The High School Counselor's Guide to SlideRoom
This short guide is a resource for high school counselors and teachers who want to help their students navigate SlideRoom during the college application process. The guide covers general questions about SlideRoom, how students use it to apply for college, as well as how organizations use it to evaluate everything.
Goals of this guide
Learn how organizations use SlideRoom
Discover how applicants use SlideRoom
Understand the SlideRoom integration with the Common Application
SlideRoom is an online platform for schools to receive applications, particularly ones with portfolios. Unlike an e-Portfolio platform, SlideRoom portfolios are not public-facing. This means that each SlideRoom portfolio a student creates is a response to the settings and instructions set by the particular school to which they are applying.
Portfolios are accepted across many fields, even beyond the arts. Any digital documentation of projects can be easily uploaded or imported into SlideRoom. No special preparation is required.
How Schools use SlideRoom
Each school has their own SlideRoom account. Colleges and universities use SlideRoom to collect portfolios and applications that meet specific criteria defined as "programs," which refer to specific application opportunities. Programs that are currently available and accepting applications will be visible in that school's unique SlideRoom applicant portal, which is usually linked from the school's "apply" page and is accessible to anyone.
Once an applicant submits their portfolio or application, the school's reviewers can view and score the applications assigned to them. They will see a full-screen view of each application, including thumbnails of all the media submitted as part of the portfolio section of the application. Reviewers can click on any of these thumbnails to see full-screen versions of the media, as well as highlight and comment on any item that stands out. After everything has been evaluated, decisions are communicated to students using the school's notification process.
How applicants use SlideRoom
The applicant's path to using SlideRoom is easy. If they use Facebook or Youtube, they won't have any trouble using SlideRoom. First, they need to visit a school's portal and create a SlideRoom account. They will then be able to create an account using the following form:
Once the student has signed up, an email with an activation link will be sent to their email address from firstname.lastname@example.org. Clicking that activation link will take them to a page where they can log in and continue with their portfolio or application.
When the student first logs in, they will see a list of all the currently-available programs. If there is a large number of programs, this list can be filtered by category to help find the program they are interested in. The top right corner will have institutional contact information if they have a question for the school about expectations, requirements, deadlines, and logistics. The top left features the email address for SlideRoom applicant support, which they can contact with questions about the technical use of SlideRoom.
Once the student locates the program they want, clicking on that listing will take them to a page with a detailed breakdown of all requirements. If they confirm this is the correct program, they can click "Begin Application."
If the student has not yet created a SlideRoom profile, they will now be prompted to complete a form with their basic background information. They only need to fill it out one time; after that, it will be used for all of their applications, no matter which school's application portal they are using. They can always edit this information by clicking on their name in the top right corner of their applicant dashboard, then choosing "Account Information."
When the student has filled out their SlideRoom profile, they will be taken to the application itself. The SlideRoom application flow goes in the following order: Forms > References > Portfolio > Submit. Not all institutions will use all sections for every application, in which case the unused sections will not appear in those SlideRoom applications. All students need to do is follow the question prompts to complete each section of the application.
Once the student has submitted their application, they will receive a confirmation email with the date and time of their submission, as well as the name of the program they applied to and an application ID they should keep for future reference.
At any time, students can log back into their SlideRoom account through any school's applicant portal and access past submissions. They can do this by clicking their name in the top right corner and then selecting "All Activity." This will show them a list of all the portfolios and applications they have submitted through SlideRoom. Clicking on one of these past submissions will take them back into that application, where they can view it, print it, or download the media they submitted.
SlideRoom integration with the Common Application
SlideRoom is the exclusive partner of the Common Application to collect and evaluate portfolio supplements. If a school is using the Common App, there will be a question in their application asking whether the student is applying to a program that requires a portfolio supplement. When the applicant answers in a way that triggers the portfolio supplement requirement, a link will appear, directing the applicant to the school's SlideRoom portal.
If the applicant already has a SlideRoom account, they can log in using their email and password. Their Common App ID, High School CEEB code, Name, Email, Entry Term, and Decision Type will all transfer automatically to their SlideRoom portfolio, allowing the organization to match the applicant's SlideRoom submission to their Common Application submission. If the applicant goes to the institution's SlideRoom portal on their own, without following the Common App link, they will need to enter their Common App ID before they can submit their portfolio.
For more information about SlideRoom's partnership with Common App and the applicant experience, please see the link in the "Additional Resources" section below.
We hope this helps get you started, but there are plenty of additional resources available for you. These include:
- SlideRoom Applicant Help Center
- SlideRoom and the Common Application: Applicant Experience
- SlideRoom Website
Want a copy of this guide as a PDF so you can take it anywhere? Download it here.