At the beginning of the calendar year, schools get their review committees together and they begin the evaluation process of their current application pool for the upcoming school year.  This process requires many committees to meet multiple times during the reading season to make decision recommendations for students. Some committees may have final say over the decisions that were made, or their input is taken into account by the head of the school when making the ultimate decisions.  No matter the process, the review committee has to weigh many factors beyond the quality of the candidate including, but not limited to, class balance, financial aid, scholarships, and legacy. It is a difficult process and affects the lives of many families. An online reading and review process can help facilitate the review process to allow schools to focus on the important decisions, and not get bogged down in the management of the process.

Reduce the amount of prep and overhead to build your classes and determine who you will be extending offers to.  An online review module can free up much of your time and allow your entire committee to review students in their spare time, some tools are web-based and even allow to you read and score in the comfort of your own home.  Schools are able to combine all the information collected during the student’s application process into an easy-to-read package for their readers to score and make any notes and recommendations.

What is also great about an online reading and review process, is that it allows a school to eliminate the need to print everything out.  No more folders, long meetings or a series of post-it notes. Trust us, whoever has to sort, print and stuff the previous folders will thank you for making the change.  Let’s break down what it would look like for you and the rest of the review committee if you moved to an online reading and review module.

Review Everything Online

There are two primary phases of the review process, Reading and Committee Decisions.  Your school may vary greatly in who plays a role in both reading and the decision phase as well as differ on if you continuously read and score as applications are completed, or if you have a specific time frame that reading takes place.  As the admissions professional, you dictate what information is included in the review packet. For example, what forms or documents the parent submitted or notes that have been collected along the way.

An online review makes it easy for you to define what fields you want to display on the Candidate Coversheet and you dictate what information is included in the review packet (forms, notes).  In other words, everything that used to go into those paper folders can now be all online! And as the admin, you can manage your readers, oversee which candidates have been reviewed and kindly remind any reader to finish reviewing their candidates.

Whether you have new readers each year, or a professional in the reading process, each will have their own list of assigned candidates to review with simple instructions.  An online tool will bring all your prospective students who have completed the application process into a list where the reader can choose which candidates to begin with and start the reading process.  Of course, they will be allowed to make notes and comments about each page you need them to review. Once all the required documents are reviewed, they can easily score for each assigned student.

Simple Scoring

As we just mentioned, with everything online, everyone can score online.  No more waiting for the first reader to finish scoring a student before you start.  Everyone can read and score any candidate at any time. Another perk about making the switch to online reading and review, you have the option to define the rating criteria and scale that you’ll use to grade each candidate.  Simply, choose the type of rating scale you would like to use with numerical values or text values.

In order to score, the reader must review all the documents and then at the end rate the candidate.  Then, quickly they can continue to the next candidate or go back to their original list.

Make Decisions Faster

Your review committee meets frequently during the admissions season to analyze the completed application pool and make the best recommendation for which students should be accepted to your school.  Each school varies on how often they have to meet and discuss each student, look over academic and extra-curricular interests, review their character, test scores, supportive parents, etc. Overall, this can be a very difficult and time-consuming process for both your team and your families.

With an online reading and review tool, you can make your decisions faster.  Which would make both your team and your families happy, right? You can make the committee meetings much more efficient with a candidate summary view where you can filter, sort, and compare review data side-by-side as you build your incoming class. Collaborate all the notes from each reader in one centralized spot to review who your incoming class will be.

The best part about an online review tool is when all the candidate’s scores are listed in one place.  No more organizing manila folders, everything is available for you in a summary review. After everyone has sorted through the applications, all the notes and input from the readers are collected into a summary list that facilitates committee meetings decision making.  The committee can easily view the average scores of each student and determine their incoming class with their final decisions. Again, an online reading and review tool will help you advance the review process and allow you to focus on the important decisions and not get hung up by the entire paper folder process.

Easily communicate to all of your accepted students in bulk with personalized communications.

What to consider when looking for an online review tool.

  1. Your online reading and review tool should sync with your admissions and enrollment module
  2. Easily able to change your reading and review criteria for each year
  3. Capability to set parameters for new users
  4. Allows a print option for those who like to conduct their reading on paper
  5. For schools with various school levels, be sure the online reading and review can accommodate and customize each level for scoring
  6. No charge for additional accounts for limited users/online readers

SchoolAdmin is web-based and offers an online reading and review module where you can work and review students in the comfort of your home!  If you are a SchoolAdmin client and need help working on your online reading and review: Please sign in to your SchoolAdmin site and connect with our Client Services team by clicking on ‘Contact Support’.

Additional Resources


This post was published on December 19, 2018.
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SchoolAdmin is a powerful, customizable CRM with beautifully clean records, flexible workflow management for your school and sophisticated search and reporting, with unlimited custom fields. Click here to watch a quick overview of SchoolAdmin.

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