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Easing anxiety

Awaiting word about whether you've made the cutoff and been accepted into the college of your choice certainly provokes anxiety. But software can help eliminate some of those long hours of waiting and wondering.

Arizona State University Graduate College (ASU) has implemented a solution to speed the admissions process for applicants and make it easier for administrators. The university has expanded its existing Cardiff TELEform forms processing application with Virtual ReScan (VRS) document image technology from Kofax. According to a recent press release, the software has helped the graduate admissions staff slash the time required to capture handwritten data and other fields on the admissions form from 10 minutes to less than one minute with the previous manual keying process.

Now the university can capture, archive and retrieve electronic forms, such as applications and transcripts, and make them available quickly on the Web. Paper documents are scanned and converted to useable digital electronic forms, resulting in faster processing time, easier access to data and less data entry. Now, it is said, ASU can reply to applicants faster, certify student credentials within a day of receipt and minimize lost files and documents. The university will also gain financially by reducing the need for data entry clerks and redistributing the saved time and labor to other necessary projects.

ASU added VRS-equipped scanners primarily to increase the system's scanning capacity and ability to produce readable data from documents that were difficult to scan, according to the press release. Prior to implementation of the new solution, the university scanned only the admissions form—not the bulk of paper in an applicant's file, which consists of supporting documents like transcripts, letters of recommendation, bank records and immigration information.

"We needed clear readability of handwritten data, the ability to scan multiple sizes and colors in a single batch, to remove extraneous lines, shading or other data, and seamless integration," says Roger Lurie, principal applications systems analyst with ASU.

According to the press release, VRS has enabled the university to increase the accuracy of data extracted from hand-printed application form entries, as well as the readability of school transcripts and other supporting documents

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