CSU Rolls Out New User-Friendly Online Undergraduate Application

To make it easier for prospective students to navigate what can be a daunting process, Columbus State University is unveiling a new user-friendly online undergraduate application.

Built entirely in-house, CSU’s new undergraduate application may look a little like TurboTax. The program takes applicants through the process step-by-step, asking questions and then going to the next step based on the answers provided.

“The whole idea is to make it simpler, more straight-forward with some visual tools to make it easier for students to fill out,” said Casey Hergett, executive director of operations and infrastructure for CSU’s University Information Technology Services (UITS) division, which developed the new application.

Accessible by clicking on “Apply Now” from ColumbusState.edu, the new application is broken up into several parts (instead of one long form), and is fully responsive, meaning it will work the same on a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer.

Applicants can save their progress and return to the application later. The program automatically checks the information behind each applicant, providing a visual clue to show what has been completed and what information is still needed.

“This application also will provide more data to our Enrollment Services staff, allowing us to follow up with applicants to see if there is a way we can help those who did not complete the form,” Hergett said.

The new application will be less intimidating, easier to fill out, and easier to understand since the program responds instantly to inputs and also provides follow-up emails explaining the status of the application, what information/documents that have been collected, and what may still be still missing.

“Columbus State has so much to offer to our community and the new on-line application is one way to reduce the barriers for an education that will change the lives of our students and the community,” said Gary Bush, executive director of admissions. “Providing an application that is simple and student-centered is the first step in meeting everyone's needs.”

The new application involved a lot a key players at CSU.

“This is a great milestone for the entire CSU team,” said Abraham George vice president of IT and CSU’s chief information officer. “My heartfelt thanks to UITS and the Enrollment Services team and many others who collaborated with us throughout the development of this new tool.”