When school applications are confusing and nonstandard in both form and function, we create barriers to educational opportunity. In an era of declining demographics, smart independent schools strive to reduce the hurdles that students and families must clear in their search for a perfect school. Streamlining the application process allows enrollment leaders to do what they do best—focus on making the right match between their school and each applicant. Because when great schools enroll great students, everything is possible.
The Standard Application Online (SAO) is a free service provided by The Enrollment Management Association to member schools, in which students submit their information, essays, transcripts, and recommendations just once, online, to apply to as many of the nearly 500 member schools that accept it as they like.
The SAO is used by small schools (with correspondingly small budgets, that cannot afford to onboard a costly vendor-based online application solution) and large, high-volume schools that value the efficiency afforded by online delivery. In addition, regional groups of schools interested in making the application process less arduous for families have embraced the SAO. Even those schools that require unique applicant information take advantage of the SAO by utilizing its supplemental form functionality.