Online photo submission has exploded over the last two years, with an increasing number of universities large and small now enabling students to upload their own ID photo. Photo submission is now being offered by the major card system vendors and third party providers like MyPhoto, and it’s a service that not only allows students to avoid an unflattering photo, but also cuts time from the card issuance process.
But online photo submission is only effective if students know about the service. To make sure that students are informed about photo submission — and more importantly know how to upload an acceptable photo — the University of Tennessee’s VolCard Office has a helpful webpage dedicated to its photo upload service.
The page features all the need-to-know information regarding acceptable photo parameters, lighting, sizes, backgrounds, cropping requirements, acceptable file formats and more. To accompany the guidelines, the page offers a sample ID photo along with a great video that describes how to utilize the photo upload service.
At Tennessee, all new and transfer students are eligible to submit their photo online and receive a new official VolCard, but the service applies for re-issuance as well. If a student’s appearance changes and the picture on their current ID is no longer accurate, a new card may be processed free of charge as long as a student brings their current card with them. If a change of photo is not required, that is if a simply want a different picture, there is a $30 replacement fee.
Photo submissions at Tennessee are are reviewed manually by the VolCard office in a process that can take up to two business days to clear. ID photos can only be submitted to the VolCard office via a student account at the university’s WebCard Center website and logging in with a university username and password. From there, students will find a “Submit ID Photo” option and will be prompted to follow a set of instructions to upload a photo.
Students are also notified if/when a photo has been approved or rejected via email or text, with the default notification being an official university email address unless otherwise. Notification preferences, along with photo status checks, can be changed and viewed from the website.
Online photo submission can drastically cut time from the card issuance process, giving card office personnel the ability to pre-print IDs and get ahead of the game. But deploying the service alone may not be enough to reap the full rewards that these types of apps can provide. Valuable resources like the VolCard Office’s informative webpage are a great way to promote a service that benefits both students and the card office alike.