New Applications Page
One of our primary objectives this application season has been to improve efficiency for counselors and their students when building university lists and managing application details. We have launched the new Applications page – merging the capabilities of the My Lists and the older Applications pages with added functionalities! Read this post to find out how this improves your user experience. You can also find the help article here.
Note: We will be removing the previous cDocs > Applications Page and the My Lists Page to provide a more unified experience.
We released an update to our Reports to make it simpler, direct and helpful for counselors. We have a great quote from one of our counselors from the US on how reports make her life easier:
“I have been spending a lot of time with the new and improved Reports while updating our 22-23 School Profile these last few weeks. The wonderful School Profiles & Board Reports report works perfectly for this task (and saved me hours)! I highly recommend using Reports to keep an eye on your seniors’ college lists. I also regularly use Reports to help organize students by grade level whom we have assigned to Groups — keeping track of our athletic recruits or students applying to international colleges, for example. I can’t wait to utilize the cDocs reporting features as we shift into document submission mode over the next few weeks.”
Director of College Counseling
& Upper School Academic Policy,
To learn more about our reports, please refer to our help article here. We've added great filters, more specific reports, and more!
cDocs: Removal of old cDocs
We’ve informed counselors since the beginning of July that we would be removing the old cDocs. We have worked heavily with our Counselor Cohort to provide you with the new cDocs experience you’re seeing now. It has improved filters, workflows, and more to save you time. The overall workflow is fairly similar to the old cDocs with some major improvements. We understand that change is never easy, so we have a nifty help article for you to assist you through these changes.
Updates to Student Navigation
While we always put importance on improving counselors' lives, we also place huge importance on your students’ experience, too! With that said, we have released an update on how students navigate on Cialfo. Changes to their account include:
Simplified student account menu
Meetings, Notes, and Surveys are moved up to the top right corner of their screen next to Inbox
School Search: Full University Profile [upcoming!]
At the end of September, we will be updating how the University Profile looks when you or a student is doing their school search. Instead of a sidebar, we are introducing a full page instead. This change was based on feedback we’ve received from users that having a fuller page will provide a better experience when doing school research and taking in all the information regarding the university or college.
[Reminder]: Removal of old cDocs
As seen on our platform and in-platform pop-ups, the previous cDocs will be removed at the end of August. We've received a lot of great feedback for the new cDocs and worked heavily with our Counselor Cohort to create and launch the improved version of cDocs.
The removal of the old cDocs allows for less confusion and an improved platform experience.
Direct Apply - revamped page!
The Direct Apply page has been revamped to make the application experience easier for students to submit applications, and, for counselors to work with them. Go check out the Direct Apply Page now! You'll also be able to have your students apply to UK universities through our partnership with UK universities.
Reports - improved experience!
Based on our work with counselors through the Counselor Cohort over the summer, we've made some great improvements to our reports. We've built in more robust designs, helpful information, and hourly updates to the data! Check our help article here for more on Reports.
2022-2023 Deadlines & Prompts update
As mentioned on our Cialfo Community, we are happy to share that Cialfo successfully updated the following on the platform:
Application Deadlines for US and UK Universities
Common App Essay Prompts
Common Appl Supplemental Essay Prompts
Coalition Essay Prompts
University of California Essay Prompts
Apply Texas Essay Prompts
Each year, securing and updating the platform with this vital information is an intensive task. Each application cycle aims to provide this information accurately and as early as possible.
If you notice anything not updated or inaccurate, please alert us immediately through your Client Experience Manager (CXM) or Chat with Cialfo.
Product feedback form & winner!
A few weeks ago, we sent out a survey about features usage on Cialfo. Our purpose was to garner counselor insights to help us plan product improvements over the next several months. We are pleased to share there were over 50 responses, and here's what we learned:
Features with high usage among counselors:
My Settings & Notifications
Among these features, we launched significant improvements to cDocs and Reports. In addition, earlier this year, we unveiled the Counselor Dashboard and will continue adding modules that support counselors and their work with students.
