Hard and Soft Fails

Two types of submission requirements can be created for any data in a Slate-hosted application.

Type Description
Hard Fail

Warns that required data is missing from the application and must be provided before an applicant can submit their application.

For example:

  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • One essay
  • The following contact information
    • Mobile phone
    • Mailing address
    • Permanent address
Soft Fail

Warns that required data is missing from the application, but this will not prevent an applicant from successfully submitting their application.

For example:

  • Middle name
  • Work experience
  • Optional personal statement

Filters may be applied to show requirements for a certain segment of the application population. For example, an international applicant, applying to a Graduate Round with an interest in Engineering must submit the following materials that are specific to that program.

Submission requirements appear on the Review page of the application:

  Where are my filters?

When you begin creating submission requirements, you may determine that you need filters that are not yet in your database. Remember that you can easily add filters by checking the Slate Template Library.

  Hard Fails versus Soft Fails?

Remember that hard fails prevent application submission, while soft fails simply display a warning. Feel free to change a hard fail to a soft fail if you only want to warn the applicant about missing information, while still allowing application submission.


Active doesn't matter! Remember that applicants see submission requirements on the Review page of the application prior to submitting the application. If the applicant can access the Review page, the application round and period are active, and the deadline has not passed. Therefore, you do not need to filter on current application period or application submission status when making submission requirements.

Inserting Submission Requirements

Add hard and soft fails to an application through the Application Logic function within Slate:

  1. Select Database on the top navigation bar and select Application Logic.
  2. Select Insert.
  3. Enter the following configurations in the dialog box for each desired submission requirement:
    • Status: Set to Active.
    • Folder: Keep your records organized by putting them in a folder. Select Other to create a new folder.
    • Type: Set to Submission Requirement.
    • Section: Choose the page of the application where the items appear. This selection creates the link back to the proper page on the Review page.
    • Name: Provide the text to appear when the applicant is missing information.
    • Warning: Select Hard Fail or a Soft Fail.
    • Group (optional): Add a Group here to quickly restrict the requirement to only the applicants who meet the group criteria you set up earlier. Slate automatically includes the filter criteria for the group in the requirement rule.
    • Base: Select Applications as the base
    • Filters: Add filters to isolate that applicants who should see the message. For example, adding the Field Missing (Application) filter allows you to select application-scoped fields that are required fields.

Select the Light Bulb  for a complete listing of all setting descriptions.

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