Decisions: Packages

Learn to create and manage letters and financial aid awards with the Packages feature, enhancing student communication.

Michael Stephenson avatar
Written by Michael Stephenson
Updated over a week ago

Overview

The Packages feature is a powerful tool for configuring acceptance and financial aid letters. With this feature, you can create customized letters based on the decision status and apply them to specific applications, giving you complete control over your communication process.

Accessing Packages

  1. Navigate to Applications > Decisions > Decision Settings.

  2. Click on the Packages tab.

Packages + Microsite

To enhance your students' experience, you can incorporate an acceptance package button into your application dashboard. Once a student is accepted, the button will appear in their dashboard, leading them to the Acceptance Package section of their personalized Microsite.

This section can include any letters and financial award items activated on their decision, creating a seamless and convenient process for students. We'll cover those items next.


Package Items

Package Items—Letters and Financial Awards are exclusively used in Microsites. When enabled, this feature allows you to push acceptance letters and financial aid award information to a student's microsite in a dedicated section (see screenshot below).


For more information, visit our Microsite collection for detailed guidelines and further insights on leveraging this feature.

Letters

Package Letters can be used for various purposes, primarily for acceptance and financial aid-related letters. Also, you can have multiple letters that work with a particular application.

How To: Create a New Letter

Step 1: Create a New letter

  1. Navigate to Applications > Decisions > Decision Settings.

  2. Click on the Package tab.

  3. Confirm Letters is selected from the list of Package Items on the left-hand panel.

  4. Click on the circle plus sign button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

  5. Configure the settings in the New Letter dialogue window:

    • General Tab

      • Active: Enables the letter to be used on decisions.

      • Title: Name your letter. This name is visible to students in the Microsite.

      • Status: Use the dropdown to select which status the letter should apply to. Note: The decision must be in this status for the letter to populate in the decision.

    • Works For Tab: Select the application(s) you wish this letter to work with.

  6. Click Add.

Letters are not automatically sent to a student's microsite when their decision status matches the status configured for the letter. Once a decision reaches a status that matches one specified within a letter and the application meets any other set conditions, the letter will appear in the decision under the Packages tab. However, you must manually activate it to send, or you can configure an Intelligent Admissions rule to automate the sending process. More details are provided at the end of this article.

Step 2: Add Conditions and Content

  1. Locate your new letter in the list and click the three vertical dots.

  2. Select View.

  3. Configure the Conditions and Content for your letter:

    Conditions

    Under the Conditions tab, you can build out conditions to create different versions of your letter if you choose. For example, if the Dean signs the acceptance letter, you can create versions for each college/department. This is facilitated through conditions. You'll need to add all of your conditions first to build the different versions of your letter in the next step.

    If you have only one version of your letter, you can skip this step and proceed to the Content tab.

    • Click Add Condition to add your first condition. You will be prompted to provide a name and description of your condition. Then, you can add your condition type. Once you are done, you can close out. The changes are saved automatically. Note: You can add multiple conditions to a version.

    • If you wish to add another version, repeat the process by clicking the circle plus sign button in the bottom right corner of the screen. This will allow you to add another condition.

    Content
    Your letter comes to life under the Content tab. On the left-hand side, you will see Default Content and Versions. Default Content appears to everyone unless they meet a specific version's condition(s). If you added any conditions in the prior step, each will be listed under Versions.

    • To add Content, click on Default Content or a Version (if you have one).

    • Click into the Content editor where it says, 'Click to enter letter content.'

    • Compose your letter. When you are writing or editing content, the formatting toolbar will appear. These tools are designed to enhance the look and feel of your letter.


      On the toolbar, you can find the following tools:

      • Bold, Italicize, Underline

      • Font, Font Size, Font Formatting, Font Color

      • Alignment

      • Numbered, bulleted, and indented formatting

      • Insert Image

        • When using images, click on the image to view the editing tools: display (text wrapping), alignment, replace image, delete image, and resize. You can also click and drag the corner of an image to adjust the size.

      • Insert Token

        • If you wish to use tokens in your letter, review the Tokens section below for additional information.

      • Add Link

      • Add Table

      • Add divider line

      • Undo/redo

      • View the content editor in full-screen

      • Editing shortcuts

    • When you are finished adding Content to your letter, you can close out of the editor. Your changes are saved automatically.

How To: Preview, Print, and Send to Microsite

Preview and Print Letters:

  1. Navigate to Applications > Decisions > All Decisions.

  2. Locate and open the Decision where you want to preview and activate a letter.

  3. Click on the Package tab.

  4. Click Letters on the left-hand panel.

  5. Click the eye icon next to the letter you wish to preview/print.

  6. A preview will open. From there, you have the option to print.

Activate/Send the Letter (Manually):

  1. Navigate to Applications > Decisions > All Decisions.

  2. Locate and open the Decision where you want to preview and activate a letter.

  3. Click on the Package tab.

  4. Click Letters on the left-hand panel.

  5. Locate the letter you wish to send.

  6. Switch the Active to Send toggle to Yes. This will automatically push the letter to the student's microsite. However, you must have the Acceptance Package section enabled on the microsite. This process is covered in Microsites Part 3: Content Block and Section Descriptions.

