The Common Application - Applications

Before getting started, it is important to understand how data from CommonApp is automatically delivered to a Slate instance.

What do institutions need to do? Technolutions automatically checks the delivery site to find any files that have arrived for an institution. Those files will automatically be loaded into the Upload Dataset module in Slate. The Common Application sends up to eleven distinct data and PDF files to Technolutions on a daily basis through a Scheduled Delivery Service (SDS) feed. These files are organized into sub-directories that determine which files belong to which institution.

Before CommonApp data can appear in individual student records, three steps need to be taken for each distinct file type:

  • Check the field destinations and value mappings that Technolutions has pre-mapped.
  • Map CommonApp data to the Slate fields, including the member questions (such as Round mappings).
  • Map any CommonApp values to destination values in Slate for prompt-based fields.

  What about mappings from last year?

If the CommonApp file was mapped last year, those mappings will remain. However, it is necessary to review mappings and make updates for items that change from year to year (such as headers for member questions and the application round mapping).

CommonApp Source Format

The CommonApp file contains the application data for students who have submitted an application to your institution.

Important

Application Period and Rounds must be built in Slate before you can map the CommonApp format. If you still need to create an Application Period and Rounds. The Period and Round section of the workbook will walk you through the Period and Round configuration process.
Remapping the CommonApp File
  1. Select Database on the top navigation bar and select Source Formats.
  2. Find the CommonApp Source Format and select Remap to confirm destinations and to set up additional data mappings for this Source Format.
  3. After selecting Remap you will see all of the Slate destination fields currently mapped for the data points included in the CommonApp file.
Stage: Fields
The Fields stage allows you to tell Slate where to store the incoming CommonApp data within a Slate record:
Configurations Description

Source Field 

On the left side of the page, you will see the data that was included in the CommonApp file. Slate also displays a sample value for each data point (if one is available).

Destinations

On the right side of the page, you will see the Slate field (or fields) that will eventually contain the source value. Select a data row to choose a destination field or to edit a destination field for a data point.

  Not seeing any fields?

Confirm with the Common Application that your institution uses Slate. If files were not delivered, this step cannot be completed.

Pre-Mapped Destinations

Technolutions has pre-mapped many of the data points sent by the Common Application. You may edit any of these pre-mapped items if you have a business process that requires non-standard mappings.

Only map items that will be used regularly for query-based business processes. Resist the urge to map everything! 

Important

What about the Common App ID?

Do not edit the Common App ID destination. Other pre-mapped destinations may be edited.

For CommonAppProspects, CommonAppSuspects, and CommonApp source formats, the Common App ID source field will be mapped to the person-scoped Slate External ID only.

CommonAppRecommendations, CommonAppPayment, CommonAppWriting, and CommonAppCourses should not have the Common App ID source field mapped at all.  Those files should only import data to the existing application. These files should never create a new application or match onto a different existing application if the application with the Common App ID does not already exist.

For this same reason, identifying information, including first name, last name, date of birth, email address, etc., should also remain unmapped for Payments, Writing, Recommendations, and Courses, as this data will be imported through the CommonApp data feed.

CommonApp, CommonAppRecommendations, CommonAppWriting, CommonAppPayment, and CommonAppCourses source formats all have the Slate Common App ID mapped to the application-scoped unique fields Common App ID and App: External ID.
The Common App ID uniquely identifies a person, so in order to make it unique for a specific application, the application cycle year is appended to the Slate Common App ID.  As of August 2022, -2023 is appended to the Slate Common App ID. Each cycle the year changes and the year value it automatically updated.

Common App ID

 

Make Application-Scoped Fields for Member Questions

The CommonApp Source Format also includes data for all of your member screen questions. As these questions are unique to your institution, create custom fields (and possibly a few prompt lists) in Slate to ensure that you can store this data.

Institutions with Multiple Application Sources

Sometimes institutions want to keep track of where an application originated. You may create an application-scoped field to store the application source and then create prompt values for your different application sources (such as Common App). You may add this to your CommonApp import as a Static Value so all applications will display CommonApp as their source.

Slate Destinations That MUST Be Mapped

Be on the lookout for items that cannot be pre-mapped, but are critically important for a successful CommonApp import:

Required Mapping:

  • Application Rounds

We recommend that you leave the Application Submit Date destination mapping as is. (This is a pre-mapped field.) Altering the destination for this field introduces the risk that your CommonApp applications will be imported as Unsubmitted.

