Period and Round Structure

Configuring a period and round structure is the first step to collect application data in Slate, whether a Slate-hosted application or importing application. 


  • Periods are commonly referred to as the application "cycle," help keep the application rounds organized and define a span of time during which an application may be created. The application period is most likely the same as the year of the academic cycle to which students are applying.
  • Rounds are used to manage application types. Periods and rounds are also used to control certain aspects of the application process, such as limiting the number of submitted applications.

To start an application in Slate, applicants are directed to the default application landing page ( 

Here, applicants select the appropriate period and round.

Many institutions find success configuring just one application period and one application round per application cycle, as is the general best practice.


However, there may be times where a process calls for more than a single period and round. Some examples include:

Undergraduate & Graduate - A single database may contain both undergraduate and graduate programs or have decentralized admissions processes. This example would allow for the different rounds to be activated and inactivated on different timelines. mceclip6.png
Undergraduate - A database that includes only undergraduate admissions might establish early decision, early action, regular decision, and transfer rounds.  mceclip8.png
Graduate - Graduate institutions with a well-established school structure may create separate rounds for the School of Business, School of Education, Schools of Nursing, etc. mceclip9.png

You will configure separate rounds when it makes for a more straightforward and efficient application creation process for applicants. However, creating multiple rounds by application type works best when it is clear to the applicants which round it is that they should or wish to apply to. If applicants are unsure what applicant type they should choose, it makes for a better application experience to use custom fields on a custom application page-scoped form rather than forcing applicants to decide the round level. For instance, you might be inclined to include entry terms at the round level. However, entry term is better suited as a custom field within the application.

Before building in your production database, diagram the desired structure on paper or in a test environment. Establishing a clear period and round structure will ensure efficiency and sustainability throughout other areas of Slate such as queries, importing and exporting data, etc.

Other considerations for multiple rounds:

  • If the application should display a question conditionally by applicant type on the standard Personal Information page. 
  • If it is necessary to customize automatic system emails by applicant type.


Did you know? may be used to share information regarding applicant data between undergraduate admission offices and high school counselors, independent counselors, and community-based organizations.

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