We hear various feedback around the management of past Broadcasts, exporting Notes, and additional control in Configuration. Your feedback on the following is essential, and we will address these later in our Roadmap.
Thank you for participating in the survey, and the winner of the $100 Amazon voucher through random draw is Laura from Morristown-Beard School!
The Counselor Experience 2022!
August is just around the corner, and we’re excited to help gear you all up for the upcoming school year! We’ve sent some announcements in our counselor newsletters, so you may be quite familiar with this. If not, we’re here to remind you of this awesome video below or through the link!
The Counselor Experience 2022 will focus on improving (and adding) features that focus on counselors and their work with their communities. Additionally, we've even enlisted the help of some of our counselors globally to work with us as they beta-tested, provided feedback, and more through the Counselor Cohort! The following features will be a part of this experience:
Revamped Applications page
Improved Resume Builder
We will be holding webinars on this based on your region, so be sure to join us on the Cialfo Community to learn more on how to sign up! Here are the following groups:
Americas Counselors Community - For counselors in the USA, Canada, and South America
South Asia, Middle East and Africa - For counselors in South Asia, India, Middle East, and Africa
International Counselor Community - For counselors in Asia Pacific, Europe, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand
China, Taiwan, and Hongkong - For counselors in China, Taiwan, and Hongkong
To add to the excitement, we've created a summary so you'll know what to expect in our webinars! You can download it here.
[Reminder]: Setting up College Visits
As you gear up for the start of school, one of the most exciting things you can do immediately is set up your school’s availability for College Visits. This way, you can start receiving visit requests from universities on your Counselor Dashboard and work with your students to start planning their university choices and interacting with said universities! Click here to set your availability.
[Reminder]: Common App rollover & Sending of Final Documents
Every year, Common App refreshes its application period on August 1st. To prepare for this, please send all final documents for your seniors (application cycle 2021-2022) by the end of July.
On the Cialfo side, your students will be able to link their accounts in August as well for the upcoming application cycle of 2022-2023. See here for information on how students can link their accounts.
[Reminder]: Phasing out the Student Dashboard
As mentioned in our previous Product Update, please be reminded that we will remove the old Student Dashboard at the end of this month. The new Student Dashboard will also be accessible for all starting at the end of July.
[Announcement]: Phasing out the Student Dashboard
We’ve received loads of great feedback regarding the beta version of the Student Dashboard. We’re now confident that, based on our users, we can move away from the old Student Dashboard.
With that said, the old Student Dashboard will be removed at the end of July 2022 (otherwise known as “sunsetting”).
The function of the old Student Dashboard was simply a summary of a student’s information - a similar summary is already available with the upgraded Student Profile that shows you all of your student’s information on one page.
As mentioned in previous Product Updates, the new Student Dashboard allows you (and your students!) to have a better overview of your student’s applications and lists, recommended universities based on their profile, tasks that need to be completed, and more!
[Announcement]: Common App rollover
For those familiar with using Common App, you are aware that every year, Common App has a rollover period to prepare for the latest application cycle (2022-2023). Due to this, please be sure to send your Final Reports and Transcripts before July 25, 2022.
You will be able to send documents through the Cialfo - Common App integration for the latest application cycle by August.
[New]: Updates to College Visits!
In last month’s Product Update, we talked about how College Visits was undergoing an upgrade… And it has! The improved experience of College Visits is now LIVE!
A major highlight of this update - No more Explore! Counselors no longer need to go into another platform to manage visits made by universities. You can do this in your regular Cialfo account itself (instead of Explore). Please see our help article on this here.
[New]: QS World University Rankings partnership for School Search
As mentioned in our February 2022 Product Update, Cialfo has partnered with QS World University Rankings to update our School Search information. This is now LIVE. The partnership allows the School Search feature to have more robust information based on the QS database.
You can use the nifty filter in School Search found here:
And for those who only want counselors to see the QS rankings and not students, we’ve added the Configuration for that, too! This is on by default for our India and China clients (as the majority have been very excited about this!) but it is off by default for the rest of the world. You can adjust this accordingly in your Configurations.
Counselor Dashboard - LIVE!
