Nitro Blog

Improving the Student Experience, One PDF at a Time


Higher ed is already facing dwindling budgets and an inflation rate that’s consistently higher than the national CPI.

Higher ed is already facing dwindling budgets and an inflation rate that’s consistently higher than the national CPI. When budgets can’t keep up with dramatic price increases associated with legacy solutions, it’s usually students, faculty, and staff who pay the price — either by going without the tools they need to work effectively or by facing yet another increase in technology fees.

More than ever, higher ed needs technology partners who are committed to fair, sustainable prices and user-friendly tech that’s easily adoptable across the organization.

We’re Nitro. And for all things PDF productivity and eSigning, we’re that partner.

Partner with the #1 Adobe Acrobat Alternative

There’s a reason Nitro has become the #1 alternative to Adobe Acrobat — actually there’s several.

We help major institutions like Iowa State and Washington University in St. Louis drive digital transformation by giving everyone access to the tools they need for streamlined, paperless productivity at a fraction of the cost of other solutions.

Half the Cost of Adobe

When we say Nitro is half the cost of Adobe, it’s not just a figure of speech. We’re consistently a fraction of the cost of Adobe Acrobat, usually around half, while still delivering all of the same PDF editing and eSigning capabilities.

With the Nitro Productivity Suite, you will also have access to Nitro Cloud, our unlimited eSignature solution. Unlike other eSigning softwares that charge per signature, Nitro Cloud does not – No cost-per-signature, no usage tiers, and no overages. As part of the Nitro Productivity Suite, Nitro Cloud is the only truly unlimited eSigning experience that’s fast, secure, and legally binding.

Simpler Licensing

With Nitro, you’ll enjoy significantly simpler licensing. We offer flexible deployment options and industry-leading Customer Success programs that help drive user adoption and satisfaction for maximum return. We’ll connect with you each quarter to review license allocation and make sure your current licensing setup always fits your school’s needs.

Editing & eSigning for All

For most higher ed institutions, a cost-per-signature pricing model makes it impossible to offer PDF editing and eSigning capabilities to everyone. In fact, as many as 9 in 10 employees are often left without the document productivity tools they need to do their job efficiently. And that figure doesn’t even touch on the thousands of students who can’t afford to purchase PDF editing software on their own.

When only the chosen few have the digital tools they need, your school’s best efforts to go paperless are often wasted. Even if professors scan and upload class readings in an attempt to save paper, many students will still end up printing them if they can’t edit and take notes on the PDF. Though these well-intentioned instructors may be helping their students save money on textbooks, they’re often unintentionally saddling them with stacks of paper that are difficult to manage and organize, making their student experience even more unorganized and stressful.

Behind the scenes, staff and admin deal with endless forms endless forms — from purchase orders, to change-of-major requests, to room reservations, to grade appeals. Most of these forms are available to download as PDFs, but without access to eSigning across your entire institution, they’ll still be printed, signed, and delivered by hand most of the time, wasting both time and paper — not to mention the security risks associated with printed, confidential documents.

The Nitro Productivity Suite means everyone in your organization — not just the chosen few — can download, edit, and sign unlimited documents, bringing staff and students that much closer to organized, manageable workflows.

Easy Adoption

Fostering adoption of new technology can be difficult in any industry, but higher ed faces a particularly tough challenge with thousands of students and employees who have very little spare time and varying degrees of technological literacy.

Most of your students come from the generation of digital natives. While they’re great at figuring out how to use new technology, they also have extremely high standards for user experience. If a product isn’t intuitive and user-friendly, most won’t bother with it at all.

Faculty and staff expect just as much from a product’s UX, and those that are less comfortable with technology can be even more reluctant to adopt new tools, requiring guidance and training before they’ll buy in.

Fortunately, Nitro makes switching easy. We’re naturally easy to use and we’ll help you make sure rollout and training are successful. Our user interface is modeled after Microsoft Office, so our learning curve is short. Our UI will be familiar and easy to navigate for even the least tech-savvy among you.

Our highly acclaimed Customer Success team provides all the change management expertise your IT department needs to make Nitro adoption a reality at your school. With rollout strategies, user training, and 24/7 support, we’re there for you through on-boarding, training, and the entire life of our relationship. We’ll help you take advantage of our unique analytics platform to track user adoption with targeted insights and demonstrate ROI in the process.

Measurable Paper Reduction

In their guide, Paper Steps on Campus: 9 Steps to Protecting the Climate and Reducing Waste through Campus Paper Policies, the National Wildlife Federation in partnership with the Environmental Paper Network provides a plan to help schools reduce their paper waste and environmental impact.

In addition to simple steps like printing on both sides of the page, they advise schools to budget for software that reduces printing such as paperless fax programs and PDF tools.

But when it comes to paper waste reduction, not all PDF-editing tools are created equal. With Nitro, our built-in analytics help you understand your institution’s workflows and printing habits, helping you pinpoint opportunities for further print-reduction.

It’s just one of the ways we make sure you get maximum ROI from your relationship with Nitro.

The increasing price in PDF software isn’t just an issue for your school’s technology budget — it’s one that affects everyone at your institution. Nitro is committed to providing students, faculty, and staff with the tools they need to achieve paperless productivity at a price higher ed institutions can afford for years to come.

For more, check out this Adobe vs. Nitro comparison, or get in touch with our sales team to learn about our higher ed pricing and commitment to customer success.