The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI aims some high-tech at prospective students

As the UI aims to attract more students, a new program may help the university reach prospective students outside its normal target market.

ConnectEDU, a web-based technology firm, named the UI as one of 21 new colleges to sign on for SuperAPP, a comprehensive electronic application management tool launched by ConnectEDU slightly more than a month ago.

Officials said SuperAPP makes the application process much easier for high-school students interested in attending the UI.

“Kids can express interest in the UI, and we can add them to our database and recruit them,” said Michael Barron, the UI director of Admissions. “It’s a one-stop concept.”

Students can submit their applications, transcripts, and letters of recommendation all at the same time — which, he said, creates a more efficient and error-free process.

Over the past three years, the UI has had a relationship with ConnectEDU, which has allowed students at high schools to express interest in the university. With the addition of SuperAPP, the students can now actually apply to the UI as well.

Barron said the tool will help attract students from across the country and possibly internationally.

“It extends our reach for students who aren’t part of our target market,” he said.

Because the UI was already working with ConnectEDU, it won’t cost the university any additional money to participate in SuperAPP.

Barron said the university integrated the software last week, but the Admissions Office has not started transmitting applications through the new system yet.

Craig Powell, the president and CEO of ConnectEDU, said that while some schools may not have installed all of the software yet, SuperAPP is available for use.

SuperAPP is part of a technological platform called Connect, which allows high-school students to discuss schools they may attend in the future — meaning Connect could save universities advertising dollars.

This year’s institutional advertising budget is $180,000, said UI spokesman Tom Moore.

“It allows Mike [Barron] and his team to look into students as early as the seventh grade; that will have an effect on cost savings,” Powell said.

Downing Thomas, the UI associate provost for international programs, said SuperAPP is another step in the school’s commitment to creating more diversity on campus.

“Along with the Facebook page, this is another tool we’re using in recruitment,” he said.

Barron said SuperAPP could also help deserving students gain acceptance into universities because of the additional options available to applicants.

“If students are struggling in English, they can get a teacher to send a letter of recommendation for them,” he said. “That’s what’s special about it; it’s not just an online application; people can use recommendations.”

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