Over the past year, we have worked with an amazing team of Admissions directors at the world’s leading international schools to design OpenApply – our solution for the paperless Admissions office of the future!
In December 2011, we received a feature request from one of our schools to “make the whole admissions process online”.
OpenApp.ly was born several weeks later with the goal of simplifying the admissions process for families and schools by providing a convenient alternative to paper forms, and by providing an integrated system to support the internal admissions process from enquiry to enrollment.
In our research, we reviewed over 500 international school admissions websites. What we found was quite surprising – over 87% of schools did not have any online application forms.
While application forms were available for download as Word & PDF documents, the only option was to submit the completed application physically by mail.
In our view, this was not only an inconvenience for applicants & families, who have come to expect an online option in 2012, but for the school in terms of avoiding unnecessary processing & storage costs. The filing cabinets, time and space are certainly not “free” resources.
Of the 13% of schools with online forms, there did not appear to be a backend system to support the internal Admissions processes (i.e. reviewing an applicant, scheduling a tour, automating reminders if documents were not submitted).
The forms were there to collect the information to be sent via e-mail, but what we were envisioning was much more – an intelligent and integrated system to support the Admissions team.
Admissions is still very much a personal process requiring good judgment. The purpose of OpenApp.ly is to free up time amongst your Admissions team, so that more time can be spent on these endeavors – and less time on the administrative work of managing records or reminding applicants of missing documents.
Every school has existing student information systems and OpenApp.ly has been designed to work in harmony.
In order to make the import & export of applicant data as efficient as possible, we are launching with an optional add-on called the Clever API, which provides a way to sync data between more than a dozen SIS systems (Powerschool, Infinite Campus, Skyward, etc.)
There are certain statistics that every school requires to function. Often this information is tracked in Excel sheets or Google Docs. With our Analytics & Statistics, your principal and school management can monitor enrollment in real-time without the need to update Excel or request updates from colleagues.
That’s all for now folks!
We will be working on payments integration and some other cool features throughout the summer, so we will post our updates here as we complete them.