By automating its admissions process with docAlpha, “APP” stays ahead of the competition
In 2013, when Appalachian State University announced that its sports programs were stepping up to the FBS level and joining the Sun Belt, it wasn’t just its rivals (like FBS member Georgia Southern) that took note. Graduating high school seniors suddenly began to line up to join the school and the volume of admission applications increased.
After an initial struggle at the FBS level, the Appalachian State University football team went on a 6-game winning streak, with upset wins over last year's Sun Belt co-champions Arkansas State and Louisiana–Lafayette.
That’s when admissions really took off.
For Associate Director of Admissions Sarah-Davis Cagle, it was the beginning of an exciting and very challenging time in her role. According to Cagle, winning the recruiting game means processing applications quickly and being first to the mailbox with an acceptance letter for a prospective student.
“When I first came on board, we saw a jump in our applications which was a new challenge for us,” Cagle said.
We always want be the first one in the mailbox so to speak; we always brag about what our volume is, but then we want to make sure that if we're bragging about volume, we're also bragging about our efficiency and how quickly we're turning things around for everybody.”
Appalachian State University had decided to implement the docAlpha Digital Transformation platform to automate data entry and processing for over 75,000 admissions documents for 18-to-19,000 student admissions applications annually.
With docAlpha, Appalachian State University is able to automatically extract student information from high school transcripts and other required documents like background checks, reducing the amount of manual document handling and data entry.
According to Cagle, the introduction of docAlpha dramatically streamlined the university’s admission process, even during peak enrollment. Best of all, Cagle said that her experience working with docAlpha and coming up to speak was seamless.
“It was super smooth,” said Cagle, “When I first came on board is when we saw a jump in enrollment because we had some good publicity on a national scale, so our volume jumper. There were days when I was pulling a thousand transcripts down and running them through docAlpha.”
Today, as Appalachian State University continues to grow, Cagle and the admissions team are able to keep pace, thanks to docAlpha. By relying on automation to streamline the process and reduce manual data entry, Cagle can allocate one less FTE to manually processing documents, while keeping pace with rising enrollment and peak periods near the enrollment deadline.
Appalachian State University Sarah-Davis Cagle Associate Director of Admissions – Operations
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
• Streamline admissions process for new prospective students
• Keep up with peak admissions periods to stay competitive
• Large volumes of documents to process per admission
• Bursts of applications near application deadlines
• Growth in admissions due to sports team success
• Artsyl docAlpha Digital Transformation Platform
• Intelligent extraction of transcript data
• Shorter admissions response times
• Ability to process admissions with fewer staff members
• Ability to maintain response time during peak admission periods
“When I first came on board, we saw a jump in our applications which was a new challenge for us. Having docAlpha was nice because there were sometimes that I just dropped the application in the hot folder and we didn't have to touch it again.
We always want be the first one in the mailbox so to speak; we always brag about what our volume is, but then we want to make sure that if we're bragging about volume, we're also bragging about our efficiency and how quickly we're turning things around for everybody.” Sarah-Davis Cagle Associate Director of Admissions – Operations