Optional (but recommended) mapping

  • Entry Term
  • Hispanic and Race (or Ethnicity Information)

Background field

The Background field is comma-delimited in the data feed, so be sure to set this delimiter!

If your institution does not need to bring in the racial sub-categories, then mapping just the Hispanic Latino field and the Background field is sufficient.

If your institution needs to map more detailed racial information, this is supported. The race-specific background fields (such as Hawaiian background) are also comma-delimited.

Comma-separated values

If a source value is delimited by commas and a delimiter has not been set, comma separated values will display as items to map to Slate values.

Before value mapping, go back to Setup Fields and add the delimiter. This will update the Value Mappings page.

Round Mapping

Use App: Round

When configuring your Slate destinations for your CommonApp Application data, you must use the App: Round destination. App: Round allows you to map to a specific Application Round in Slate and create applications.

You may also map any source field to the App: Round Override destination. App: Round Override allows you to map a specific Application Round to override the App: Round mapping for specific records.

Example 1: Institutions with term-specific Rounds

If you have term-specific Rounds, like this:

Slate Rounds
  • 2022 First-Year
  • Early Decision
  • 2022 First-Year
  • Regular Decision - Fall
  • 2022 First-year
  • Regular Decision - Spring

Your CommonApp mappings may utilize these source fields:

Member Question Possible Answers
Admission Plan Early Decision

Regular Decision
Preferred Start Term Fall 2022

Spring 2022

Map 'Admission Plan' to 'Round' and map 'Preferred Start Term' to 'Round Override.' Then map values like this:

Admission plan > App: Round

Source Value Destination Value
Early Decision 2022 First-Year Early Decision
Regular Decision 2022 First-Year Regular Decision

 Preferred start term > App: Round Override

Source Value Destination Value
Fall 2022  
Spring 2022  2022 First-Year Regular Decision Spring

Example 2: Institutions with special Rounds

If you have a special Application Round, like this:

Slate Rounds    
  • 2022 First-Year
  • Early Decision
  • 2022 First-Year
  • Regular Decision
  • 2022 First-Year
  • Special Round

Your CommonApp mappings may utilize these source fields:

Member Question Possible Answers
Admission Plan Early Decision

Regular Decision
Are you applying to our special program? Yes

No

Map 'Admission Plan' to 'Round' and map 'Special Program' to 'Round Override.' Then map values like this:

Source Value Destination Value
Early Decision 2022 First-Year Early Decision
Regular Decision 2022 First-Year Regular Decision

 

Source Value Destination Value
Yes 2022 First-Year Special Round
No  
Stage: Value Mappings

Be sure to double check the value mappings on the Value Mappings page and configure the mappings for any field destinations that have been added.

  • Go quickly to the source fields that require value mappings by using the Search function.
  • Use the Filter options to show only source fields that have unmapped values or source fields that have mapped values.
  • Use the Refresh Values link to ensure that you value mappings display the most current data.
  • Be sure to select Save to save your mappings.
Append Values

Sometimes a complete list of values that need to be mapped for a destination field may not be displayed (Be sure to access the CommonApp data catalog to determine the proper format for any values you might append. It is critical that any appended values exactly match the Common App value in the data catalog). For example, one of your Common App questions may look like this:

Program

Since the values pre-populated on the Value Mappings page are the distinct values that appear in the CommonApp files uploaded so far, you may only see a subset of the possible options.

Select Append Values to add the missing source values to finalize mappings. Add missing values (one per line) and then complete the value mappings in Slate. Any values added must match exactly with the CommonApp values. Also, make sure there are no trailing spaces.

Don’t want to search the data catalog for just the missing values? Append all values and Slate will only add the appended values for those not already available.

Phone Numbers

While phone number information has been pre-mapped to fields on the student record, some institutions may wish to remove those mappings and choose to map to Device destinations instead.

