Online application system tests well

It's a one-stop application shop intended to streamline the process of applying to Alberta's post-secondary institutions and the University of Lethbridge is at the forefront of its implementation.

By the fall of 2009, all public post-secondary institutions in Alberta will be using ApplyAlberta – an innovative, made-in-Alberta online application and transcript transfer system.

The University of Lethbridge recently welcomed a group of high school students and some family members from three local high schools to participate in the ApplyAlberta pilot – and the system passed with flying colours.

"On average, it took students approximately 20 minutes to enter their personal information, select the University of Lethbridge as their institution of choice, complete that portion of the application, pay their application fee and submit the application electronically for processing," says Debi Sandul, the U of L's Associate Registrar and project leader for the ApplyAlberta system on the U of L campus.

ApplyAlberta is a new secure online application and transcript transfer system that has been developed by Alberta's public post-secondary institutions in partnership with the Government of Alberta.

Through ApplyAlberta, students will be able to apply to multiple public post-secondary institutions and authorize the transfer of their Alberta high school and post-secondary transcripts between participating institutions.

"After they had completed this process, students and parents were invited to share in their experiences. One parent indicated that it was 'so slick' he wanted to apply too! Another student indicated that the online process was very easy to follow, especially the U of L section," says Sandul.

Sandul added that the first person in the province to apply using the new ApplyAlberta system is a future U of L student.

Leslie Lavers, Associate Vice-President (Students) and Registrar, was pleased by the turnout and sees the value in having students apply using the new system.

"The test worked, and provided us with feedback that we can use when the final system is released later this year."

The ApplyAlberta concept was important enough that the University of Lethbridge provided substantial resources in the way of people, time and effort to see the pilot through to completion, according to Dr. Andy Hakin, the U of L's Vice-President, Academic.

"We are very excited to see the potential for students across Alberta – and beyond – to apply to the Alberta Post-Secondary System."

It is anticipated that the U of L will fully implement ApplyAlberta later this spring, with other institutions joining over the summer. By fall 2009, applicants to all public universities, colleges and technical institutions will be using ApplyAlberta. It is estimated that the number of applications through the new system will account for more than 100,000 students annually.