Mike Lehmann, project manager in the Registrar's Office, said the capacity to accept student applications electronically will benefit students primarily by speeding up processing.
"The turn-around on an application that is mailed may be several weeks, whereas one received by Internet can be turned around in days. In some cases we are able to send out a letter of acknowledgment on the same day an application is received," Lehmann said.
The application form, which can be accessed through the Post Secondary Application Service of B.C.'s (PASBC) Web site (http://www.pas.bc.ca), allows prospective students to submit an application form to UBC or other B.C. universities from virtually anywhere in the world and to pay their application fee by credit card.
Although the Internet application was aimed primarily at B.C. high school students last year, electronic applications were received from as far away as Australia and Sweden.
Previously all applications were received on paper, sorted, entered into a computer, and then processed by admissions staff. Receipt of applications via the Internet means admissions staff are able to check the computer on a regular basis for new applications and process them as they come in.
The number of applications received via the Internet this year represents only six per cent of the total applications for first year, said Susan Peters, assistant registrar for Admissions, but the Internet application was available for less than two months before the 1996 deadline for B.C. secondary school applicants. Peters expects far more Internet applications next year from all different types of applicants, including international students.
During peak registration times the Registrar's Office receives up to 2,000 applications per week for a total of approximately 20,000 each year. The effect of technological change on the admissions process will be immense, Peters said.
"Using the Internet for admissions applications is just the tip of the iceberg," she said. "Students can now also use our Student Services Web site to change their address, inquire on an award or other financial aid or review their courses and grades. In the near future, students will be able to access the Internet to register in their courses, order transcripts or change their personal identity number. We want to improve our service to students by making their student information as accessible as possible for them."
The address of the Student Services Web site is http://www.ubc.ca/student/student.html