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The American School Foundation A. C. (ASF), a large international school in the heart of Mexico City, strategically transformed its admissions office and family application experience by moving to an online application system provided by [PowerSchool Registration].
The school began in the late 19th century when a group of American industrialists living in Mexico City started a kindergarten in the home of Mr. John R. Davis, welcoming young students from American, British, and Mexican families. By the 1930s, 23 nationalities were represented at the school, and by the 1960s, the school had grown immensely. Surviving wars, earthquakes, flu epidemics and more, The American School Foundation now serves over 2,500 students and is an outstanding educational institution.
As the demand for a place at The American School Foundation grew, so did the paperwork and applications. Patricia Martin de Hubp, Director of Admission and Financial Aid, noted that the application process was very manual and cumbersome, both for families and for her office. While the application was available in PDF online, little improved for families and administrators. “We have a large population of our students coming from abroad, so our international families would have to download, print, fill out, scan, and return the application by mail or email – a very cumbersome operation,” she described.
Meanwhile, in the admissions office, Patricia outlined typical operations: “We would receive about 700-800 applications and would have to set-up and input the collected information into three separate database systems, one of which was PowerSchool. As you can imagine, it was extremely labor-intensive and an inefficient use of our time.” If data entry wasn’t bad enough, the trouble was often discovering incomplete applications or applications with illegible handwriting, thus creating follow-up work on top of the data entry. The American School Foundation also interviews all of its applicants, thus the admissions team has to prepare for each appointment. “We couldn’t take paper files home to read them before a meeting – it was cumbersome and definitely not a very efficient use of our time,” Patricia said.
At a conference a few years ago, Patricia learned of [PowerSchool Registration]. “When I saw what they had to offer, I was impressed and thought that is exactly what we need.” After investigating and signing with [PowerSchool Registration], The American School Foundation launched an online application in December of 2012. New families can complete the application online, including the submission of required documentation, such as copies of birth certificates and passports
“Since switching, we’ve obviously streamlined the admission process,” Patricia began. “[PowerSchool Registration] took our paper application and created a solution that was exactly what we needed. We were able to implement deadlines to give us flexibility to cut off application dates. Families would know exactly what time frames they had to work with.” As a result of [PowerSchool Registration], The American School Foundation saw an increase in both the quality and quantity of applications. Patricia explained: “Now families can work on their applications, save them, return to them, and then submit them when they’re ready. Families love this because it has given them time to work with the application and really do a good job in terms of submitting something that they feel good about.”
Patricia added that the school receives more than 1,000 new admission applications each year. “[PowerSchool Registration] increased the number of applications we receive each year – as you can imagine, with over 1,000 applications, there’s a lot of reading to be done! A big advantage of [PowerSchool Registration] is that since these files are online, they can be accessed from home before we conduct interviews and testing deadlines.”
Patricia also praised the tracking abilities of [PowerSchool Registration] that has helped with recruitment and increased the number of applications. “We can track the applications that are in progress. We can see who started in August, and who has yet to submit – it’s a wonderful system.” Families also appreciate the ability to track the progress of their applications, and as a result has lessened the number of calls to the admissions office (international dialing can be a challenge and an expense). “Families can track their progress once they’ve submitted an application to see whether school recommendations have been delivered, whether they’ve had an interview in the admissions office, and they can keep track of their admission process. When you are applying from abroad in particular, this makes a big difference to families.”
For The American School Foundation, one of the most beneficial features of [PowerSchool Registration] is the data integration and delivery to their student information system, PowerSchool. “[PowerSchool Registration] has drastically reduced our data entry. It is extremely efficient, and it has transformed the work of our admissions office. We no longer conduct manual data entry into three systems – it’s a relief.” [PowerSchool Registration] has also increased the accuracy of the information The American School Foundation keeps in PowerSchool, a vital component to student safety with regards to health/medical and emergency contact data.
“Our experience has been very good with [PowerSchool Registration] and has certainly streamlined our application process,” Patricia said. [PowerSchool Registration] is a great service to ASF’s families and has helped ASF to strategically increase application quantity and quality while transforming the admissions office and its efficiency.
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