Where can you find the scoop on what’s up and coming in the world of admissions? Each year, the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP) hosts a four day institute which brings together hundreds of admission professionals to learn, share, and celebrate advances in the private school admission field.

This year’s institute was marked by great discussions, cool concepts, and exciting new ideas. Check out Ravenna’s list of five of the hottest topics regarding the future of admissions and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

1. Data, data and more data

Now more than ever, admissions is collecting and accessing data from all sorts of sources. How to obtain, store, and use this data is a highly debated issue. We met and learned from several folks who are leading this discussion: Geordie Mitchell (Buckingham Browne & Nichols, MA), Lori Redell (Poly Prep Country Day School, NY), and Lisa Moreira (Horace Mann School, NY).

2. Collaboration and working together

The spirit of collaboration was in the air! From sharing ideas to creating regional collaboratives, we saw firsthand how admission professionals are working together more and more.

3. Elevating Admissions

Admission teams are creatively and strategically elevating the admission process to make the journey from application to decision that much easier for prospective families. Independent school consultants Sarah Daignault and Thom Greenlaw are showing admission directors exactly what CFOs want, so admissions can influence budget decisions and increase the number of full paying students.

4. Efficiency

Many admission professionals we spoke with hope to create more efficient admission offices with a more integrated and paperless process. This will free up more time to step out from behind the desk, participate in new programs, and speak with more families face-to-face.

5. Creating a “high touch” admission process

Admissions directors are realizing that developing new programs and strengthening current ones make a huge difference for prospective families. They are excited to get increasingly involved in the application processes of their prospective families. It is also critical to reach out to families at the appropriate point in the process.

AISAP 2014 was a blast for the Ravenna team! We felt privileged to have had the chance to speak with hundreds of admission professionals from across the country. Coming from schools of all types and sizes, these professionals brought us many unique perspectives on the admission process. We love being a part of the AISAP community and we continue to grow and learn from it each year.

What did you take away from AISAP? What do you think are the hot topics in admissions today? Put your thoughts in the comment section below!