Graduate Management Programs Realize Unexpected Benefits with BusinessCAS™

RJ Nichol
Jun 14, 2019

When Kansas State University decided to sign on with Liaison’s BusinessCAS™ in 2018, Dee Steinle, executive director of MBA and MSB Programs, expected efficiencies in the processing of applications and time to decision. But to her surprise, KU also enjoyed a 50% increase in applications within one month of implementation. “I’m personally excited about what this means for my institution, and I’m thrilled about the overall momentum of the BusinessCAS initiative!”

Loubna Bouamane, director of Admissions at University of Miami’s Business School, likewise saw a rise in applicants: “Even before we redirected our official application to BusinessCAS, we had new applications coming through organically just because the Miami Business School was listed in this central directory for graduate management education programs. I knew we’d get exposure to a whole new pool of applicants who hadn’t considered our programs before when we joined BusinessCAS, but I didn’t realize it would happen that quickly. Excited about being part of this initiative!”

Over the last two decades, Liaison has launched over 40 Centralized Application Services (CAS™) for graduate programs to optimize the admissions process for all stakeholders. BusinessCAS offers graduate management admissions offices access to this improved way to recruit, admit and enroll best fit students while saving time, money and headcount in the process.

Simplifying the holistic admissions process

By its very nature, the holistic admissions process adapted by most GME programs today is time and document intensive. Collecting transcripts and test scores, reading essays and recommendations, getting faculty input and tying it all together to make admissions decisions can be a lengthy process. Adding to that pressure, applicants often pick the program that admits them first. So a program that’s slow to process applicants may miss out on best-fit candidates.

With a CAS, the holistic admissions process can be streamlined. Professional graduate schools that have implemented CASs for programs such as engineering and health sciences have reported a reduction in the application review process from 8 days to 1.5 days and a 69% decrease in time to make admissions decisions.  An additional benefit of a CAS is the ease of access among constituents reviewing applicants. In particular, time-strapped faculty can review candidates at a touch of a button, review and make recommendations or input ratings which are automatically captured in the  system.  

Creating an audit trail

Another issue that can hinder the holistic admissions process is determining evaluation criteria. While test scores and GPAs are easy to quantify, personal attributes, work experience and recommendations are less so. Couple those with socio-economic background and other factors and measurement becomes even harder. In order to ensure an equitable, standardized review process, a uniform set of criteria or rubrics must be developed.

Here again, BusinessCAS can offer a solution. A set of agreed upon rubrics can be loaded into the platform to ensure uniformity of evaluations by admissions staff, faculty and administrators alike. Moreover, an audit trail is created throughout the process, which can be obtained in cases of disputes, internal inquiries or requests from accreditation agencies.

Future returns

While GME programs that have implemented BusinessCAS cite immediate benefits, the data captured within the platform offers long-term benefits as well. GME programs that have adapted the platform have mentioned being able to see what feeder colleges applicants are coming from, which has been helpful in their recruitment efforts. Others mention they can see if they are meeting or falling short of their diversity goals and make adjustments as needed.  Such a feedback loop can help refine admissions criteria and practices as well as curriculum offerings.

With so many moving parts to juggle in today’s GME admissions process, why not see what advantages BusinessCAS can bring to your program? To read more on how BusinessCAS can facilitate your holistic admissions process and provide exposure to a broader applicant pool, download our white paper Simplifying Business School Admissions.

RJ Nichol

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.