Feature Friday

Enable or Disable Registration of Interest by Programme: You can now accept inquires for programmes which are closed for applications. Navigate to Settings > Forms > Registration of Interest to enable or disable the ROI forms by programme.
Changes and Improvements to Copying E-Mails into OpenApply: Administrators can easily BCC and FWD e-mails (including attachments) into OpenApply. To further improve the reliability and compatibility of this feature, we recently updated the format of the BCC address for all OpenApply administrators. Find out more here:

Welcome New OpenApply Schools

Welcome the following schools to OpenApply!

We’re proud to support you this academic year and beyond!

Launchpad Single Sign-On Update

Today we are launching Single Sign-On (SSO) between OpenApply and ManageBac!

Our Launchpad allows parents and staff to login seamlessly to either OpenApply or ManageBac. The feature is available to all parents or staff who have an existing user account with both OpenApply and ManageBac.

Click here to get started!

This new SSO between OpenApply and ManageBac marks the start of our planned LaunchPad integrations. Stay tuned to our blog as we plan to extend SSO to other platforms in the coming months.

OpenApply Conference Inspiration: Tracking Students on Their Journey

Since February 2014, we’ve been creating opportunities for professional development across international school admissions offices through our conferences and our magazine.

These opportunities help us to better understand the needs of school admissions offices and give us an inside look into the day-to-day concerns and challenges.

We were inspired by Mona Stuart’s session on Optimal Admissions at our OpenApply Conference in Barcelona. Mona is the Admissions Director at Singapore American School, the largest single-campus international school in the world. Mona shared results from her work “to intentionally shape the future of SAS through admission – one cohort and one grade level at a time.”


Together, she and her colleagues developed a framework of optimal admissions at SAS:

They agreed to deliberately seek and track the composition of their incoming classes based on this framework, and developed a set of codes to make it easier:

  • Included (I)
  • Included with Monitoring at Entry (I-ME)
  • Supported with Organised Support (S-OS)
  • Championed for Challenge (C-CH)
  • Championed for Support (C-S)

Students in the last three categories would require sign-off and agreement from other departments in the school.




By  following this tracking system, Mona and her colleagues are able to easily identify how the cohorts break down—for example, which grade has space for students with emotional needs, and which grade has a large number of students requiring English support.




Our Inspiration

How could you use OpenApply to build your optimal learning community?

Once you’ve identified your categories and goals, you can use OpenApply to support your tracking efforts in a few ways.

First, you can create an office-use only field with a dropdown to capture the categories.

This field is hidden from families but otherwise works exactly like any other field in OpenApply—meaning you can export, sort, or edit it as needed.

Next, you can create saved filters that provide you with quick snapshots. For example, this screenshot shows the Optimal Learning Community breakdown for the current Grade 3.




Lastly, you can easily export this information, either from the saved filter or via saved export templates. If you create an additional office-use only field, you could even track applicants at entry vs graduation to see the impact your school has had on its students!




Interested in setting up a tracking system for your applicants?
Schedule a time with us here!

OpenApply Conference Inspiration: Improving the New Student Transition

Since February 2014, we’ve been creating opportunities for professional development across international school admissions offices through our conferences and our magazine.

These opportunities help us to better understand the needs of school admissions offices and give us an inside look into the day-to-day concerns and challenges.

We were inspired by Mary Langford’s session “How Big is Your Welcome Mat?” at our OpenApply Conference in Barcelona. Mary Langford is the Admissions Director at Dwight School London, and her session examined admissions and transitions. How do schools welcome new families, and what part does admissions play in putting out the welcome mat?

In her presentation, Mary showed an example Admissions Memo that she writes to her colleagues in the school.

Along with other information, the memo includes:

  • student’s demographic details
  • family’s history
  • father’s job
  • student’s interests

Her memo helps other stakeholders in the school understand the new student’s background and interests.


Our Inspiration

What if you could produce the memo in just one click on OpenApply?

Because OpenApply is built using global fields, it’s actually possible to pull this information directly from OpenApply, even if the data is on different forms.

Building an Office-Use Only form on OpenApply allows you to mix and match the most relevant data for the new student information form, so you can eventually export the information in just one click.



See the full PDF form here. Note that the admissions director had to write only the narrative comment! All other relevant information (parent employment, nationalities, sibling information, student interests, etc.) was filled in automatically.

