how-to-build-a-college-application-form

How to Build a College Application Form in WordPress [Template]

Do you want to create a college application form in WordPress?

An online college application form can help potential students send all the details and personal information you need to see if they’d be a good fit for your school. And, this can help get more people to apply.

So in this post, we’ll walk you through how to build a college application form from a template for your WordPress site easily.

Use the College Application Form Template Now

Tips for a College Application Form in WordPress

Placing a College Application Form on your WordPress website is a must if you’re looking to bring new students into your higher education institution.

These days, students and parents expect colleges and universities to be keeping up with the times, and would expect nothing less than being able to apply online.

WPForms is the best WordPress Form Builder plugin. Get it for free!

So, you probably already know you need a college application form on your website. But you might not know where to start.

Well, here are some good tips to consider when building  your college application form.

  • Keep the application as short as possible — No one expects a college application form to be filled out within just a field or two. But the more brief you can be, the better the chances are people will stick around and fill it out. Try using conditional logic and multi-step forms to help keep your college application form conversion rate high.
  • Accept online payments — When you take your application fee right away through your form, you’re guaranteed to get the funds. It’s a good idea to collect these electronically instead of through the mail with a check.
  • Make it look good — If you’re targeting a younger audience with your college application form, you want to make sure your form looks modern and works well.
  • Use a file upload field — If you’re asking for documents like formatted essays or high school transcripts, make sure to use accept file uploads on your form. You can even combine our 1st tip with this one and require payment on a file upload form.

And up next, we’ll walk you through the tutorial on how to make a college application form in WordPress step-by-step. And, you can apply the tips you just learned to make your form as successful as possible.

How to Make a College Application Form in WordPress (With a Template)

The WPForms plugin makes it super easy to make nearly any type of WordPress form you need. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the what you’ll need to do to make a college application form:

  1. Install and Activate the WPForms Plugin
  2. Design Your College Application Form
  3. Configure Your Form Settings
  4. Set Up Applicant Form Notifications
  5. Set Up Your Application Form Closing Date
  6. Publish Your Application Form

Let’s begin by installing the plugin.

Step 1: Install and Activate the WPForms Plugin

To start, install and activate the WPForms plugin on your website.

If you need help, check out this beginner’s guide to installing a plugin in WordPress.

Next, let’s  install 2 WPForms addons. Go ahead and click WPForms » Addons.

WPForms addons

Now, let’s install and activate the Forms Template Pack addon. This addon gives you access to 100+ form templates, including the college application form template that we’ll be using.

So click the Install Addon button under the Form Templates Pack Addon to install it.

WPForms form template pack addon

Now stay on this page and install the Form Locker addon next. We’ll use this to give our college application form a deadline so that it automatically closes after a set date and time that you pick. Pretty cool, right?

Scroll to the Form Locker Addon and click on the Install Addon button.

WPForms form locker addon

Great, you’re all set. Let’s open up the college application form template next.

Step 2: Design Your College Application Form

Creating forms is so easy with WPForms. And because you already installed the Form Templates addon, most of the work of designing the form is already done for you!

So let’s use the College Application Form template to speed things up.

From your WordPress dashboard, go to the left-hand panel and click on WPForms » Add New.

Add new college application form

The form builder will open up in a fullscreen window. Go ahead and name your form in the Form Name area.

name your college application form

Next, scroll down to the Additional Templates section. This area contains all of the templates that came with the Form Templates addon.

Go ahead and search for ‘college’. Then click on the College Application Form template to open it.

open the college application form template

You’ve got this! The template will open up in the form builder so you can get to work.

college application form template for wordpress

You’ll notice that your college application form has a ton of fields already set up for you to collect personal info from applications like:

  • Contact Information
  • Emergency Contact
  • Demographics
  • High School Details
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • File Uploads
  • Parent Details
  • Citizenship Status

You can use this template right out of the box if you want to. You can also click on a field and drag and drop it to rearrange the order on your college application form.

add other fields to college application form

When your form looks the way you want it to, click Save.

