Launched in 2005, the SAO was envisioned as a tool that would simplify the application process for both students and schools. It was immediately embraced by families and by independent schools that recognized its value as a way to remove one of the barriers to independent school admission—the cumbersome application process. In the years since, the SAO has grown exponentially in use with both families and admission offices. It has seen numerous upgrades in response to rich member school feedback and new technological solutions that have made it possible for the entire process to be managed online.
The SAO is developed completely in conjunction with schools and families. There is a continuous loop of research and enhancements based on what the users want us to include. All content is school driven and is intended to be user-friendly and without bias. The ultimate test of the SAO is a "life test" of how it is usable. We maintain a library of feedback from schools that is used to update the SAO.