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UPenn's Annenberg School Quantifies Value of Admissions Software

The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, which has used Intelliworks in its admissions process since July 2007 reports a marked increase in electronic recruitment efforts. In the past, according to the school, inquiries that came in would be responded to and thrown out, without any follow-up. Admissions representatives would attend college fairs, but no tracking was being done to see if these initiatives were effective. Additionally, due to an influx of applications resulting from the recent economic downturn, the school needed to balance the quantity of applicants with the quality the program expects.

Also, the homegrown system didn't allow the staff to access applications until the submit deadline had passed, and no communications were sent to applicants during the process. Now, using Intelliworks, staff members access applications as they arrive, and the software sends out automated communications several times during the process.

The new system, which runs as software as a service, was able to streamline the school's admissions process, increase inquiries, and enhance marketing and outreach to constituents. During their first recruiting cycle working with the Intelliworks platform, the admissions department electronically recruited over 30 percent of the total applicant pool. Of those, 17 students comprised the final 100 applicants being considered.

The school reported a 42 percent increase in applicants and saw an increase in the depth and breadth of the pool, as well as more ethnic and regional diversity. It has also eliminated IT involvement in its admissions processes. The department received its first inquiry a week after users first began logging into the service.

Overall, prospects were up 95 percent and inbound inquiries rose 125 percent.

The marketing functionality allowed the admissions department to look at the responses and click-through rates they were getting from newsletters. Also, realizing that the undergraduate students in Annenberg were an untapped market for outreach, the department began to engage them, receiving positive responses.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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