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Beyond the News

An App for Admissions

University Business, December 2012

Admissions counselors are busy folks with some pretty important decisions to make, so it’s no wonder colleges and universities are looking for ways to make their lives a little more efficient. At the University of New Haven (Conn.), this help is coming in the form of iPads and an app called Matchbox, which allows counselors to review application materials on the go.

The paperless system, which UNH administrators started using this fall, feeds all admissions documents, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, directly to the counselors’ iPads, shares Kevin J. Phillips, associate vice president for enrollment management at UNH.

“We believe in providing effective service to prospective students, and this allows us to review admission applications from the road during the fall travel season,” he says. “Most of our admissions counselors are on the road from September until late November. In the past, they would have to return to campus to review the applications. This allows them to review files wherever they are and get a decision out of prospective students faster, allowing those students more time to make the proper decision on which college to attend.”

Aside from its obvious benefits to customer services, using Matchbox has allowed the admissions office to go paperless, furthering sustainability and cutting down on misplaced paperwork and files.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Dayton (Ohio) have adopted iPad application screening for graduate applicants. But, according to Phillips, UNH is the first using it for undergraduate admissions, and the process is not any more complicated for high school guidance offices, many of which already submit students’ materials electronically.

The takeaway? “For any college looking to make the application review process more efficient and/or to move to a paperless system, this is something you must consider doing,” says Phillips. “We have already seen tremendous benefits, and in the long run, it saves money as well as time.”