Creating Text Templates for Decision Letters

Overview

Decision letter text templates are used to notify applicants of their admissions decisions through the Veracross Admission Portal. In a broader context, all Veracross text templates are records of preconfigured wording that allow for merge fields to be used, meaning that a school is able to create a personalized correspondence through a set format. This article outlines the steps for configuring the text templates that are available for publishing admissions decisions.

Process Flow

Step 1: Find the Veracross Text Templates

To access the full list of text templates, navigate to the System homepage from the rocket ship icon in Axiom. Once on the System homepage, the Text Templates query can be found on the right side of the page under the System Configuration header. Click on the link to open the list.

Step 2: Open the Appropriate Text Template

The admissions decision text templates are all in the Admissions Portal category, and the name of each template is prefixed with “Admissions_Decision.” 

There are three defaults:

  • Admissions_Decision_Accepted
  • Admissions_Decision_Denied
  • Admissions_Decision_Waitlist

These three are the are most commonly used by Veracross schools. However, if the admissions office has a separate decision letter for applications with a status of Accepted w/Condition or has added customized application decision statuses, additional text templates may be added. See the Frequently Asked Questions section below for instructions on how to insert more templates.

After the text templates have been located from the full list, click on the link for the template that will be edited first.

Step 3: Edit the Decision Letter Template

At the most basic level, a text template could simply contain plain text in the Value field. A sample letter using plain text might look like the following example:

Dear Applicant,

Congratulations! On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Admission, the Headmaster, and Faculty, I am very pleased to offer you a place as a student at Veracross Academy.

Your personal qualities and talents will enable you to add to and benefit from the Veracross Academy experience. Our dynamic learning environment encourages active, hands-on participation in the classroom. Outside the classroom, our students hone their skills and develop their character through athletic competition and artistic expression. Our community values trust, friendship and hard work. Our diverse and multi-talented family of students and faculty will challenge you to take advantage of the ample opportunities that exist in this beautiful and historic place.

Should you choose to join us, I am confident that you, as a graduate of Veracross Academy, will count these years among the most meaningful in your life.

Please note that you will receive a paper copy of this decision in the mail within the next few days.

Sincerely,

Tom Stafford
Director of Admission

However, text templates are also able to utilize Veracross mail merge fields and are responsive to HTML formatting. A list of all the available merge fields can be found on the text template detail screen. Two additional examples of decision letters with merge fields and HTML formatting are provided below.

Elements IncludedSample Text Template TextSample Outcome
Veracross Merge FieldsDear {salutation_per},


Congratulations! On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Admission, the Headmaster, and the Faculty of Veracross Academy, I am very pleased to offer you a place as a {resident_status_applying_for} student in the Class of {graduation_year}.

Should you choose to join us, I am confident that as a graduate of Veracross Academy, you will count these years among the most meaningful in your life.

Sincerely,

Tom Stafford
Director of Admission

Dear Peter,


Congratulations! On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Admission, the Headmaster, and Faculty of Veracross Academy, I am very pleased to offer you a place as a boarding student in the Class of 2020.

Should you choose to join us, I am confident that as a graduate of Veracross Academy, you will count these years among the most meaningful in your life.

Sincerely,

Tom Stafford
Director of Admission

HTMLDear Applicant,


<strong>Congratulations!</strong> On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Admission, the Headmaster, and the Faculty, I am <em>very</em> pleased to offer you a place as a student at <a href=”http://www.veracross.com”>Veracross Academy</a>.

Should you choose to join us, I am <em>confident</em> that as a graduate of Veracross Academy, you will count these years among the most meaningful of your life.

Sincerely,

Tom Stafford
Director of Admission

Dear Applicant,


Congratulations! On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Admission, the Headmaster, and Faculty, I am very pleased to offer you a place as a student at Veracross Academy.

Should you choose to join us, I am confident that as a graduate of Veracross Academy, you will count these years among the most meaningful of your life.

Sincerely,

Tom Stafford
Director of Admission

Veracross Merge Fields and HTMLDear {salutation_per},


<strong>Congratulations!</strong> On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Admission, the Headmaster, and the Faculty, I am <em>very</em> pleased to offer you a place as a {resident_status_applying_for} student in the Class of {graduation_year}.

Should you choose to join us, I am <em>confident</em> that as a graduate of <a href=”http://www.veracross.com”>Veracross Academy</a>, you will count these years among the most meaningful in your life.

Sincerely,

Tom Stafford
Director of Admission

Dear Peter,


Congratulations! On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Admission, the Headmaster, and the Faculty, I am very pleased to offer you a place as a boarding student in the Class of 2020.

Should you choose to join us, I am confident that as a graduate of Veracross Academy, you will count these years among the most meaningful in your life.

Sincerely,

Tom Stafford
Director of Admission

Allowed Merge Fields

Only certain merge fields are configured to function within Decision Letters. They are the following:

  • mailing_address_multi_line
  • mailing_address_multi_line_hh
  • salutation_per
  • informal_salutation_per
  • salutation_hh
  • informal_salutation_hh
  • grade_applying_for
  • grade_applying_for_verbose
  • campus_applying_for
  • student_group_applying_for
  • resident_status_applying_for
  • year_applying_for
  • year_applying_for_long
  • graduation_year
  • first_name
  • last_name
  • preferred_name
  • he_she
  • he_she_capitalized
  • him_her
  • his_her
  • his_her_capitalized
  • his_hers
  • son_daughter
  • today_date
  • entry_date

Additional information regarding these merge fields can be found within this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can additional admissions decision text templates be added?

If your school needs more than the three default decision text templates, use the following steps to create a new template:

  1. From the System homepage, navigate to the header immediately above the query links. At the top right, a “+ Add” menu should be available.
  2. Click that menu to view a full list of the types of records that are eligible to be added to the system; scroll down that list until the option for Text Templates appears and click on that option.
  3. Name the text template according to the corresponding application status. For example, if a text template for the application status Accepted w/Condition is created, name the template “Admissions_Decision_Accepted_w_Condition.”
  4. Set the Classification field to Admissions Portal.
  5. Add the letter to the Value field of the text template using the formatting tools described in Step 3 of the full article above.

Is it possible to add an image at the top of the letter?

Yes, it is possible to add a banner image, school logo, or crest to decision letter text templates. In order to have the image added, send the image file to your Veracross account manager, who will be able to have the image inserted into the text template.

Is it possible to include a signature image at the end of the letter?

Yes, it is possible to add a signature image at the end of the letter. Just like the header image, in order to have the signature added, send the image file to your Veracross account manager, who will be able to have the image inserted into the text template.

Is it possible to address the letter to parents instead of the applicant?

While the text template does include some household-specific merge fields, the letter itself is always associated with the applicant child, meaning that household salutations will be for the child’s resident household. That setup causes no problem when an applicant is part of a single household, but if the applicant is part of multiple households, the system will still only display the salutation for whichever single household in which the applicant resides. One possible workaround to this situation might be to address the decision letter to “the Parents of {salutation_per}.” Nevertheless, Veracross strongly recommends addressing the letter directly to the applicant.

Do all Veracross fields work as merge fields?

No, only the fields that are listed above in the Allowed Merge Fields section work. They are also located on the right side of the text template record for easy reference.

Additional Resources

For the next article in this series, click here. A full documentation article covering the entire decision letter configuration process from initial setup to publication is available here. To watch a webinar about creating decision letter text templates, click here.