Customer Stories

How one college saved $170K last year with Calendly


The DMACC academic advisory team was struggling to schedule a high volume of meetings with students. With Calendly, efficiency improved almost immediately. Now all student services teams across 12 locations use Calendly to schedule a range of events.

Des Moines Area Community College Logo
Use case




Team size

1000+ employees

Product features

Workflows, Round Robin, Routing, Analytics, Website Embed

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Customer Stories

How one college saved $170K last year with Calendly


The DMACC academic advisory team was struggling to schedule a high volume of meetings with students. With Calendly, efficiency improved almost immediately. Now all student services teams across 12 locations use Calendly to schedule a range of events.




decrease in double bookings


cost savings


Managing thousands of students seeking academic advisement

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) started in 1966 with just 28 students in a vacant grocery store. Today, DMACC plays a key role in educating Iowans, proudly helping more than 70,000 students achieve their learning and career goals. Spread across 12 campuses and learning centers, the college offers education in everything from cybersecurity to nursing, animation to civil engineering. 

With so many course options available, students beginning their journey at DMACC often seek academic advice. Some students want to study full-time to get into a university. Other students want further professional development, and can only attend school part-time. Academic Advisor, Corey Trader, and his department help students discover their best learning options. 

During peak periods, DMACC had students lined out the door. “The wait time was long and some students would have to come back the next day.” 

Three full-time staff members were hired to help with scheduling. Books were made manually using email calendars.  

Despite the support, one-third of appointments were no-shows and double bookings were common. “We had a lot of issues with double bookings. It caused a lot of stress and extra time spent rescheduling,” says Corey. 

Without an easy way to reschedule, Corey and other academic advisors spent hours on the phone and emailing students to reschedule appointments. 

The advisors looked for a solution to solve their scheduling dilemmas and found Calendly. “We learned pretty quickly that with Calendly, scheduling was very easy for our students,” says Corey. 

The positive results Calendly generated inspired a whole new way of working for DMACC’s student services departments. 

Our main challenge was that we did not have enough staff and our physical space wasn’t big enough to manage the influx of students. We spent a lot of our resources doubling up on work.

Corey Trader

Academic Advisor at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)


Building better connections across all student services

The academic advisory department saw immediate results using Calendly.

“Double bookings instantly disappeared,” says Corey. And, dealing with no-shows was no longer a challenge thanks to email and text reminders set up using the Workflows feature. “We no longer had sought-after advisors left waiting for students who missed appointments,” says Corey.    

With time freed up, the student services departments were able to restructure. The financial aid department only had two staff members and needed extra support. “We had our staff members join the financial team and they were also cross-trained in admissions,” says Corey. 

Scaling with Calendly Enterprise 

Calendly is now used by 10 student services departments across all six campuses, including counseling, admissions, and financial aid.

To manage the expansion, DMACC upgraded to Calendly Enterprise, which allowed them to centralize billing and enhance security. 

Prior to the upgrade, their school had over 100 users across 22 Calendly accounts. “We pulled our accounts together across teams and campuses and streamlined everything,” says Corey. 

Moving to the Enterprise plan gave DMACC access to a dedicated customer success manager who supported their account consolidation and led customized training sessions for group admins. 

Scheduling multiple people at once with Group events 

Group Event Types allow DMACC student services to schedule multiple students with one faculty member in the same time slot. Staff can set the maximum number of slots available and rely on Calendly to handle reminders and updates. 

This feature was particularly useful when managing Covid-19 restrictions. “We were working through how we would get students into testing centers while honoring our social distancing requirements,” says Corey. Group meetings helped departments manage when and how students would be on DMACC campuses. 

Group meetings also helped staff reimagine orientation. “We have a standardized orientation that's completed online,” says Corey. “Then we give students the option to come on campus, walk around, and get to know us.” Students can do this by scheduling a campus tour which is managed as a Group Event in Calendly. 

Providing more access with Round Robin meetings 
Audio author
Increasing student access to resources with Round Robin events

Calendly’s Round Robin Event Type helps students book times that best suit them, while balancing the meeting load among multiple faculty members.

After filling out a contact form, students get sent to a scheduling page showing a list of available times pulled from multiple calendars. Once a booking is made, Calendly automatically pairs the student with the staff member whose calendar is free at that time. 

“The Round Robin feature has been very significant for our campus over the years,” says Corey. “We have a student population who are working professionals. They have families, lives, and other obligations to juggle.” Using Round Robin meetings, busy students can book times for advice or support at their convenience. 

“We are a community college and providing access is at the forefront of our goals,” explains Corey. “Now, if Tuesday is your only day off, we can automatically pull calendars and figure out who can meet with you.” 

Linking students with the right resources, right away 
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Making scheduling across campuses easier for students and staff

DMACC has Calendly forms embedded directly on their website so, at any time, students can schedule appointments with student services at their preferred campus.

To make this process even easier, Corey has embarked on a project using Calendly’s Routing feature

When students open a form to book a meeting, they will soon be asked a series of questions about what they need help with. Based on the information provided, Calendly will connect the student with the right office for an appointment. 

Routing will make it even easier for students to get connected to the right services through the DMACC website. “The main goal of the project is to help students who are coming on our campus for the first time identify the appropriate resource,” says Corey. 

Leveraging Analytics to increase availability 

Calendly’s Analytic data is helping departments at DMACC make changes based on student feedback.

For example, analytics show Corey the most popular events and time slots. “We know, just from a few clicks, the 30 minute in-person advising appointment is the most popular event, and most people book on a Tuesday.” 

The advising department now knows it’s important to be available for students on Tuesdays. “We're able to be more intentional with our work, and we're better able to meet our students right where they're at,” says Corey. 

Advisors also use feedback from Calendly forms to make positive changes. For example, a large number of students may ask to meet online outside of regular office hours.  “I can run reports, go to administrators, and show them what our students need. And I have the data to back that up,” says Corey.

With Calendly, I'm able to quickly and efficiently connect a student to the right resource. We are not having back-and-forth email exchanges. It truly has improved efficiency in so many different ways.

Corey Trader

Academic Advisor at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)


4.5x ROI and $170K cost savings 

With Calendly’s automatic scheduling, DMACC has realized an extraordinary 4.5x ROI with a huge $170K cost savings and counting. 

During the last 12 months, DMACC has scheduled 24,456 events with Calendly, saving 6,114 hours of their advisors' valuable time. That’s thousands of improved scheduling experiences for students and staff. 

By leveraging automated email and text reminders through Calendly’s Workflows, the academic advising department specifically has seen a 100% reduction in double bookings and a significant decrease in no-shows. The extra time freed up allowed them to re-allocate three staff members to the under-resourced financial aid department.

Overall, Calendly has helped student services centers across DMACC provide better access to resources.  

To other educators looking for a better way to connect with students, Corey says: 

“Take Calendly back to your school and have a conversation. Think about ways that increasing access to admissions and financial aid could change dynamics. If you're investing a lot of your time scheduling, this is a great tool for you.”

Ready to explore what Calendly can do for your college? Sign up for a free, 14-day trial today.

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