Students applying to VCU’s School of Graduate Studies now will receive a compact disc with a downloadable application instead of the traditional paper packet. Thanks to the latest Web site, students also can download the application from the Web.
“If you have a hookup to the Web, the CD goes right to the Web. We want to lead students there, because when we finally implement our electronic applications where they can apply online, that’s where we want to lead them,” said Sherry Sandkam, associate dean of the graduate school. “Not just to our Web site, but to all of the Web sites of individual graduate programs so they can get the primary sources of information.”
The Web site, www.vcu.edu/graduate lists application requirements, programs links and VCU’s Graduate and Professional Programs Bulletin as well as providing contact links to the graduate faculty.
By using the new Web site, Douglas Boudinot, graduate school dean, predicted that VCU would save $40,000 in mailing and paper costs. Next fall, the implementation of VCU’s graduate online application could save the school as much as $30,000.
Moreover, Bert Waters, the Graduate Student Association president, said he hopes to have the GSA’s Web page linked to the graduate school’s Web site and ready for student use by next fall.
“We have our template ready for our own page,” he said, explaining that no one in the association can help with this project. Therefore, the association is hiring someone outside of the organization to construct the page.
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Graduate Studies
Jonathan McCloud, the association’s treasurer, said he just went through the process of applying to Virginia Tech and has many complaints with it.
“All of these big universities are going through the big change,” he said. “You used to just compile this big packet and send it in one large envelope to the university.
“Virginia Tech had where you applied online, but then you had to send all the supporting material separately. But I know my wife applied just a month later, and now they have where your references can write their letter online, and that is a nice way of doing things. I think VCU could benefit from that.”