UB Graduate School applicants now have the ability to
complete the admissions process entirely online.
Seeking to reduce their environmental footprint, cut costs and
provide better service, UB’s graduate and professional school
programs are moving toward a paperless application process.
The effort, which UB started in 2000 and recently enhanced by
providing applicants the ability to upload transcripts and other
documents to their applications, is expected to save at least
200,000 pages of 8.5-by-11-inch paper each year.
“Not only is this a more eco-friendly way of doing
business, it will also eliminate unnecessary phone calls and email,
cut ink and postage costs, and enable UB to provide better and
faster service to prospective students,” says Christopher S.
Connor, assistant dean for graduate enrollment management services
in the Graduate School.
All graduate and professional school programs—with the
exception of six that use a national application service—will
go paperless, Connor says. The switch will improve efficiency by
allowing faculty members to complete their assessment of
applications online instead of on printed paper, he says. It also
will give students instant access to their uploaded documents,
allowing them to more effectively manage their applications, he
Roughly 25,000 students apply to graduate and professional
school programs at UB each year. A majority, 60 percent, are
domestic students whose applications typically are five pages. The
rest are international students whose applications normally are 10
Instead of mailing applications to UB, students will use GrAdMIT, UB’s
online application web portal.
Ryan McPherson, the university’s chief sustainability
officer, praised the Graduate School’s conversion to online
applications as a common-sense, yet forward-looking example that
others at UB can follow.
“We commend the Graduate School’s leadership,
innovation and commitment to sustainability through the
paperless-application initiative. Their forward-thinking strategy
is a model to increase operational efficiency, protect our limited
natural resources and create a better student
experience—three of the very core elements of the
university’s sustainability agenda,” McPherson
UB has been a leader in implementing sustainable paper policies,
including the use of 100-percent, post-consumer, processed,
chlorine-free paper across university operations for the past
decade; cutting in half the number of pages printed at public
computing sites through Information Technology’s iPrint
management initiative; and the use of 100-percent, recycled, UB
These types of ideas, McPherson says, will help UB achieve its
goal of reducing or offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions by
2030. UB already has made strides by opening the Solar Strand, a
solar array that produces enough energy to power hundreds of
student apartments, and constructing six eco-friendly buildings,
including Greiner Hall, which was certified gold under the U.S.
Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.