Like many small, private schools, the College of St. Scholastica needed to reduce the manual paperwork handled by the admissions departments and increase the number of applicants to their programs — without adding marketing budget to support those changes. (The school currently enrolls 4,360 total students across multiple campuses, 1,516 of them in graduate programs.) The remote location of the small, Catholic college in northern MN made it difficult for St. Scholastica to reach far enough to maintain a healthy level of growth for their programs. “As a small private school with fairly big programs, we were reaching only a very regional audience,” recalled Chad Oppelt, Assistant Director of Graduate, Extended, and Online Admissions.
In 2009, Chad set out to improve efficiencies in an admissions department that was rapidly becoming overwhelmed with massive amounts of mail, including paper application forms, recommendations, essays, and stacks of official transcripts. With documents arriving separately for each applicant, the task of matching all the documents to create folders for each applicant was a complex and time-consuming process. According to Chad, as a result of their paper-based processes, “file cabinets were bursting with manila folders, and on the day after a big deadline, so many items had been slid under our doors to meet the cutoff that we could hardly make our way to our desks.”