Applying to Iowa's regent universities will soon be one-stop shopping for prospective students.

Common Portal will allow students to apply to the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa by filling out a single online application.

The new application service is part of the Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review contracted by the Board of Regents to identify money saving initiatives at the regent universities.

Developing Common Portal cost nearly $90,000, and implementation is projected to be $200,000 in the first year. 

Diana Gonzalez, chief academic officer of the Board of Regents, said similar endeavors have taken up to three years to complete, but she and her team completed the work in six months. 

In September of 2014 Common Portal was proposed to the Board of Regents as a TIER "business case." Programmers started developing in November and finished in May.

Gonzalez said the three regent schools came together to develop one common application, but depending on the school, or schools, the student is applying to will also include additional questions customized to the specific university.

The main goal for this program is not necessarily to save money but more to save time for prospective students. The cost for application is projected to be the same as it is now, meaning that if a student were to apply to only one school the fee would be $40. A student applying to all three schools would pay approximately $120. 

Common Portal will feature: 

  • Pop-ups explaining each step as to what is required of the applicant
  • A Frequently Asked Questions tab
  • Email assistance for any questions or issues not included in the FAQs
  • Application can be saved and completed at a later time if needed by the applicant

At the time of implementation in 2016 the first class that will make use of the program will be the high school graduating class of 2017 or this fall's junior class. 

Students slated to begin at a regent university during fall 2016 will be the first to have the opportunity to use Common Portal.

The program's central office will be housed on the ISU campus, but has not yet chosen the technical support or program representatives at this time. The hiring process is planned to start in the near future. 

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