Guest Blog: New Graduate Online Application

university-application-form1“What’s the status of my application?” 

As admission season reaches its peak, this question is heard across campus in our academic departments, University Admissions, and the Office of Graduate Studies. It is also the question on applicants’ minds as they wait for news about their future. PSU’s decentralized graduate admissions process and multiple applications can make the question about application status difficult to answer.  This can be frustrating for applicants, faculty and staff alike.

Solution: Create an Office of Graduate Admissions and launch a single online application in September 2015.

A working group of representatives from each school/college, with the support of Office of Information Technology  is already at work on the new application. CollegeNet, a local company, is providing the application management system. At a recent two-day planning meeting, we identified the goals:

  • One application, customized by degree program
  • A faster, streamlined, paperless process that automates menial tasks to free up staff time for interacting with prospective students and supporting current students.
  • An electronic system accessible via the web from anywhere at any time.

The new Office of Graduate Admissions will provide support to academic programs for graduate recruitment and enrollment management. One of the advantages of a new application system is better data and analytics for programs to set goals, track progress, and identify which outreach efforts are effective. It will also help us in the Office of Graduate Studies to identify effective shared services to best support our academic programs.

Regular updates and FAQs about the transition can be found on the online graduate application transition site.

How will we pay for the new office and application?

The Office of Graduate Admissions will be created by moving existing staff members and budget from the University Admissions Office to the Office of Graduate Admissions, effective July 1, 2015. Matriculation fees will provide additional resources for outreach and student recruitment efforts. The costs of the new CollegeNet application will be covered by matriculation fees and an increase in the graduate application fee to $65. The new application fee follows an extensive review of regional and national peer institutions’ application fees and procedures and is the first increase in PSU’s application fee in over 20 years. The cost to applicants will be at least partially offset by reducing the cost of mailing materials and ordering multiple sets of official transcripts.

Coming in September

Starting September 2015, a graduate applicant from anywhere in the world, can log in and see a checklist and status update for their application. Any program director, staff member or faculty can see the same information simultaneously, avoiding confusion and duplication of effort. A better experience for applicants and reviewers alike will help us identify and enroll outstanding students at Oregon’s largest graduate institution.

We would appreciate hearing your thoughts and suggestions about these exciting changes by commenting on this blog.

Margaret Everett

Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice Provost for International Affairs

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