Step 3: Configure Your Form Settings

Let’s go ahead and configure your college application form’s settings next.

To start, go to Settings » General.

settings for college applications form
Here you can configure:

  • Form Name: Rename your form here if you want to.
  • Form Description: Give your form a description.
  • Submit Button Text: Customize the copy on the submit button. In our example, we’ll change our submit button to something like “Submit College Application Form”.
  • Spam Prevention — Stop contact form spam with the anti-spam feature, hCaptcha, or Google reCAPTCHA.
  • AJAX Forms — Enable AJAX settings with no page reload.
  • GDPR Enhancements — You can disable the storing of entry information and user details, such as IP addresses and user agents, in an effort to comply with GDPR requirements. In addition, check out our step-by-step instructions on how to add a GDPR agreement field to your form.

When you’re done, click Save.

Step 4: Set Up Applicant Form Notifications

Now let’s set up the notification emails that will be sent when someone fills out your college application form.

To start, click Settings on the left hand side of the form builder.

open college application form settings

Then click Notifications to open up the email settings.

college application form notifications

By default, WPForms sends notifications to the admin email in WordPress.

If you’d like to type in a different email address for your notification, it’s super simple to change it. Just delete the {admin_email} tag and type in the email address you want to use instead.

change default email address on college application form

Next, let’s add another notification. We’re going to send the applicant an email once they apply so they know their college application was received.

To do that, click the blue Add New Notification button.

Add new notification to college application form

Let’s give the new notification a distinctive name so we can easily find it later.

college application email name

So now you’ll see 2 notifications on the right-hand panel if you scroll down. Let’s edit the one you just created.

In the Send To Email Address field, we’re going to use the Email smart tag. That way, WPForms will automatically send this notification to the applicant’s email address.

adding a smart tag to your college application form

You can also customize the text in the subject and email body if you want to.

OK, great. Everything’s set up. Let’s click Save.

Now we can set the closing date on the application form.

Step 5: Set Up Your Application Form Closing Date

Since you’re using your college application form to collect applications, it makes sense to close the form before the school year or term starts.

We’re going to use the Form Locker addon since it lets us easily add an expiration date to your form.

So from the Settings panel, click Form Locker. It’s ok if you have more or less options on the left-hand side. That area shows the available addon you have active.

form locker addon to college application form

Now click Enable scheduling.

Enable form scheduling

And now let’s set the closing date for the form using End Date and End Time.

Set a closing date for your form

This field uses the timezone that’s set up in WordPress. If you need to check the time settings, here’s a guide to changing the time and date in WordPress.

On whatever date you set, the form will automatically close, stop taking applications, and disappear. When that happens, a Closed Message will appear in its place.

Underneath the date and time, you can customize the Closed Message. You can also add a link to another page or an external link like a social media page so people can stay updated with your next enrollment period. closed message form locker

OK, your form is nearly all set. Now we just need to publish the college application form to your WordPress site.

Step 6: Publish Your Application Form

Now that your college application form is complete, let’s publish it to the web.

Start by clicking the Embed button at the top of the form builder.

embed college application form onto wordpress website

And then when this notification pops up, go ahead and click Create New Page.

Create an online pledge page

Next, WPForms will ask you to name your page. Type the title for the page into the box and click Let’s Go.

embed college application form window

WPForms will open up a new page for your form.

Next, go ahead and click Publish or Update at the top to publish the form on your site.

publish page with form

Great job. So now you can share the link to your form and start gathering applications And here’s what our finished online college application form looks like.

published college application form

So there you have it! You can now start collecting college applications online and then sort and filter your form entries to see each application, plus reach out and follow-up with candidates (it’s super easy when exporting WordPress form entries to CSV).

Use the College Application Form Template Now

Start Building Your College Application Form Now

So that wraps it up. You now know exactly how to build a college application form with a template on your WordPress site. Hopefully, this makes your admission process much easier.

Want to invite your alumni to an event? Check out our post on how to create an RSVP form in WordPress.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with the world’s best form builder today.

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