As of May 23rd, the Counselor Dashboard is LIVE. We mentioned in our April 2022 Product Update that the Counselor Dashboard was under beta, and while we’ve been collecting the improvements and making work towards this - we want to share it with you all!
Be on the lookout, we'll be adding cards to the Counselor Dashboard in the next 2 months that will improve your Applications and cDocs workflow.
For more information on the Counselor Dashboard, you can see this help article.
[Announcement] Captcha Login Verification:
We always ensure that your information and login are safe with Cialfo. To further improve this, we will be enforcing Captcha verification. For those unfamiliar with CAPTCHA, it is a way for platforms to tell real-life users and bots apart. This is similar to when you log into Google or other websites and you’re asked to identify a few photos within a grid or identify letters and numbers. This will typically appear if a user has inputted a wrong email address upon login or inputted an incorrect password multiple times.
[Coming Soon]: Updates to College Visit:
Upgrades to College Visit are underway, the updates will include the increase in ease of high schools setting their availability to universities and improving the experience and workflow of counselors by remaining on Cialfo instead of moving to another webpage. Stay tuned!
[New] Applicants Table (TOEFL, IELTS, IB)
For those who have the configuration turned on*, you’ll be familiar with our Applicants Table, wherein counselors use this to determine which applicants were accepted (or not) to different universities set against different measurements like SAT and GPA. We’ve added more columns such as TOEFL, IELTS, and IB to help counselors make more informed decisions when counseling their students and analyzing trends.
* When this configuration is turned on, it will ONLY be viewable by counselors. Students and guardians will not be able to see this information.
As mentioned in March's Product Update - Preference Fit is now LIVE on the platform.
The Preference Fit is a set of questions found in the Student Profile. These questions will not only help your students be more engaged and thoughtful about what they look for in colleges, but it will also provide more power to the types of schools Cialfo will suggest to you and your students. This provides a more personalized experience, as well as aiding counselors and students in finding the best-fit schools.
For more information, please check our help article on Preference Fit here.
The updates to Resume Builder are now LIVE on the platform. This was mentioned last month as well, the updates to the Resume Builder will provide students a more customizable and better exportability.
You can find the help article for Resume Builder here.
[Coming Soon] Counselor Dashboard
We’ve recently launched a Student Dashboard for students, but we couldn’t forget our Counselors! We’re in the midst of beta testing with our Counselor Cohort for a dashboard for counselors.
The Counselor Dashboard will allow counselors to manage students’ progress, help organize their daily tasks and updates, and manage their students from a bird's eye view!
At present, the Counselor Dashboard includes the following:
Students' last sign-in activity log in the past 3 months (great for tracking student Cialfo usage!)
Summary of student’s progress in their School Lists (Longlist, Shortlist, and Applying)
Completion of assessments
Upcoming college visits
Product Updates (in case you miss our counselor newsletter in your inboxes!)
Cialfo Community Updates
We have applications information lined up in the pipeline and other improvements, so keep your eyes peeled for its release once it passes the beta testing phase! We aim to ease our users' workflows, and this is just one of the ways we want to help counselors.
[Coming Soon] cDocs 3.0
cDocs is undergoing a redesign to better address counselors' workflows, feedback, and more! We are working with the Counselor Cohort to better address YOUR needs as a counselor and to improve the overall document sending process and application management.
We'll be providing more details in the coming weeks through the Community and via email. Stay tuned!
[Bug Fix] Guardians - Notifications check box
We’ve fixed the check box denoting that guardians can receive notifications check box. Previously, when the check box was ticked, the check mark was not saved, leaving counselors confused as to whether the guardian can receive notifications from Cialfo. We thank you for your patience with this!
[Bug fix]: Assessments table alignment
We acknowledge that our users have various preferences when it comes to how zoomed your browser is, and there are times when a browser is too zoomed in, the alignment of certain information gets misplaced. We have fixed this issue when counselors and students view the assessments page to allow a smoother experience for both.
Join Counselor Cohort: Fall Program 2022!
