SAO CASE STUDY: Princeton Day School

SAO CASE STUDY: Princeton Day School

From The Yield, Winter 2014


Princeton Day School (PDS) is a private coeducational day school located in Princeton, New Jersey, serving students in grades pre-Kindergarten through 12. PDS adopted the SAO in 2008-09.


Prior to the 2008 -2009 academic year, families downloaded and printed our application from our website. Once the paper applications were complete, families would mail them to us, which sometimes led to delivery delays. Our office would spend days opening mail and filing it. We answered many calls from families about the receipt and status of their application materials. We needed a solution, and implementing the SAO was the right one for us. Today, and with all the enhancements that have been made, it offers us a flexible and free solution that serves all of our grade levels.

What benefits did the SAO deliver for PDS and families?

Real Time Delivery: As soon as a family submits an application or a recommender submits an online recommendation form, we immediately have access to the information. Families can log in and see exactly where things stand with their application materials, and this has cut down significantly on the number of calls to our office.

Database Integration: We no longer need to print or scan documents—we pull the data we need into Excel, and then import it into our database. We are hopeful to one day take advantage of the SAO API vis-à-vis our database vendor and to be able to import PDFs as well.

Customization: Because the SAO allows for schools to add a supplemental form, we are still able to ask specific questions that are pertinent to Princeton Day School. In this regard, we have gained everything and lost nothing.

Service: Our families tell us that they love the SAO because it is easy to use, and the call and email response from The Enrollment Management Association’s customer support center is fast and friendly. Whenever I hear a legitimate concern from a family, I share it with The Enrollment Management Association. They’ve always been extremely responsive in terms of addressing the concerns to make sure our families are happy!

What has resulted since implementing the SAO?

Besides the benefits of real time data, office efficiency, and database integration, we saw an increase of 25% in our applications in our first year using the SAO. We have happy families who are now asking us more questions about the school and less about the application. The SAO is the only application we accept, and 100% of our applicants use it (with the exception of New Jersey SEEDS Scholars and ABC candidates).

Office Efficiency: The SAO has streamlined the process for the office in many ways. We can access all of the information that we need for our entire applicant pool on the The Enrollment Management Association Member Access Portal. 

“Using the SAO simplifies the application process in meaningful ways for the students and families we serve. It has definitely resulted in Princeton Day School being able to admit and enroll qualified students who may not otherwise have applied to our school. We had a 25% increase in applications our first year! Using the SAO has saved us time and resources. We now spend more time with our prospective families and less with our filing cabinets. Plus, the fact that it is a free service to members is a definite benefit.”

Julie Cucchi
Director of Admission and Financial Aid Princeton Day School

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