Interested in setting up an office-use only form that automatically shows all New Student Information?

Schedule a time with us here!

OpenApply Admissions Conference Shanghai: Recap


On November 3-5, 2016, we held our fourth OpenApply Admissions Conference in Asia-Pacific at the Western International School of Shanghai. We were thrilled to welcome over 80 participants representing 43 schools.

See the full list of participating schools here.

On November 3 and 4, we offered two pre-conference options to participants:

1. The Fundamentals of International School Admissions
With 15 years of admissions experience, Catalina Gardescu, Manager of Admissions and External Relations at the American International School of Bucharest, provided a 2-day certificate course based on her work with the ECIS Admissions Committee, the International Ideas Group, SSATB and the Common Ground Collaborative Admissions Group.

2. Transition & Mobility
Drs. Douglas W. Ota, Psychologist, Coach, Author, Presenter | NIP Registered Child Psychologist provides a comprehensive overview of the field of transitions at international schools to give you the language and tools to make substantive inroads in improving how mobility is addressed at your schools.

On Saturday, November 5, we started the main conference with a keynote from Drs. Douglas W. Ota, who spoke on “Moving & Our Schools.” Doug shared his own personal stories demonstrating the impact of unresolved loss, and encouraged participants to think more deeply about how their schools recognize and deal with loss and attachment.

Next, in his session Dr. David Willows, the Director of Admissions and Advancement at the International School of Brussels, introduced a new process of “Re-imagining School Admissions as a Learning Experience.” He engaged participants in four playful exercises:

  • The Brain (focused on connecting with families)
  • The Script (focused on re-framing the school tour)
  • The Space (focused on the architecture and design of the admissions office)
  • The Game (focused on eliciting real priorities and interests from families & students)

Following a coffee break, Aimee Gruber, Senior Director of Outreach & Business Development at The Enrollment Management Association, presented the results from the first-of-its-kind “Global Survey of International Admission Professionals.” The data revealed a disparate approach to the practice of admissions at international schools, and helped provide a more data-driven picture of the work being done at international schools. (For example, 71% of admissions leaders at international schools do not have the final decision making on applicants.)

Next, insights into the “State of Admissions in China” were presented during a panel discussion including:

Findings show that more expatriates are leaving than entering the country, and bilingual schools are on the rise, prompting international schools to re-examine their identities and futures.

After lunch and school tour, participants broke for variety of afternoon workshops, including:

Final notes of the day were given by Dr. David Willows who reassures us: “Best practices are our next practices.” He encouraged participants to focus on incremental change by writing down one new practice or initiative to focus on in the next 66 days.

The evening ended with a spicy Yunnan experience at Lost Heaven on The Bund!

Further notes:

We were honoured to support the community of international school admissions staff in Asia-Pacific and look forward to reconvening next year.

Participants said:

I had such a good time! I learned tons (already applied some!) and met so many wonderful people

You have no idea how happy I was to be part of the conference. I must congratulate you for putting up a great show and very well organized event in terms of logistics and course content.

As always, the Admissions conference was so well-organized and a great platform for networking.


Introducing the OpenApply WeChat Add-on!


As part of our commitment to better serve our schools and families in Greater China, we are pleased to announce the OpenApply WeChat add-on.


slack-for-ios-uploadAdmissions Offices

  • Showcase your school’s admissions on WeChat with a custom QR code
  • Link your OpenApply account to your school’s official WeChat account
  • Offer parents & families multilingual support with a toggle for Chinese & English

Parents & Families

  • Enjoy a streamlined enquiry process with pre-filled family details taken directly from existing WeChat accounts
  • Easily schedule tours via the WeChat pages interface
  • Browse readily available school admissions contact information

Key China Features

  • Local Maps: Amap (高德地图) & WeChat Maps for easier browsing of locations.

  • Chinese & English Parent Interface: English and Simplified & Traditional Chinese across the full Parent user interface. Option to create bilingual pages.

  • Payment Gateway Support: We are expanding our payment gateway support to cover AliPay (支付宝) and WeChat Pay with QR Code payment and In-App web-based payment.

  • Local China Hosting: Faster, local hosting options for PRC at OpenApply.cn with global access via OpenApply.com.


We hope the OpenApply WeChat add-on offers enhanced value to your admissions office, as well the parents & families currently enrolled, and looking to enrol at your school. Read about how to enable WeChat & view our support tutorials here.