Activate/Send the Letter (Intelligent Admissions):

You can streamline your workflow by automating the activation of decision letters using an AI rule with the "Enable Package" action.

Financial Award

Provide financial award information, such as each award's name and a detailed breakdown of the amounts by term.

How to: Create a New Financial Award

Step 1: Create a New Financial Award

  1. Navigate to Applications > Decisions > Decision Settings.

  2. Click on the Package tab.

  3. Click Financial Award from the list of Package Items on the left-hand panel.

  4. Click on the circle plus sign button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

  5. Configure the settings in the New Letter dialogue window:

    • General Tab

      • Active: Enables the financial award to be used on decisions.

      • Title: Name your financial award item- this is for internal purposes only.

    • Letter Tab: You can link it to a letter. For example, if your financial award item is a scholarship with a letter to accompany it, you can create the letter using the steps outlined above and then attach it to this award.

    • Works For Tab: Select the application(s) you wish this financial award to work with.

  6. Click Add.

How to: Add Financial Award to Decision + Send to Microsite

  1. Navigate to Applications > Decisions > All Decisions.

  2. Locate and open the Decision where you want to add a financial award.

  3. Click on the Package tab.

  4. Click Financial Aid on the left-hand panel.

  5. Click the pencil next to the award.

  6. Configure settings under the General and Letter tabs:

    • General Tab

      • Active: Makes the award active to be used.

      • Add Term: Financial Awards are added by term and amount; use the Add Term button to add one or more terms with associated amounts. You will see a total populate at the bottom.

    • Letter Tab

      • This setting carries over from configuring the Financial Award item in settings, but you can adjust it here if needed.

  7. When you are finished, click Update.


Here is a preview of what the student's Microsite would look like when you activate both an acceptance letter and financial award:


Tokens

Enhance the personalization of your letters by adding tokens. There are two types of tokens: Global and Custom. Custom Tokens in Decisions are unique—they don't pull data directly from student records. Instead, create token placeholders in Decision Settings first. Then, values will be assigned to these tokens at the application decision level for tailored letter personalization.

Custom data field tokens cannot be used in package letters.

Below, we’ll guide you step-by-step through this process:

How To: Add Tokens to Letters

Tokens are inserted using the content editor; manually typing tokens in Decision Letters is not supported. Here's how:

  1. Follow the same process for Creating a Letter outlined earlier in this article.

  2. Click anywhere in the letter to launch the formatting toolbar.

  3. Click the token icon.

  4. The token modal will open, allowing you to select a token. It has two tabs: Global and Custom.

    • Global tokens are the system data fields we support adding to your letter. We do not support adding other system tokens not listed here (including your custom data field tokens).

    • Custom tokens are the token placeholders added in Decision Settings and then assigned a value at the decision level. Those two processes are outlined in the forthcoming section.

  5. When you have selected a token to insert, click Done.

  6. Tokens will look like this in your letter:

How To: Create a Custom Token Placeholder

  1. Navigate to Applications > Decisions > Decision Settings.

  2. Click on the Package tab.

  3. Click Tokens on the left-hand panel.

  4. Click on the circle plus sign button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

  5. Give your token a name. The slug will automatically generate based on your name, but you can adjust it if needed.

  6. Click Add.

How to: Assign a Custom Token Value

  1. Navigate to Applications > Decisions > All Decisions.

  2. Locate and open the Decision where you want to personalize a letter with a token.

  3. Click on the Package tab.

  4. Click Personalized Letters on the left-hand panel.

  5. Locate the token you wish to add a value and click the pencil icon.

  6. In the Personal Note window, add your value, or in other words, what you want displayed when the token is used in the letter.

  7. Click Done.

How to: Preview Tokens in Letters

The best way to preview how your letter looks with token values added, is to preview a letter on a specific decision.

  1. Open a decision from an application that uses the letter you want to preview. Ensure the decision's status matches the configured status for the letter.

  2. Navigate to the Package Tab.

  3. Select Letters from the left-hand menu.

  4. Click the eye icon next to the desired letter to view the preview. The tokens will automatically fill with the relevant data for that student and decision.

What happens if there is no data for the token to pull?
Let's say you have a token for a middle name, [user:middle_name], but the student didn't enter a middle name. The space will be empty because there is no data to use. Therefore, we advise that you mindfully include tokens that have data.


Alternative to Package Acceptance Letters

Exploring alternative methods for sending acceptance letters? If you're not yet using Microsites, or if yours is still under development, we recommend setting up a Campaign and Workflow. Here’s how:

  1. Create Your Campaign: Design your acceptance letter as an ongoing Campaign.

  2. Set Up a Workflow: Use the trigger 'Decision Stage Changed = Release' to initiate the sending of the Campaign. The action should be 'Send Communications.'

Did this answer your question?