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Designing a More Equitable Africa

Tuesday, June 28 2016

Africa's rapid population growth requires new thinking about how to support the infastructure development that will be needed in light of the projected surge. The World Bank estimates that by 2050, 1.2 billion people will be living in urban areas throughout Africa. According to MASS Design Group, there will be a need for 85,000 clinics, 310,000 schools, and 700 million housing units in the coming years. That means three-quarters of the buildings Africa needs have not yet been built. 

This is a challenge that MASS Design Group hopes to solve through the African Design Center Fellowship, its first-ever educational initiative. With its main office in Kigali, Rwanda, the Center is already being called "The Bauhaus of Africa," and it aims to train the next generation of African architects. 

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Curated Portfolios from Across the Web

Monday, June 06 2016

Increasingly individuals are storing their creative work online, not on their personal computers. Sites like GitHub, YouTube, Medium, SketchFab, Etsy, and LinkedIn all operate as repositories for creative content. Today, SlideRoom will allow applicants to embed their creative content from almost anywhere across the Web into their SlideRoom application. They simply need to paste a link as a response to an application question or as part of their portfolio collection. When the media is available for display, like a video or a tweet, that item will fully display within the page. In cases like articles and blog posts, a rich preview will display and link directly to that content online.

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Parchment Integration for Attaching Official Transcripts

Monday, June 06 2016

Over 8,300 schools and other organizations are sending and receiving electronic credentials with Parchment. Today, SlideRoom is launching a new integration with Parchment, so schools who receive official transcripts can easily map them onto the correct applicant record. And if the match is unclear, SlideRoom proactively shows a list of likely transcript matches so that administrators can preview that list and attach the correct one with a single click.

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Spotlight on Auditions

Wednesday, June 01 2016

Performance arts have a long history of using live auditions to determine their best applicants. After all, these candidates are competing based on their ability to fill a room with their physical presence and skills. This in-person process has immense value, but the cost in time and travel may not be practical for large or early-stage applicant pools.

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The New Learning Machine Blog

Friday, April 22 2016

We're excited to introduce our new blog for discussing education, technology and design. SlideRoom is part of Learning Machine's enrollment management toolset, so topical posts will be presented there from time to time. Meanwhile, product updates will continue to be placed here. We're interested in contributing to the larger conversation about the importance learning through making and helping institutions achieve change through better data and technology choices.

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Google Analytics for Tracking Applicants

Wednesday, March 16 2016

Adding SlideRoom to your Google Analytics account is a recent feature that launched with SlideRoom's Standard Plan last year. It allows you to see how applicants are finding your application portal and when they are visiting most often. Do they arrive from your email campaigns, tweets, facebook posts, ads, or somewhere else? Tracking referral sources is the best way to discover which of your promotional initiatives are paying off. 

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Interview with Augustana University: Using SlideRoom for Admissions

Tuesday, March 01 2016

Augustana University is a liberal arts college with a significant focus on ensuring applicants attain the professional skills needed to succeed in the job market. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Augustana serves more than 1,800 students from 30 states and 38 countries.

We're spotlighting them here because they represent a segment of smaller schools that don't get enough attention. The majority of schools in the United States are small and they find the legacy choices for enterprise software are neither affordable enought nor nimble enough to meet their needs.

Last year, Augustana University chose SlideRoom to replace their homegrown network of systems for both Undergraduate and Graduate admissions. This involves streamlining the process for applicants, reviewers, administrators, and integrating with a range of campus systems. We sat down with Augustana’s Pete Roberts to discuss their challenges and their use of SlideRoom to address past challenges. 

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CommonApp Data Integration with Multiple SlideRoom Accounts

Tuesday, March 01 2016

Many schools are beginning to ask for portfolios from across a spectrum of disciplines, not just the visual arts. These can include music, theater, architecture, science, engineering, film and many other departments. Because of this, larger schools with different departments and teams sometimes choose to have data integration with multiple SlideRoom accounts. This allows each team to function independently during portfolio review.

So how do we also keep the process simple for applicants? While our guide shows a step-by-step process for schools that only have one SlideRoom account, the following is an example showing how USC connects all seven SlideRoom accounts under a single Common App member identity.

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Remaking Admissions

Tuesday, February 16 2016


For over a century, gatekeepers to elite universities have relied on the same tools to ascertain merit and to shape incoming classes. These have included numerical metrics (SAT, ACT, GPA), detailed application forms, and often an interview to gauge personal qualities. Over this time, “merit” has been defined in various ways. In The Chosen — a seminal history of admissions to the Big 3 (Harvard, Princeton, Yale) —Jerome Karabel outlines how shifting definitions of merit were largely a mirror reflection of those in power — a soft way to keep out certain groups deemed undesirable.

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See How Your Applicants Code

Tuesday, February 09 2016


Many schools are beginning to accept STEM portfolios during the admissions process. Yale, MIT, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, and others have made a place for projects demonstrating technical creativity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. About 60% of of those applicants submit designs and videos of apps they've made, so one of the most requested features has been to review corresponding code from Github.

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