We recognize that Cialfo counselors and administrators have requested many changes to make the Cialfo platform more efficient and effective in supporting the management of college search and application. So, we’ve launched the Counselor Cohort 2022 Fall Program — a group of users from around the world that will have the opportunity to provide direct feedback and impact changes in Cialfo in time for the new academic year. To learn more or sign your school up to participate, please contact our Cohort program manager, Priscilla Lim via the Cialfo Community. The Cohort program launched on March 25th - so let us know if you are interested as soon as possible!
[Beta] Connections: Live in April
Cialfo has always been about creating meaningful connections and bringing people closer. Connections is a feature that creates a “connection” between a student, counselor, guardian, and the university, which allows better collaboration between the two communities. It works similar to a university event at a high school, where students are able to create relationships, demonstrate their interest, and exchange information with the university representative.
This feature is currently under a beta, early adopter approach where select high schools are testing this with universities.
Connections can be created through the following actions:
Adding a university to any of your lists (longlist, shortlist, applying)*
Downloading a brochure from a university
Hitting the “Connect button” on a university’s profile page
Applying to a Direct Apply program
Signing up for a Cialfo or university Event
Attending a Cialfo or university Event
Watching an event recording
Watching an on-demand video
Signing up for a College Visit through Explore
For more information on how Connections works, what sort of information is shared, etc. please see the help article here.
Reports: Hourly Updates!
Previously, the Reports in Cialfo were updated on a daily basis. We understand that this caused some frustration for counselors who needed reports immediately, to analyze trends, present to their board, and work with data in general. We’ve since upgraded the reporting system to update hourly, allowing you to have more recently updated data for your reports, especially as more and more application decisions come in.
[Coming Soon]: Preference Fit
We will be launching a Preference Fit questionnaire to the Student Profile in the next 2 to 3 months, with questions that will help students be more thoughtful about what they are looking for when it comes to college applications. This will cover questions regarding academics, location, majors, the type of university (and environment) they’re looking for, and academic paths.
Here's an excerpt from one of the potential sections!
[Coming Soon]: Resume Builder
The Resume builder is undergoing a revamp! We’ve received some awesome feedback and usage on this feature, so we’ll be taking it a step further in the upcoming months which includes:
Export options: currently, the resume is only available under MS Word, but we will be adding PDF and .olx and are looking into integrating with Google docs (fingers crossed!) as well.
Updates to the overall resume design
Here’s a sneak peek below!
[Bug Fix] Assessments: Print button
We are aware of how much counselors and students benefit from our Assessments partnership with Human eSources, so we thank you for your patience as we fixed this bug issue. You can now find the Print button once a student has completed the assessment. Previously, it was a small button due to the update with Human eSources. We’ve gone in and fixed it to make it so that the Print action is more viewable:
Student Profile: Updates to the Extracurricular section
We’ve updated the Extracurricular (ECA) section to allow students to input more information for describing their extracurricular activities. We’ve added a character count as well, so for those who are strict with the length, you can tell at a quick glance how much your student has written.
In addition, we’ve also added a “Copy description” button. This was apropos to some great feedback we received from counselors who’d want to use the student’s description as a part of their recommendation letters. The button allows you to quickly copy the text, easing your workflow.
Student Dashboard - live in March!
Reminder to everyone - our new student dashboard will be live for all clients in March! The Student dashboard will allow students to see and work with information in a sleeker, more organized way. For more information on the student dashboard, please see our article here.
COMING SOON - QS World University Ranking partnership for School Search
Cialfo has partnered up with QS World University Ranking to strengthen the information found on School Search. The QS rankings can give a good indication of how a university is perceived, and this will just be another data point for you and your students to consider and search for while using Cialfo.
NEW - cDocs Updates:
Unsending Functionality: This was mentioned in the Cialfo Community last month, but we’re happy to announce that the Unsending Functionality for Common App documents is now LIVE. If you are able to unsend a document, you will see a “undo” button to the right of the document:
Bulk assigning of counselor: you asked and we heard! We've added an additional action to our beloved Bulk Actions that will allow you to bulk assign counselors in order to send Common App documents on cDocs! This is particularly helpful for schools that have a huge cohort of students and only 1-2 counselors. This is feedback we’ve heard in the past, so we’re happy to be able to release it to increase the ease of your workflow.
