Do you want to expand your student population beyond your immediate geographic area? If yes, HAMPCAS can help. Findings from the 2017-18 application cycle indicate that almost 2/3 of applicants to HAMPCAS programs live outside of the program’s state. While this statistic may not be so eye-popping at first, visualizing these trends using geographic data can begin to reveal the deeper significance behind these numbers. The visuals below display the approximate hometown locations of applicants to three HAMPCAS programs during the 2017-2018 application cycle. The location of the programs have been changed in order to keep each school’s identity confidential.
HAMPCAS is a web-based, centralized application system that helps potential students find the best graduate program for their unique needs from among the many alternatives. It also makes the application process more efficient for both students and for programs. HAMPCAS is one of several “CAS” (Centralized Application Service) systems that a company called Liaison develops and administers for healthcare education associations. HAMPCAS is designed to make accessing and applying to programs as seamless as possible for students while easing administrative burdens for universities. More details about HAMPCAS are available on the HAMPCAS web site.
We are just beginning to utilize the data available from HAMPCAS in the aggregate but we have some important preliminary findings. In addition to attracting more applicants and applicants from outside your geographic region, HAMPCAS provides a number of potential benefits to both students and universities at no cost to participating programs. Other examples of benefits are:
- Programs using a CAS system report that it significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to process an application from start to finish; in one instance, review times decreased by 75 percent. 1
- Easier for students to submit multiple applications. The paperwork is reduced for the student and the cost of submission declines after the first submission.
- Just under ten percent of applications in the 2017-18 cycle were submitted by students from outside the United States. If you have international aspirations, HAMPCAS can help.
- If you wish to expand racial diversity among your applicant pool, we found that about 56% of applicants in the system were non-white in the 2017-18 cycle. This is much higher than healthcare administration student population in total.
While these are some promising features, I have already found some clear gaps that we can work together to resolve. Within HAMPCAS, participating programs have the capability to report back whether they offered, waitlisted or denied individual students. Of those students that were given an offer, programs can further indicate whether or not the student matriculated. In the most recent cycle, these outcomes were indicated in only 40 percent of applications. We at AUPHA understand and appreciate that this extra step can add additional work to the process but filling out this information is essential to us all. This important data can provide several insights:
- It will allow us to calculate the rate at which applicants are matriculating to out-of-area schools.
- It can help you understand where else your student offers matriculated and where else your applicants applied. This can provide a sense of your “competition” is and what other options your matriculated students explored.
- It will give you the opportunity to explore other potential patterns related to student demographics, performance and selection.
If we look to the not too distant future, pen-and-paper application processes for university standalone programs will go away in favor of integrated, comprehensive products like HAMPCAS. These systems are able to simplify and automate many of the processes that used to require hours of human labor and destroyed trees. The theoretical and anecdotal benefits of this type of product are clear. However, it is important for us to diligently participate so that your program and AUPHA can fully utilize the benefits that digital systems like HAMPCAS generate. With that said, I urge current HAMPCAS users to continue providing us with the ultimate outcomes of your applicants. In addition, we would like to hear directly from users about your experiences using HAMPCAS, both the good and the bad. For anyone interested in the tool, please reach out to us for more information.Mark Ryan
Educational Assessment Coordinator
1 Engaging the Next Generation of Social Workers, The Admissionist, Fall 2018. pp. 9