General Questions

GradCAS™ is a Centralized Application Service (CAS™) that allows a student to apply to multiple graduate degree programs on one campus, or to multiple programs across multiple campuses, by submitting a single application for enrollment. The applicant is able to manage the entire process, including submission of supporting documentation, transcript(s) and recommendation requests, as well as answer additional unique questions asked by individual campuses and/or programs, including essays, personal statements, CVs/resumes or other documents of work samples. GradCAS is provided by Liaison International, the leader in application management for higher education. Liaison has powered Centralized Applications for nearly three decades and currently serves over 31,000 programs at more than 1,000 colleges and universities.

Yes, more than 31,000 programs at more than 1,000 colleges and university campuses leverage the same SaaS platform. Liaison manages more than 3,500,000 applications annually.

To optimize your use of GradCAS, it should serve as the primary application for your programs. Secondary or supplemental applications that are useful for your individual workflow can be maintained.

That said, there are significant benefits for the institution in using GradCAS as your primary application, including:

  • A single source for purview over all graduate program applications.
  • Creation of dynamic application workflows in Liaison’s cutting-edge review and processing software.
  • Reduction of effort to process and package applications for review.
  • Reduction in applicant email and phone support.
  • Reduction in your application processing costs.
  • A single data source to manage for integration to your SIS and other systems.

Yes, GradCAS provides applicants the ability to research and apply to multiple programs. Research suggests, due to the competitive nature of admissions, 62% of prospective students already apply to multiple programs. In this regard, a CAS is a value-added service to the applicant and to the participating programs.

Not necessarily. The $38 processing fee for GradCAS applications in many instances can be offset by eliminating the redundancies that exist in today’s current model, such as transcript request fees, mailing fees, etc. Surveys of applicants repeatedly show that the benefits of applying through a CAS justify any fees associated with this service.

Liaison encourages programs eligible to join national, affinity-based CASs to participate in the services provided by their professional associations. Liaison will work with institutions interested in GradCAS to determine which programs are eligible for affinity-based CASs and which are a fit for GradCAS. Your institution will have an overview and access to all data in GradCAS and in all other CASs on campus.

GradCAS may give you the opportunity to reallocate your resources. You will likely be able to move away from clerical and administrative tasks to more valuable endeavors such as recruitment, marketing and relationship building. We are aware of no situation where staff have been eliminated due to a CAS.

You can still collect your current application fees. The user-friendly configuration portal allows institutions to set the application fee for each individual program and allows for the use of conditional logic to adjust the fee as needed (example: international vs. domestic applicants). Liaison will collect your application fee with the processing fee and dispatch the payment to your university or you can collect the application fee yourself.

GradCAS does not make any admissions decisions. GradCAS is simply a mechanism to gather the data that you need to make admissions decisions from applicants. GradCAS will provide data and documents in a ready-to-review format as well as tools like rubric scoring, faculty evaluations and others that can be used in the evaluation of the applications. The service will not interpret or evaluate the eligibility of any applicant. The selection and admission of all applicants is the sole prerogative of each college or department.

Liaison is committed to forming a partnership with participating campuses by providing planning, onboarding, training and oversight. A training program and a comprehensive customer service component will be significant parts of GradCAS for your campus.

GradCAS is a comprehensive, cloud-based platform. The service will provide data and training materials in formats that can be used by current/legacy systems already in place. Some schools participating in other CASs upload the CAS information into current systems, while others use the application review tools offered by Liaison to review applications, then transfer the final data to their SIS or CRM.

GradCAS is configured so as soon as an applicant has expressed interest in a particular program, the institution will have the ability to contact the person. The institution can decide when to contact the applicant — right away to start recruiting, at some point during the application process and/or when waiting for the application to be completed.

GradCAS will not slow down your application process. In fact, most programs will realize an increase in speed to completion and packaging of the application for review as transcripts received by Liaison are validated, scanned (if print) and appended to the submitted application on the same day, then made available to enter your unique workflow process.

Data can be retrieved electronically on demand at any time. Additionally, exports can be scheduled to automatically pass data to your CRM service and/or SIS.

International students will apply in the same manner as students in the U.S. Liaison, the provider of GradCAS, has a partnership with World Education Services (WES) and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), the leaders in international credential evaluations, to manage/verify transcripts from foreign institutions, or the institution can partner with another transcript evaluation provider or evaluate the transcript in-house.

All CRM, SIS and ERP systems tailored for institutions of higher education have the ability to import external applicant data via one or more configurable tools native to each system. GradCAS’s “Export Manager” tool provides agnostic, simple-to-configure exports of any subset of applicant data an ERP/SIS system needs, filtered by any criteria schools may choose to apply. These exports are available in numerous formats to simplify the import process for the school. The most common systems used by our university clients include BannerTM, DatatelTM, PeopleSoftTM and JenzabarTM, among others.

Because there is no standard, pre-packaged solution that can perfectly serve the nuances of all schools’ individual customized ERP implementations, each institution is best positioned to execute the final import of CAS data into their SIS or ERP system. That said, given the widespread presence of at least one CAS at most universities, it is very likely that a similar integration has already been done somewhere on your campus, and we can connect you with the professionals who have acquired this level of expertise. Liaison’s focus is to make exporting data from CAS seamless, with several user- and IT-friendly formats, so developing an individualized solution to integrate CAS data with your school’s ERP or SIS system should be relatively straightforward.

For more information about importing CAS data on your campus, check out our Integration Help Center.

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