[Bug Fix] Teacher recommendations Copy Functionality: We’ve fixed the issue of being able to copy the survey responses students have inputted for recommendation letters.
Predicted grades document type (Parchment sending): You can now send the “Predicted Grades” as a document for Parchment receiving colleges and universities.
NEW - Guardian Updates
Guardian Registration: We’ve added the ability to keep track of whether a guardian registration email has been sent out. Simply click the “i” button next to the student:
Guardians viewing Assessments: For schools that provide Cialfo access to guardians, your guardians now have the option to see their student's Assessment results! This is another piece of feedback we've heard from you all and have taken into consideration to help in providing a more comprehensive experience for your school's guardians.
NEW - Applications: Adding Course or Round
We’ve updated our Applications feature to allow users to add their own course or round if not found on our database. This is especially helpful for counselors who have students applying to smaller schools or have very specific courses. Allowing this feature will allow you to further track these types of information.
Student Dashboard - live in March!
We’re excited to announce that the Student Dashboard will be live for ALL clients in March! The Student Dashboard has undergone beta testing with a group of users and will be continuously improved as we go along.
Not to worry, you and your students will still have access to the old Student Dashboard for a few more months - we’ll give you enough time to adjust for the new batch of students! For more information about the Student Dashboard, check our help article here.
NEW - Editable Applications Table
The editable feature of the Applications Table is now LIVE. You will be able to edit the following fields directly from the table rather than having to go into each application:
Please note that the Submitted and Round fields will be uneditable if the Common App - Cialfo sync is turned on. It’s the same functionality as in previous application cycles and in the Application itself. The required updates must be made on the student’s Common App itself.
[Beta] Cialfo Likelihood and Application Interest
Our College Fit Indicator is a great way for students and counselors to have a starting point of whether a US college is a target, likely, or reach school. We’ve upgraded this functionality so that it is available for all universities, rather than just US universities!
The beta version will be launched on January 27th with select high schools and the feature will be live for Counselors. Should a counselor want to allow the feature to be visible for their students, they can do so from the Configurations page.
If you’d like to be part of the beta or are interested in getting a sneak peek of the feature, you can check out our help article here.
NEW - Student Transcript Request
We launched the Student Transcript request feature last November to allow counselors and students to manage transcript requests that are sent outside of the Cialfo platform.
This typically applies to transcript requests from your students for internships, summer programs, scholarships, etc., rather than applications. For more information regarding the student transcript request feature, please refer to this help article. If you want to see the feature from the student’s perspective, you can check it out here.
NEW - Bulk Actions: Activating Deactivated Students
The Bulk Actions feature is heavily used by counselors, especially those with large student cohorts! We know that a pain point was being unable to activate deactivated students in bulk, so we’re happy to announce that you can now do just that!
Make your way to the “Deactivated” tab found under “Students” and select the students you want to reactivate, and use Bulk Actions as you normally would.
Q4 2021 Product Updates:
Hang in there! With the Applications season almost over, we still have a few updates that’ll help your workflow. Check them out below:
Declining Letters of Recommendation: Teachers can now decline letter of recommendation requests from students. This is particularly helpful for teachers who have too many students requesting from them or have received requests past the deadline. You can turn this off (or on!) on your Configurations.
[Coming soon!] Unsend Functionality: Soon counselors will be able to unsend documents from Common App applications if it has not been downloaded by the universities. Keep your eyes peeled!
Second Common App Optional Report - As mentioned in our November Product Update, counselors will now be able to send a second Optional Report for Common App applications! This is particularly handy if you need to update or correct documents you need to send for your students.
Round and Submitted Columns: We have added the Rounds and Submitted columns to the Applications table itself to make looking at your student's applications, easier!
Editable Applications Table: We have received your feedback and made changes to the Applications table to make it more user-friendly. You will soon be able to edit several fields directly from the applications table, reducing the number of steps needed for users to update the application details. Do note that if your Common App - Cialfo sync is turned on, you won’t be able to edit those details (just like you wouldn’t be able to in the application itself). It’ll need to be updated from the student’s Common App application itself.
