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UTHSC Revamps its Admissions Technology to Drive Greater Yield

RJ Nichol
Jan 9, 2018

UTHSC’s challenge: Multiple submissions, false starts and inefficient processing for application materials

Over the past few years, the College of Graduate Health Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) had become increasingly aware of problems in its online application system. For example, from 2005-2011, a full 7-10% of received applications were delivered as multiple submissions by the same applicant. But which one was actually valid? It was difficult to tell for sure, as the system lacked the capability to differentiate, or the multiple submissions were very similar.

Then there were the “false starts” — applications submitted as incomplete. The system was unable to determine which applications were genuine and in progress and which applications had been abandoned because the students had simply changed their minds about applying.

Making matters worse was the fact that application documents were also stored in different repositories across the institution. This practice increased the likelihood that materials could get overlooked or even lost — and indeed materials did get lost, with frustrating frequency.

The result of these combined issues was a negative and inefficient application experience for prospects as well as staff. “Everybody was chomping at the bit to get something new in place,” said Donald Thomason, dean of the College of Graduate Health Sciences. “The old system wasn’t working. We knew there had to be a better way.” At that point UTHSC came to Liaison with two main goals: to create a central location for application materials and to increase the integrity of the application process by finding a way to accurately evaluate applicant intent.

Liaison’s solution: A unified, easily searchable platform with a centralized document repository and dedicated tech support

The technical and administrative problems faced by UTHSC were exactly the kinds of problems UniCASTM was created to address. Using the best features of its proven Centralized Application Services (CASTM) as a foundation, Liaison designed UniCAS to provide a solution for managing enrollment efforts, increasing administrative efficiency, gaining strategic insight into performance and measuring that performance against peer institutions.

The program uses a single reporting platform and common data standards to achieve comprehensive and consistent reporting across graduate schools and programs. It’s also flexible enough to adapt to each institution’s unique recruitment and admissions needs.

UniCAS made it possible for UTHSC applicants to check on the status of their application, submit supplemental materials, schedule interviews and communicate with admissions officers at any time, all from within their account.

The benefits of UniCAS were not limited to prospects, however. UTHSC staff appreciated the service’s easy implementation process, with Liaison’s dedicated support available at every step. “Liaison exceeded our expectations,” said Thomason. “They brought a site visit team to tell us exactly what was going to happen and then it happened. And they’re still helping us along the way.”

UTHSC’s outcome: A more streamlined, positive application experience for prospects and staff

With UniCAS, UTHSC was finally able to bring all the elements of its fractured admissions process into alignment. The result? A more streamlined, positive application experience for prospects as well as staff. Because of its single application technology, UniCAS eliminated the “false start” problem that was causing so much frustration for UTHSC admissions staff. The platform’s centralized repository for application documents also helped to ensure the integrity of each application. Live chat capability made it possible for the staff to give prospects real-time support to help them determine whether or not the program was right for them in the first place. And last, but far from least, UniCAS analytics tools allowed UTHSC to generate more in-depth data reports quicker than ever, providing deeper insights into forecast and model enrollment trends for current and future applicant cycles.

UTHSC’s results

With UniCAS, UTHSC was able to:

  • Simplify its application process.
  • Eliminate multiple submissions.
  • Increase understanding of an applicant’s intent.
  • Save valuable staff hours.
  • Generate faster, more accurate reports.
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.