How we helped students manage their college and university applications

What is CAMP?

C.A.M.P. stands for a comprehensive application management platform. Its purpose is to alleviate the stress students experience by giving them a tool to help them manage the many applications they must complete.

The Challenge

Most universities and colleges require applicants to use dated application systems to collect information from the applicant. Those systems are unique and often vary from school to school, which puts the burden upon applicants to manage the complexities.

Camp exists to make the admissions process smarter through the creation of applicant profiles, which work to accelerate the application process.

Applicants can avoid having to manually input information, track their progress, and get notified of the status of their application.

Role

My role on the team was that of a product designer. I was responsible for the design of the app. I worked with a core team consisting of a project manager, and three developers.

Research

I conducted a series of meetings with members from admissions teams, administrators, and applicants. My research encompassed -

• Understanding the application process
• Roles and responsibilities of members at each level
• Goals and day to day tasks
• How is the success is measured

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Findings

After the discovery phase of research was complete, I organized the feedback into two categories.

Applicant Experience

  • The number of programs applicants apply to can vary between 6-16 – that’s a lot of applications meaning applicants can expect to input their data so many times they begin to feel stressed out by it.
  • Applicants who struggle to maintain the requirements of their applications can miss deadlines, enter data incorrectly, and experience an increased level of stress.

Technical Challenge

  • Not having a standard data model that shared amongst institutions makes deriving insights from the data very costly.
  • There’s little benefit to schools maintaining a private system. Some institutions have begun to recognize the benefits of the applicant maintaining an academic profile.
Problem

The majority of enrolment management systems at higher education institutions are unable to deliver a “smart” admissions experience. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the leading application management systems were created with the expressed goal of bringing a paper-based process online. The systems in place today are custom implemented for each institution, mirroring their unique business processes that drive each of their admissions cycles.

As a result, data collection and utilization are bound at the per implementation level – prohibiting a system’s ability to deploy modelling or forecasting solutions at scale.

Conceptualization
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The Final Design
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Summary of the Results and Learnings

We built this from the ground up. It taught me many things about starting a new product. One of those things that stands out to me is the importance of managing trade-offs. As a designer, the cost to prototype something is much smaller than the cost to implement. By first understanding the needs of the user, I was able to push for ideas at the right time and deliver a valuable experience.

Let's Connect
Feel free to reach out for collaborations or just a friendly hello 
aaronalfred1@gmail.com

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