Managing Rolling Admissions Structure (Annual Maintenance)

Under a typical rolling admissions process, applicants may submit applications at any time and often to future terms.

It is best practice to activate new periods and rounds and inactivate (or retire) current periods and rounds annually. There are different strategies that might be considered to accomplish this while meeting the needs of various admissions practices.

This practice provides a window in which institutions can strategically review the application process and implement necessary updates. There is no mandate when to inactivate the current period and create/activate the new one. However, it is best practice is to update periods and rounds after they have finished processing (and have released decisions on) the majority of application records. Institutions may refer to this window as their “quiet” time.

Academic cycle reports can be built using the term data stored at the application field level. Reporting based on the period is not necessary and wouldn't be recommended for rolling admissions practices.

  • A period year does not necessarily reflect either an academic year or a calendar year.
  • Institutions with an application process based on a traditional academic cycle may map the period year to reflect the academic year from September to June.

Institutions that accept and release decisions on applications on a “rolling” basis or have a mix of “rolling” and traditional “hard” deadlines may map the period year to reflect the application cycle rather than the academic cycle. Many of these institutions do not include the period-year association in the name of the active period (or the round) so that the active period and round will appear consistently for applicants from one cycle to the next.

While a Rolling Admissions cycle means that the application is never "closed," it is important that new periods and rounds are created each year. New rounds will

  • allow for archiving of old applications
  • prevent rules from unnecessarily running on older applications
Strategy 1 - Carry Active Applications Forward

If possible, inactivate a period/round only when the majority of applications have been processed. Then carry forward any existing applications that should remain active by moving them from the prior period and round to the new one.

Step 1: Create New Rounds

When inactivating or closing an application cycle and creating a new one, first create the new periods and rounds.

Administrative View       Applicant View
Name Key Period Status Name
Undergraduate Application UG 2022 Application Cycle Inactive Not displayed until activated
Graduate Application GR 2022 Application Cycle Inactive Not displayed until activated
Non-Degree Application ND 2022 Application Cycle Inactive Not displayed until activated
Undergraduate Application UG 2021 Application Cycle Active Undergraduate Application
Graduate Application GR 2021 Application Cycle Active  Graduate Application
Non-Degree Application ND 2021 Application Cycle  Active Non-Degree Application
2020 Undergraduate Application UG 2020 Application Cycle Inactive No longer visible to the applicant
2020 Graduate Application  GR 2020 Application Cycle Inactive No longer visible to the applicant
Step 2: Inactivate Old Rounds and Rename

If the public-facing name of the active cycle does not include a year, update the previous periods/rounds name with the year associated with that application cycle. 

Administrative View       Applicant View
Name Key Period Status Name
Undergraduate Application UG 2022 Application Cycle Active Undergraduate Application
Graduate Application GR 2022 Application Cycle Active Graduate Application
Non-Degree Application ND 2022 Application Cycle Active Non-Degree Application
2021 Undergraduate Application UG 2021 Application Cycle Inactive No longer visible to the applicant
2021 Graduate Application GR 2021 Application Cycle Inactive  No longer visible to the applicant
2021 Non Degree Application ND 2021 Application Cycle  Inactive No longer visible to the applicant
2020 Undergraduate Application UG 2020 Application Cycle Inactive No longer visible to the applicant
2020 Graduate Application  GR 2020 Application Cycle Inactive No longer visible to the applicant

Important

Without a prefix in front of the inactive 2021 rounds, the result is that the rounds with the same name will be indistinguishable in filters and exports. Appropriately updating the rounds will clearly distinguish between active (Round without a year) and inactive applications.

Step 3: Move Applications Forward to the New Round as Necessary

When inactivating old periods/rounds, unsubmitted or unprocessed applications may be moved to the newly activated period and round using Query> Round> Batch Management. This is important because checklist rules only take action on applications within active periods.

Strategy 2 - Move Inactive Applications Backward

Alternatively, some clients prefer to always keep the active period/round in place for their open application, but it is necessary to move inactive applications backward into inactive periods/rounds at least once a year. This approach ensures that Direct Round URLs in use do not have to change annually and that the only applications being manipulated are the inactive ones.

An application field for the term can be used for reporting purposes, so it isn't necessary to segment past applications into individual periods so long as the active period is routinely managed only to contain what's active now. All others can be batch managed from the active period/round into a corresponding inactive period/round.

Step 1: Create Archive Round in an Archive Period

Create the archive period and round one time when first establishing this maintenance structure.

Administrative View       Applicant View
Name Key Period Status Name
Undergraduate Application UG Application Cycle Active Undergraduate Application
Graduate Application GR Application Cycle Active Graduate Application
Non-Degree Application ND Application Cycle Active Non-Degree Application
Archived Undergraduate Application UG Archived Application Cycle Inactive Not visible to the applicant
Archived Graduate Application GR Archived Application Cycle Inactive Not visible to the applicant
Archived Non-Degree Application ND Archived Application Cycle Inactive Not visible to the applicant
Step 2: Move Applications Backward to Archive Round

Using Query Batch Management, move applications to the archive round as often as needed, at least once per year.

When application terms close for each review period, or at least once per year, all decided and closed applications may be moved to the inactive period and round for archiving using Query> Round> Batch Management. This is important for the health of a Slate database as many rules and processes will be filtered by only the active period.

Round Batch Management

Whether following Strategy 1 or Strategy 2, Query> Round> Batch Management is necessary to keep only active applications in the active period.

  Best Practice

Use a test environment to test the Round Batch Management process before taking action in production.

  1. Create the query outlined below in the production environment, but do not execute.
  2. Refresh the test environment.
  3. Run the query in the test environment to evaluate the results before executing in production.
  4. If the results do not reflect the desired results, make modifications in the production environment and repeat steps 2 and 3.

If the results do reflect the desired results, navigate back to the production environment and run the query.

  1. Select Queries / Reports on the top navigation bar.
  2. Select New Query
  3. Drag the appropriate filters to identify the population who should have the round updated.
  4. Select Run Query.
  5. Select Round from the Output dropdown. This will effectively change the round in batch for all those records.
  6. Select Export.
  7. Select the new 'Round.'
  8. Select Submit.

This will update the round for all applicants in the query from the original round to the destination round.

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