As an admissions year draws to a close, schools are presented with a valuable opportunity to clean up and organize a large amount of Admissions data and, in doing so, further solidify their CRM and data integrity. Highlighted in this article are suggested workflows that schools may utilize to make the process of transitioning from one admissions year to the next much smoother, as well as ensuring the stored admissions data is in its most usable state moving forward.
Setting a Timetable
Before this process begins, it is important that schools set a timetable for the transition between admissions years. Specifically, a school should set hard dates for the closing of the old admissions year and the opening of the new admissions Year. By setting this date, it helps schools with internal task management by outlining completion dates leading up to the transition and also gives account managers and support engineers a better idea of when potential tasks must be completed on their end, allowing them to anticipate issues that may arise. For schools, setting a hard date for the admissions year transition and communicating that date to their staff and account manager makes the entire process more streamlined and easily managed, and should, therefore, be prioritized.
Closing the Current Admissions Year
The first major task that must be undertaken in the transition process is the preparation of data before the closing of an admissions year. The processes detailed below are primarily used by schools operating on a year-to-year admissions structure. Additional information about other processes that should be considered for schools with a rolling admissions structure is detailed at the end of this section.
- Process Prospects who have not been converted into Applicants by the end of this admissions year. This means changing the role of these inquiries from prospect into prospect (cold). These must be individually processed, as no batch updating functionality exists for this workflow that is available to clients. If batch updating this process is desired, speak with your account manager.
- Important. There are somewhat common workflows in other contexts where failing to update this Role could cause some issues.
- Process Waitlist members by the end of this admissions year. This means changing the role of these applicants into former applicants. During the overnight scripts, all applicants are checked and, if one year (365 days) has passed since the day they were placed onto the waitlist, their role is automatically switched from Applicant to Former Applicant. While some schools are happy with this length of time, many choose to update this sooner, to groom their data in a more timely manner; “closing the waitlist” is a process that often makes sense to do shortly after the start of the following school year, for instance.
- Archive “Person Admission” Records for the next year in order to remove past, or now “closed” admissions years from appearing to families in the admission portal. For instance, if a candidate has applied for 18-19, and you’re now closing the 18-19 year, setting the Portal Status to “Archived” for the 18-19 Person Admission records will make it so that the applicants and their families no longer see the 18-19 data in the portals. This makes sense to do after first rolling over any existing prospects or applicants who you wish to re-apply.
- (Optional) Closing the admission portal. For schools that have strictly-defined admissions seasons, it may make sense to completely close the admission portal over the summer. Review Admission Portal: Display Options and Admissions Checklist Configuration to learn more about setting this, if desired.
Many schools follow a rolling admissions structure. In this structure, instead of having a dedicated admissions season, applicants will be placed on the waitlist and, throughout the course of the year, be offered positions of Enrollment as they open up. For schools following a rolling admissions structure, the tasks noted above — processing inquiries or a waitlist — may not be as important as schools that follow a year-to-year admissions structure. The Copy Admissions Candidacy process, however, will prove to be important for schools with rolling admissions and for schools where applications are “Valid” or “Acceptable” for an extended timeframe. Therefore copying applications will need to be performed on a regular basis. Read more about the Copy Admissions Candidacy process here.
Beginning the New Admissions Year
After closing the previous admissions year, opening the next admissions year is key. The first step involves updating the Active Admissions Year system parameter, which may be accessed from the System homepage and selecting System Parameter. After the Active Admissions Year is updated to the New Admissions Year, the following processes should be considered:
- (Optional) Review and modify the Admissions Checklist for the year. If your school is updating admission checklists, then it is vital that the “Active Admission Year” parameter be updated before modifying checklists, because this will refresh and clear all checklist items for the Active Admissions Year. Note that with New Admission Portal (2018), there will be new possibilities with Checklist Filtering. This guidance was written with the pre-2018 Admission Portal in mind.
- Ensure the Admissions Portal has been configured to accept Applications for the New Admissions Year. Speak with an Account Manager to add the next year to the Pre-Application and the New Prospect Form.
- Configure timeslots for scheduling visits in the new admissions year should be done before launching a visit and open house signups.
- Consider which day the Admissions Portal for the new admissions year should become open to the public, and configure the “Admission Portal Open date” and “Close Date” to dates in the future, to prepare it to open again.