Ask the Expert (Campus ID Cards)

How can campus ID cards serve Gen Z students?

Generation Z students have very different expectations than the students that have preceded them. When it comes to meeting the needs of Gen Z, colleges need to look at new ways to upgrade the campus experience. Although plenty of institutions have made an effort to technologically enhance educational tools, few have devoted similar attention toward the campus ID.

Gen Z expects instant gratification. The first step toward meeting Gen Z’s expectations starts with improving the student orientation experience. Implementing multi-location capture, enrollment, and printing enables all ID stations to access card templates from anywhere—not just the card office—reducing wait times and lines that Gen Z students detest.

Gen Z students are the most tech-forward generation. Colleges must advance from low-tech, low-security access solutions to more high-tech options like contactless transactions and mobile ID. The most cutting-edge universities enhance the modern student experience by enabling their campus ID cards to perform multiple functions across campus, such as access to vending, meal plans, laundry, libraries, and transportation.

Finally, offering card customization options, such as the option to show membership in a campus organization or a certain academic program, caters to the Gen Z student’s desire for individualized experiences, while enhancing university branding initiatives.

These innovations will not only speed up the issuance and reissuance process, but also cultivate an experience that will win over incoming freshmen.

This article originally appeared in the College Planning & Management September 2018 issue of Spaces4Learning.

About the Author

Jeff Meier is the director of Marketing for Identity and Access Management (IAM) Solutions at Entrust Datacard ( He can be reached at 952-933-1223 or [email protected].

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