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Liaison International

Configuration Portal Checklist and Best Practices

Configuration Portal Checklist

1. Review the Application

  • Review the current application to get a sense of the questions that are already included and what you may want to add.
  • Start to pull together any details about your program and school that you want to share with applicants in the application.

2. Be Aware of Cycle Rollovers

  • Keep in mind that all pages from the current cycle will be rolled over to the new cycle. 

3. Brand Your Program Page

  • Work with your Marketing or PR department to choose a branding image that meets the size and format specifications. Images have to be 900x270 pixels, and 250 KB or less.
  • Pull together your program’s introductory text and instructions, as well as any requirements information, including supplemental items/fees if you use a two-part application process.

4. Configure Questions (if applicable)

  • Review current school and supplemental applications to help you determine which questions you need to ask.

5. Configure Prerequisites (if applicable)

  • Pull together information on prerequisites, including any instructions. 

6. Configure Documents (if applicable)

  • Ensure you have specific instructions for any documents you are requesting.

7. Configure Evaluations (if applicable)

  • Determine how many evaluations, if any, you want to request.

8. Configure Transcript and Coursework Entry (if applicable)

  • Indicate the transcripts and coursework entry you require.

9. Configure SlideRoom Link (if applicable)

  • Enter your SlideRoom application link for applicants to complete.

10. Preview and Submit Your Program

  • Monitor your program’s status by returning to the Configuration Portal.
    program-status-config-portal.png

Best Practices in Configuring Instructions

  • It's a good idea to include:
    • A brief over of the institution, department, or program.
    • Clear, specific, numbered or bulleted instructions for applicants, including how to submit required items (e.g., GRE codes or international evaluations, where applicable.)
    • A brief profile of what successful applicants to this program from previous years look like.
  • Limit the content you provide to what's relevant to the application process. Including too much information may cause applicants to miss important details.
  • Limit the number of hyperlinks you include. These take applicants away from the application. Instead, where possible, summarize the information you wish to convey on the homepage.

Best Practices in Configuring Questions

  • When it comes to the number of questions you ask applicants, balance is important. Some programs have found that adding many questions may lead to a decrease in applications, as it requires more effort from applicants. Depending on your program's circumstances, it may be advantageous to increase applicant effort, but it's wise to be mindful of this possibility.
  • Remember to update questions as necessary each cycle. If you ask any year-specific questions, make sure that your question, as well as your answer options, are up-to-date.
  • If your program requires items that are optional on the core application, you can use the Questions area to prompt applicants to complete those items. For example, if your program requires three evaluations, while the core application only requires two, you might ask, "We require a third evaluation. Have you submitted all three?"
  • If you have a required question that may not apply to all applicants, include an answer choice of “Not Applicable."

Best Practices in Configuring Documents

  • When adding instructions to this page, only include instructions that deal with completing the Documents portion of the Program Materials section. Including requirements or information regarding documents collected in other areas of the application (e.g., the Letters of Reference collected in the core application) may confuse applicants. Broader instructions like these can be added to your branding page.
  • Make sure your instructions are clear and specific.

    config-portal-document-instructions1.png
  • Applicants cannot submit their application until all of their required documents have been uploaded, so be selective of which documents you decide to make required. Requiring documents that may take greater effort to obtain (e.g., background check documents) can cause delays.

Best Practices in Configuring Prerequisites

  • There isn't an audit process that ensures the applicants have matched courses in the way you've asked them to, so provide as much guidance as needed to help avoid incorrect selections.
  • Don’t be overly specific with course numbers. For example, ANT 210 (for Anthropology) may not directly translate to a course the applicants have taken.
  • Double-check that you've included all your desired prerequisites
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