How to create a holistic admission review process

Admissions, higher ed admissions, weekly tips, student recruitment, admissions review

Choosing the right students plays a critical part in the success of your university. Every admissions representative I’ve met has the same goal: to select a diverse group of individuals who have the ability to succeed in their studies, make a significant contribution to their class, put in the hard work required to achieve their desired career and ultimately become a successful and engaged alumna or alumnus.

In order to achieve that goal, you need to adopt a holistic admission review process that takes into consideration a wide range of selection criteria, including students’ personal attributes.

But how can you determine the best criteria for selecting your students? How can your applicants’ fit with your institutional values and mission? How can you ensure these criteria is updated over time? Here are the first steps you need to take.

Students on a university campus

Develop profiles of your most successful students

The first step is to gather and analyse previous admissions data. Look at the data of students you consider to be your most successful. Identify their characteristics as a group. Some key questions to think about:

  • What is the age range?

  • Which segment of the student population has the highest retention rate?

  • What are their academic backgrounds?

  • How many years of professional experience do they have?

  • Do these students had prior international experience?

  • Which do you value more: analytical strength or creativity?

 These are just a few examples of the types of questions that will help develop a successful student demographic profile. 

Align your admissions review process

Once you have your data, make a note of the characteristics your successful students have in common and record any patterns. Next, you should adjust the criteria you use to review admissions according to your findings.

Find out what the optimal sequence for reviewing application materials and provide reviewers and interviewers with a specific form for evaluating applicants. This way, you can ensure the admissions criteria are transparent and applied consistently.

By adopting a holistic review you will be able to assemble teams that have a variety of skills and experience and together they will benefit from the many different perspectives and experiences.


What does your university’s admissions review process look like? Let us know by tweeting us.

Admissions higher ed admissions weekly tips student recruitment admissions review


Tania Roquette

Tania Roquette

I am the Head of Solutions at FULL FABRIC. I am passionate about education and technology.

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