of events and courses, overall communications with our leads and community. We also use it to manage the academic requirements and assignments of our current students. It has overall streamlined the process of review of student work, communication and discussion between faculty and students, among students, and allowed us to consider distance learning models for our upcoming courses. Overall, the experience has been great!

Pros

Populi is very customizable, with great options to optimize its many functions for our unique organization. The developers and staff at Populi are extremely responsive and helpful, responding quickly and thoroughly to all of our many questions and requests.

Cons

As with any system, there are times when we run into functionalities that we would like and do not yet exist. I do feel like Populi is responsive and makes improvements based on features requests whenever possible.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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A Jack of all Trades for Education Management

Reviewed 3 years ago

This product was in place when I arrived in my role supporting it. It seems to be the choice of many smaller (< 300 student) post-secondary schools. It has served us well for tracking student records but there are lots of little annoyances that cause us to adjust our workflows in order to use the product. It would seem if you had no processes in place and wanted to follow their recommended ones, it would suit you well.

Pros

- Web based - Easy to use - API offers advanced access to data - Customer service is responsive (the CEO often replies to requests)

Cons

- Tries to do too much - It handles Student Information well, but our finance department doesn't prefer it and our Faculty use it for tracking marks, but don't particularly like it as an LMS - Data exports are limited - I had to code an application in PHP to work with the API to get enrolment information out in a usable format - Roles are not customizable - We have student call teams who can only access basic contact details if we give them a staff role (which gives them too much access)

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Why did we wait so long?

Reviewed 9 months ago

Our company has had no one who wishes we could go back to the way it was before Populi. Support has been consistently helpful, patient, and nearly always impressively prompt. I think it would be true to say we have never enjoyed this level of qualified, friendly support from any other software vendor.

Pros

It is clearly designed for our industry - most of the features we might like it turns out are already in place. It is so great to have student records, financial records, academic catalog info, communications, and even recruitment working in the same integrated environment.

Cons

Sometimes it is difficult or impossible to select the exact dataset we are interested in finding, or to create reports that would be useful to us. I think we can expect this with any software not custom-designed for our company. It is also true that by exporting data, we ca work with it in other software to get where we want to go . . . it can be just a bit long-handled sometimes.

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Thankful for Populi

Reviewed 7 years ago

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...

Pros

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Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Populi is simple, elegant, secure, intuitive, with comprehensive features and well documented.

Reviewed 4 years ago

All possible

Pros

It is difficult to say; documentation is exhaustive and the product is very well crafted and incredibly intuitive, but perhaps customer support is probably one of the best I have ever experienced!

Cons

With Populi, you can manually request a backup of the complete database on a daily basis, which generates and lets you download a CSV file with all the data, which is a nice feature, but I really miss the ability to schedule it on a regular basis and perhaps have it transferred to a secondary cloud storage.

Vendor response

Thanks for the feedback, Alfredo! One note - you can schedule/automate backups using the API. We will consider making that an option without having to make use of the API. Thanks!

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
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Overall it is an excellent product and serves us well.

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

It keeps improving and is more useful today than it was when we bought in (2011). They listen to feature requests from the users and try to accommodate. Service is prompt and helpful. They fix things or educate in how to use the software. The back up and reporting features are very helpful when we need to back track to find an issue.

Cons

Searching for something in help could be improved. It seems that sometimes you have to do a fair amount of searching to find the relevant page.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend6/10

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Easy to use but watch out for formatting

Reviewed 2 years ago

Populi seems to be an overall better experience than Canvas both from the user standpoint and the administrator standpoint. It is nice having all of the information I need for my classes right at my fingertips.

Pros

Populi has an app which ensures that I do not miss any comments or messages from my professors. It makes it easy to review my grades and keep track of my progress. I also can download the current syllabus on to my phone to access whenever needed.

Cons

The only drawback to Populi is the process of reviewing papers after the professors have commented on them. It isn't that big of a deal, but one has to login to the website in order to see the comments and recommendations. It would make it a little bit more convenient to be able to access this feature in the app. There has also been times when the footnote formatting somehow was changed changed during the upload process. I let my professors know about the issue just in case it happens again.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Easy to use, Excellent customer support

Reviewed 8 months ago

I believe it's a good product and it has good potential, given the team's impressive efforts toward meet the rapid changing needs of their current and future customers.

Pros

The interface is easy to use for both students and faculty who authorize and manage courses, especially the newly designed side menu that makes navigation pretty easy. Also, Populi's customer service is very impressive - very responsive and professional. They understand very well and resolve your issue very effectively.