You're now able to edit the Submitted, Round, App. Result and Student Decision columns all with a click of the button (fewer clicks, yay!) rather than going into each application itself.
On-demand University Content for Students:
Cialfo’s On-demand Content Library reveals an incredible insider’s guide, tips, and stories to students and allows them to explore at a time, pace, and place of their choosing.
Cialfo will provide webinars with the latest insights from universities that will be released regularly under Cialfo Events for students to browse. Universities are also inviting their current students to share their experiences and opportunities to make the experience more personalized and contextual for students.
Students can now keep themselves updated with information covering the following topics:
Admissions & Applications Guide
Information series delving into university applications and opportunities
Academic Programs and Subjects Guide
Detailed run through on various Academic programs and subjects
Students and Alumni Stories
A series of student stories and university experiences
cDocs: Second Optional Report option:
For the Common App shared documents, we have released the option for counselors to send a second Optional Report! Do recall that this report is still under Common App's one and done policy, so once sent out, it'll be sent out to all of your student's Common App applications. You will be able to prepare the second Optional Report the same way you prepared the first one.
[Looking for Beta users!] Student dashboard:
Student Dashboard is undergoing a revamp and we're looking for beta users to help us test it out:
The updated Student Dashboard is exciting! We're looking towards making the Student Dashboard more engaging and student-focused for your students. It'll include reminders for tasks, My Lists management, upcoming events, university suggestions based on students' information and preferences from their profile, and more! These changes will help improve the way students discover universities, events on Cialfo, manage their application journey, and work better with their counselors.
To obtain early access and be a part of our beta group, please fill out the form here by December 3, 2021, and one of our Product members will reach out to you.
Submit your UK Applications on Cialfo:
As mentioned in the October Product Update, students can now apply to UK universities on Cialfo through Direct Apply. The same rules apply, your student can only apply up to 5 universities. You can refer to this help article to learn more about what steps you need to take as a counselor. For students, we have a quick self-help resource found here.
Remember, in applying through Direct Apply, students will receive an application fee waiver, free visa service support, and qualify for guaranteed Cialfo scholarships (for select universities)! If you're interested in learning more about UCAS on Direct Apply, please reach out to your Client Experience Manager (CXM) or refer to our FAQ help article here.
University Search - Courses/Majors:
You asked and we heard! Under the new University Search, it's been enhanced to search for courses or majors! See the sneak peek below:
The bugs from October have been resolved, however, should you encounter any other sending errors, please refer to this help article or raise it to Chat with Cialfo.
Common App One and Done Policy: We've been receiving some questions about Common App’s One-and-done policy, please note that you can find their announcement here. The policy indicates that shared documents like School Report, Counselor Recommendation letter, Mid Year Report and, Optional Report will be sent to all Common App applications of the student.
You can now upload GPAs in the Upload section, please refer to this help article regarding the different types of GPAs/grades you can upload.
You can now upload guardians that have more than 1 student easily! We’ve upgraded our Users uploader to support this, making your uploading experience smoother and easier.
As document sending ramps up for the November 1st deadline, you may encounter some issues while sending your documents, which may occur for various reasons - usually dependent on requirements by the Common App. To help you with this, we have compiled a cDocs troubleshooting article to address some issues you may face before attempting to send the required documents again.
Universities are still excited to meet with you and your students! This is a great opportunity for your juniors or even seniors who may not be sure where they’d like to apply to yet. Be sure to set up your school’s Explore Visits now.
To set up the Explore Visits feature that will allow universities to arrange visits with your school, refer to this help article.
UK Applications on Direct Apply
Your students can now apply to UK universities through Direct Apply! In doing so, they will receive an application fee waiver, free visa service support, and qualify for guaranteed Cialfo scholarships (for select universities). Watch the below introductory video to learn more about submitting UK applications on Direct Apply.
You can register here to activate UK Applications on Direct Apply for your school.