The University Record, April 2, 2001

U-M to connect with prospective students via the Internet

From News and Information Services

The University is using the Internet in a new way to connect with prospective students. In partnership with Embark, a company that provides admissions-related online recruiting services to colleges and universities across the country, eight of the University’s schools and colleges offer interactive inquiry forms on the Web.

According to University officials, the new online inquiry system will result in better service for individuals interested in getting information about the University’s academic programs by enabling the various admitting offices to respond quickly to student questions, and save data entry, paper and postage costs.

“We needed a solution that would allow the admissions offices to continue their unique approaches to recruiting prospective applicants while reducing the effort needed to manage the tens of thousands of inquiries we receive each year,” explains Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs.

“We are pleased to have found a coordinated solution that does not require conformity by the different admissions offices. This solution will help us provide individualized responses to all kinds of inquiries, from the 13-year-old prodigy to the 60-year-old returning student.”

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions; the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; the schools of business, music, law and public health; the College of Engineering transfer admissions office; and the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies have inquiry forms available for a number of academic programs via the U-M and Embark Web sites.

“This new system allows us to capture better information, since it is entered directly by the student, not translated from handwritten materials or from transcribed telephone inquiries,” says John Gohsman, director of the Student Administration Division in Michigan Administrative Information Services.

Embark, the University’s development partner, provides Web-based products to help universities generate, receive and manage new leads and then use that information during the application process. For U-M, the company produced a Web system that efficiently collects the large volume of inquiries the University receives and transfers data ready for integration with the admissions process.

While the University is preparing to implement Web application forms for Fall 2002 for at least 10 schools and colleges, the first step in the admissions process is for prospective students to visit an inquiry site and indicate interest in specific U-M academic programs, according to University officials.

The inquiry sites can be accessed via the U-M Web site or the Embark portal, www.umich.edu/UM-Prospective.html and www.embark.com.

For more information, contact John Gohsman, (734) 647-7442 or jgohsman@umich.edu or Katie Madden at Embark, (415) 615-1652 or kmadden@embark.com.