Cons

It does not support competency based learning, and the features in the mobile app are very limited. As my impression of Populi is a team that respond to the needs of its customers quickly, I hope it can also catch up in this areas, especially the mobile app.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Populi provides a solid solution for online learning

Reviewed 2 years ago

Overall Populi has been a very solid product for e-learning. Although it is not an elegant or beautiful UX, it gets the job done and would be a fine solution for any online learning needs.

Pros

Populi is a stable and decently feature rich platform of online learning. They offer the ability to create online lessons, quizzes, tests, embed videos, upload assignments, creature student and teacher profiles, line to resources, and nearly any other feature you may need for an online platform.

Cons

Compared to some competitors however, Populi is limited. It is does have a bit of a learning curve, the overall aesthetics are plain and lacking, it can be cumbersome to locate assignments or documents if the professor has not uploaded them in the right spot, and there is a user fee that must be paid by the institution (not directly by the user).

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Gets the Job Done

Reviewed 2 years ago

Populi does everything we need it to do, where in the past we've had to use multiple programs for grading, attendance, and messaging. It does seem a bit basic and simple, but it gets the job done.

Pros

Populi has the ability to log grades, take automatic attendance via bluetooth, send school-wide messages and emails, as well as host online content like quizzes and discussions. It has all the essential tools at your disposal.

Cons

The user interface in Populi doesn't appear very streamlined or modern. It leaves a bit to be desired in terms of streamlining student profiles and their ability to interact on the platform.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Great for small institutions

Reviewed 5 years ago

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.

Pros

Accommodates small institutions with very reasonable pricing. Customer support is very responsive to inquiries.

Cons

Learning how to use efficiently needs a proper training by Populi expert. It is difficult to learn by self training through videos and tips.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Full-featured SIS for small colleges

Reviewed 7 years ago

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...

Pros

No pros were added to this review

Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Solid solution for small/medium schools

Reviewed 5 years ago

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.

Pros

Good and reasonable pricing, well designed, easy to use, and excellent support.

Cons

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.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Populi

Reviewed 2 years ago

Overall I liked using Populi. It made doing school from a distance very convenient.

Pros

I think populi did a great job making their interface super easy to access and basic. It was easy to distinguish where the main pages were located.

Cons

The design of populi, though it didn't enhance the product, was very basic and could have used a makeover. But the software itself had little issues in my opinion.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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User Friendly - Great Customer Service

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

So grateful for such effective software. Not only is Populi user-friendly and easy to navigate, but the level of customer service is unmatched. Pre-set reports are such a time-saver, and I'm loving all the new training videos/webinars. Would recommend this product!

Cons

Honestly, nothing significant enough to mention.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Populi Support is top-notch

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

Populi is straight-forward in it's functionality and use. It is intuitive, which is a great help to new users. The integration between G-Suite, Populi, and Canvas with Single Sign-On works great. The customer support before and after implementation has been truly exceptional.

Cons

There are some limitations with email templates and financial/billing functions, but these have been minor limitations.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Populi is a good system for our school's needs.

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

I enjoy the communications area. I find it very helpful for student contact. I REALLY like being able to use the Populi Dropbox to post emails from other sources to the students' records.

Cons

I'm still learning how to use Populi's finer points, which has been a challenge without the former user still on our property. However, Populi support is always helpful.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Decent tool in Online learning

Reviewed a year ago

Populi has good qualities for registration, communication, and finance. You have to have an internet connection for the lecture files as they are not downloadable audio/video. Would be nice if they added more controls for the notifications within a class discussion. And icons - we are past the DOS era

Pros

Being able to interact with others in an online class is important. The interaction aids the learning in asynchronous classes

Cons

The special coding required to format text is cumbersome. Instead of the traditional format icons, you must use character references. For example, to superscript you must use the ^ before and after the word. Same is true for italics or bold, just different indicators.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Best Decision We Ever Made

Reviewed 4 years ago

Increased data reporting functionality and low cost.

Pros

It packs everything into a cost effective manageable solution for small to medium colleges. Student records, Billing, Financial Aid, Course Evaluations, Communications, Discipline, emergency text messaging, online course management, Library, Bookstore, Registration, and so much more.

Cons

That is very hard to say. I think the assignment grade release settings could be more granular. Giving approved incompletes could be refined more.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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A great tool for colleges

Reviewed 2 years ago

The software itself works great for our information and data retrieval.

Pros

This software works great to collect data and information and also take in information on surveys, or applications. Really it has a plethora of uses.

Cons

Their billing system is a little off on when they invoice you.

Overall Rating
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I'd give 6 stars if possible

Reviewed 5 years ago

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...

Pros

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Cons

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