Applicant data is collected through questions presented to either the applicant, an administrator, or by the imported data.  The answers to these questions can then be used to qualify applicants for opportunities, or be displayed to reviewers during the review process.  No matter what you use the answers for, when configuring these questions you must choose a question type to use.  This article will cover all of the different question types available in the system, and it will offer examples of each in order to help you decide which type to use.


Question Types 

Short Answer 

Short Answer questions provide a text box for applicants to type in an answer of their own, as opposed to providing them with specific selections.  While Short Answer questions allow a wide range of answer possibilities, they are not suggested to collect data that will be used as a qualification.  This is due to the large chance that your qualification will not exactly match the applicant's answer, causing the applicant to not meet that particular qualification.  For example, Austin is not the same as austin, Austin TX, or ATX.

Sample of a Short Answer question type

You are also able to set a maximum word count on a Short Answer question in order to limit the size of their answer.  Our recommendation is that you use Short  Answer when collecting an answer with no more than one or two sentences.  Anything in excess of that would be best suited as an Essay question.

Number - No Decimals

Number - No Decimals will allow the answer to be in number form without including decimals.  This question type might be used for EFC or Credit Hours that may not have decimals.

Sample of Number No Decimal question type

Number - With Decimals

Number - With Decimals will allow a number answer to contain decimals, and will populate with .0 if a decimal is not included in the answer.  No other symbols are permitted aside from the decimal point.  This question type is for use when asking about GPA or monetary amounts.

Sample of Number With Decimals question type


The Date question type will require that the answer to be in the format defined at your system level.  For example, the default format for English - United States is mm/dd/yyyy.  Date question types might be used for birth dates or graduation dates.  A drop down calendar will also be provided for convenience.

Sample of Date question type

Phone Number

The Phone Number question type allows an answer to be contained in the 10-digit United States phone number format.  This question type does not allow for international codes, which can be asked with a Short Answer question when you expect to get several international numbers.  The Phone Number question type is not be available on systems with international settings; international clients can collect phone numbers with the Short Answer question.

Sample of Phone Number question type


The URL question type allows applicants to submit a URL, or website address, to a site that contains information that may be viewed in the application or review process.  Although the content contained on the website that is given for this question type cannot be used as a qualification itself, the fact that an answer is present, or that the URL matches certain parameters, can be used for qualifications.

Sample of URL question type


Like Short Answer question types, Essay question types allow an applicant to answer in their own words. Essay questions are usually reserved for lengthy answers to a question that has been posed.  Also, as with Short Answer questions, a maximum word count can be set on an Essay question in order to prevent extremely lengthy answers.  Limited formatting is available for an Essay answer, and formatting tools are available while completing the essay question.  A "Words Used" count is also available to help the applicant stay within the parameters that have been set.

Sample of Essay question type

Social Security Number

The Social Security Number question type allows an answer to be contained in the United States 9-digit format.

Sample of SSN question type



The UID question type ensures that UIDs are correctly imported into the system.  This functionality was introduced in March 2018.  If your system was set up before this time with the UID as a different question type (typically Number-No Decimals or Short Answer), but your system is not experiencing any problems, you do not need to make any changes to your existing question.


Available to our Advance and Engage clients only, the Calculated question type allows users to add, subtract, multiply, and divide numerical values between two or more numerical fields using simple formulas. For example, you can calculate a student’s expenses, various sources of income, and total need.  Please contact Customer Support to build these questions so that they can be placed on the General Application (as either an Applicant question or Administrator question).

Sample of a Calculated question


Reference Request  

Reference requests are used to ask an individual to provide a confidential reference for an applicant. Once the applicant answers the question with a name and email address, an email will be sent to the reference inviting them to complete a reference questionnaire.  

Name and Email Address - Selecting this question type will set up a confidential reference request by requiring the applicant to enter a name and email address of an individual they would like to use as a reference.  This individual does not have to be a current user in your system, as the reference request will create an account for the reference and provide them with instructions to log in to the system in order to submit the reference.

Sample Name and Email Address question

Choose One

Choose One question types provide applicants with answers from which they may choose.  The presentation of the answers depends on the specific "choose one" question type designated:

Radio Buttons - All possible answers are listed for applicants, and they are able to choose only one of the answers.

Sample of Radio Button question

Single-Select List - All possible answers are provided to the applicant in a drop down list, and they are able to choose only one of the available answers.

Sample of Single-Select question

Drop down provided:

Sample of Single-Select drop down menu

Choose Multiple

Choose Multiple question types provide applicants with answers from which they may choose as many as they like.  The presentation of the answers depends on the specific "choose multiple" question type designated:

Checkboxes - All possible answers are displayed to the applicant and they are able to "check the box" next to as many choices as necessary.  We recommend using checkboxes on applicant questions to meet accessibility standards.

Sample of Checkboxes question type

Multi-Select List - All possible answers are displayed in a list.  Applicants can select one by clicking on it, or select several answers by holding the control or command key while clicking on all the desired responses.

Sample of Multi-Select question type



Occasionally, an applicant will need to upload a file to their application for administrators or reviewers to have a full picture of the applicant.  These uploads could be reference letters, essays, or pictures, for example.  Upload question types can be one of the following:

File Upload - When an applicant needs to provide a file in response to a question, the File Upload question type should be used.  Applicants will be able to choose a file from their computer and upload it directly to their application.

Sample of File Upload question type

The system currently accepts ANY file type up to 10 MB in size. (The average upload speed for the US is 384 Kb/s, which would result in a 10MB file taking 3.5 min to upload.) If a file is over 10 MB in size, it will be rejected. 


Image Upload - An applicant photo, or other image, may also be required of your applicants, especially if you like to pass photos on to donor contacts.  With the Image Upload question type, applicants are able to upload specific images.

Sample of Image Upload question type

The system currently accepts only square images and they must be in either .png or .jpg format.