TargetX In Action: College of William & Mary

Introducing the TargetX In Action Blog Post Series

TargetX In Action is a blog post series dedicated to sharing client success stories. Learn more about how institutions are engaging students more effectively and working more efficiently with the TargetX suite of solutions.

Our inaugural post puts the spotlight on The College of William & Mary. We hope you enjoy!

The College of William & Mary, located in Williamsburg, VA is the second oldest college in the nation and a cutting edge research university. Known as a “Public Ivy” — one of only eight in the nation — W&M has over 6,200 undergraduate students and over 2,300 graduate students.

With close to 16,000 undergraduate applications, W&M was looking for new ways to enhance their application review process. Betsy Dolan, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admission and Director of Admission Information Systems shares with us how W&M streamlined their application process with our Application Review tool (Decision).

Q. How long have you been using our Application Review tool (Decision)?
A. William & Mary implemented the Decision module for the first time this application cycle – 2016-17.  We read our first applications within the solution in October 2016!

Q. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen since implementing the Decision module?
A. Because we are completely paperless now, we are able to know the status of an application at any point in time.  No more hunting down files in offices, cars, homes, or briefcases. Readers are able to track their progress through reports and dashboards. A big win is the ability to update, what we call the cover sheet, automatically when we receive new information, in particular mid-year grades or testing. Readers are always using the most recent information.

Readers enjoyed that through Decision, they were able to read in one long .pdf. Previously they had to open and close each document.

Our committee process had to change a bit too. Instead of displaying a paper reader recommendation sheet using a document camera, and have the presenting dean discuss the application, we were able to display the cover sheet, application and all of the supporting documents using two screens, which allowed all committee members to see the same things.

We anticipate being able to gather lots of statistics and gain deeper understanding of our process.

Q. What features in Decision allow your team to be more effective?
A. The management of application reads has been simplified considerably because we can report on applications at every stage in the process by region and reader.  Knowing where a file is in the process allows for anyone in our office to be able to answer questions related to the file.

Decision offered us the ability to flex to meet the needs at different times during our process  For example, the path that our files take during early decision is different than regular decision and freshmen are different than transfers.  Individual regional deans, through the technology, were able to adjust their views of applications throughout the process.

Q. Why should institutions consider paperless admissions?
A. We are excited to save lots of trees by going paperless, we will save money on paper, and time on filing and searching for documents. We no longer need our banks of file cabinets or our security alarm!

In our first year of using Decision we completed files faster than previously. Given that it was our first year, we also had some learning experiences along the way, so we expect to be much faster in year two and beyond.

Q. Anything else? Feel free to share!
A. I don’t want to give away all of our secrets in hopes that you will attend our TargetX Summit Session! But I will say one specific piece of advice for anyone considering implementation: be sure to have your application imports nailed down before implementing. It can make the process a lot smoother for you and your team.

As with any implementation, there was a learning curve, but it was completely worth it!

Hear more client stories and industry best practices at this year’s TargetX Summit, June 25-27 in Chicago. Register now at

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