If you do wish to set the phone types, remove the existing field destinations for these items and map these Device destinations instead:

Source Value Device Destination Groups
Preferred phone Device: Device : Type This item should have Group=1
Preferred phone number Device: Device: Value This item should have Group=1
Alternate phone available Device #2 Device: Type This item should have Group=2
Alternate phone number Device #2 Device: Value This item should have Group=2

On the Value Mappings page, pick the following values for the Preferred phone values:

Source Value Device Destination
Home Primary Phone
Mobile Mobile Phone

Pick the following values for the Alternate phone available values:

Source Value Device Destination
Home Primary Phone
Mobile Mobile Phone
No other telephone  

Important

It is not necessary to map No other telephone.

Phone numbers come into Slate with normal priority by default. You may change the priority for phone numbers by setting static values:

Destination Value Group
Device Device-Priority High Priority This item should have Group=1
Device #2 Device-Priority Mobile Phone This item should have Group=2
Citizenship Status

Be sure to preserve the pre-mapped fields and values for Citizenship Status data:

Citizenship List
Source Value Destination Value
Other (Non-US)  
U.S. Citizen or U.S. National United States
U.S. Dual Citizen United States
U.S. Permanent Resident  
U.S. Refugee or Asylee  

Important

Leave the following values unmapped:
  • Other (Non-US)
  • U.S. Permanent Resident
  • U.S. Refugee or Asylee

Non-U.S. citizenship will be derived from your Citizenship mappings.

Permanent Resident

Source Value Destination Value
Other (Non-US)  
U.S. Citizen or U.S. National  
U.S. Dual Citizen  
U.S. Permanent Resident Yes
U.S. Refugee or Asylee  

 

Important

Leave the following values unmapped:
  • Other (Non-US)
  • U.S. Citizen or
    U.S. National
  • U.S. Dual Citizen
  • U.S. Refugee or Asylee

Non-U.S. citizenship will be derived from your Citizenship mappings.

Parents, Counselors, and Teachers

The CommonAppSuspects and CommonAppProspects files contain data for potential applicants as well as parents, counselors, and teachers. If you would like to import these records but exclude them from your Slate communication plans you may set the Opt Out tag when they are imported:

Source Value Destination
Plan to enroll=Applicant planning... Tags Tag: Opt Out

When you map your value destinations, you may set the Opt Out tag for people who are not applicants planning to enroll within the next 12 months. This will prevent these records from receiving future communications:

Source Value Destination Value
Applicant planning to enroll within the next 12 months  
Teacher Set
Counselor Set
Parent Set
Other Student Set

If you would like to exclude these records entirely, you may set the Skip Import value when the file is imported:

Source Value Destination
Plan to enroll=Applicant planning... System Custom: Skip Import

When you map your value destinations, you may set the Skip Import value for people who are not applicants planning to enroll within the next 12 months:

Source Value Destination Value
Applicant planning to enroll within the next 12 months  Do no skip import
Teacher Skip import
Counselor Skip import
Parent Skip import
Other Student Skip import

Important

Selecting Skip Import for non-applicant records will prevent these records from being created in Slate.

Mapping Activities (optional)

If you wish to map activity data, you must map a Common App source field to the Interest - Name (Value) field in Slate in order to create an interest.

Common App does not consistently send an activity name value in the Activity # name source field. However, activity name information can regularly be found in the Activity # Honors source field.

Therefore, we recommend mapping both the Activity # Sport/team and the Activity # Honors source field to the Interest - Name (Value) field in Slate

Remember to set a group number when bringing in multiple groupings of data points:

1

2

Stage: Static Mappings

Technolutions has pre-defined a number of Static Values for the CommonApp Source Format. (A majority of the Static Values will ensure that test scores are imported as Self-Reported.)

Consider adding other Static Values in order to ensure that the CommonApp data will display according to your specifications.

Reviewing in the Test Environment

When you are satisfied with your CommonApp mappings, launch (or refresh) a test instance and activate the CommonApp source format in that environment. If you need to make any tweaks, make those changes in production, and then refresh your test environment and try again. If everything imported as expected, activate the source format in production.

Stage: Retroactive Refresh

You may revisit the Format Definitions for your CommonApp import and map additional fields and values at any time. If you map new fields and values or alter existing field or value destinations once your Common App format is active, use the Retroactive Refresh stage to update previously imported data.

Select the specific field that should be imported for your previously uploaded records.

Watch for groups. If you need to refresh records with data that is grouped (such as schools, relationships, or activities), select all the items in the group.

Then scroll to the bottom and select the files to be refreshed (Be sure to select Retroactive Refresh at the bottom of the page).

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