FAQs - Admins

Which browsers are compatible with DecisionDesk?

We currently support versions of Google Chrome 13+, Mozilla Firefox 3.6+, Apple Safari 6+, Internet Explorer 10+, and Microsoft Edge.  Most browsers should update themselves, but always check to make sure you’re up to date! 

Can applications be re-opened so the applicant can make edits?

Yes! Applications can be re-opened for editing by those with admin access at your institution. To do this:

  • Open the applicant's profile,
  • Click the Actions tab near the top and select "Unsubmit" 
  • The will now be able to be edited by the applicant
  • This function can also be used to move an application to a state of "in-progress", which means that reviewers will not be able to review the application

Can I delete applications?

Only the staff at DecisionDesk can delete applications. Keep in mind, "in-progress" applications will not be able to be viewed by those with "reviewer" accounts. Also, it is expected that admins will have some "test" applications in the system so they can refer to the application whenever needed. It is not necessary for these to be deleted. 

Can I access DecisionDesk on my mobile device or tablet?

DecisionDesk is fully optimized for use on a desktop or laptop computer. This site will indeed function on a tablet or mobile phone device. However, as your device's screens size shrinks, it will be more difficult for the display to contain all of the information on the page in a way that is easy to read. We recommend using a laptop or desktop first and foremost, but many of our users do use tablet devices with success as well. Just remember to make sure that your device's operating system is up to date.

Can I transfer an application from one desk to another?

Since every Desk tends to be it's own unique "snowflake", this is not a feature that is available due to the potential mismatch of data. 

You can submit an application on behalf of an applicant, so you can re-enter their application manually to the place it needs to be. 

To do this;

  1. Click the "pen and paper" icon in the upper left
  2. On the next screen enter the user's full name or email address (recommended) and click enter
  3. When their account is returned in the search, select "begin Application"
  4. You can now proceed through the application and enter the information on their behalf*

*If uploaded files are a part of the application, you can download those from the existing application by clicking the downward facing arrow to the right of the file name. You can then re-upload those files in the new application.

Why does it say "Error" next to the applicant's video file?

This usually means one of two things:

  • The file is either a cache or shortcut file of the media, which contains no video or audio data whatsoever.
  • There was an issue with the conversion process. This is common with very large files.

Our support desk receives daily email notifications when applications are submitted with a file that produces an error message. This message is also visible to the applicant on the final review page of their application, along with instruction to contact support.

  • If the file is a shortcut file with no data, we will re-open the application (unless we have received instruction from the institution not to do this), and then reach out to the applicant to let them know there is an issue. The message will have a detailed explanation of what the issue is. We will also copy the main administrator, or point of contact at the institution when sending this message.
  • If the conversion has failed, our support team will convert the file manually to resolve the issue.

Should you happen to come across an application with file errors, please don't hesitate to reach out to our support desk and let us know.

Note: In most cases, when an application has media files that have produced errors, this will render the application's status as "incomplete" even though the application is submitted. This means that it will no appear to those with reviewer accounts.

Why does it say "In Conversion" next to the applicant's file?

This message means that the file is in the process of being converted by our software. All video and audio files will go through this process to ensure that they play correctly. This usually only takes a matter of minutes, but during busy application season the conversion time can be longer. You will need to refresh your webpage in order to see if the conversion status has changed. If a file's status remains "in-conversion" for an extended period of time, please reach out to our support department at support@decisiondesk.com

How do I download media files such as audio and video from an application?

To obtain the media files attached to applications you will need to download them individually from each application:

1. Open the applicant profile
2. Click the downward facing arrow to the right of the file name to start the download automatically
3. To save the file with a name as opposed to the ID that will appear in the automatic download, right click the downward facing arrow and then you will have the opportunity to name the file to make it easier to organize.

How do I request a pdf versions of an applicant record containing all documents that have been uploaded as or converted to pdf?

  1. Open the applicant profile
  2. Click the button in the upper right that says "export to pdf"
  3. A pdf containing the application data and pdf documents will be emailed to the account that you are logged in with.

Why can't I log in?

If you are having trouble remembering your password, or are receiving the message that your password or email address is incorrect. You should reset your password.

  • Click the Forgot Password link on the login page.
  • Enter the email associated with your DecisionDesk account and then click "Send Password Reset"
  • Within a couple of minutes you'll then receive an email containing the Password Reset Link.
  • Click the link in the email to reset your password.
  • Enter the password identically both times, making sure that it is at least 12 characters long.

Remember that passwords are case-sensitive. After you reset your password, you will need to login with your email address and new password. 

Can applicants see letters of recommendation?

Absolutely not, applicants will not be able to see any letters of recommendation that have been submitted within the online form. This is only viewable by reviewers and admins. Applicants will only be able to see if the recommendation has been submitted or not when they go back in to review their submitted applications.

Can I resend the Letter of Recommendation Request Emails on behalf of an applicant?

Yes, administrators can resend the Letter of Recommendation Request.

  • Open the applicant's profile page
  • Locate the recommender's email address
  • Click the "re-send" button below the email address

How do I waive the fee for an applicant?

You can waive a partial or complete application fee using a "one-time" use promo code. Just think of it like a gift card!

  • Open the applicant overview page
  • Click the "generate promo" button in the lower left
  • Enter the dollar amount you would like the code to cover and click "Generate Promo"
  • Copy this code to your clipboard

There are 2 ways to use this code:

  1. Provide the code to the applicant so that they can use it when they arrive on the payment page.
  2. If they already have an application started, you can open the application, and click the "actions" tab to select "apply payment". After being redirected to the payment page, enter the promo code on behalf of the applicant. 

Can I set a deadline for the application?

A deadline that will prevent applications from being submitted can be set on the Desk Settings page, accessed by the "gear" icon on the left side of the page. 

  • Click the "Gear" icon
  • Locate the Desk Deadline field on the left side of the page
  • Enter the date that you want the application to close
  • Also, make sure that the Timezone is set correctly for your desk in the field above the deadline

 Note: The application will close at 12:00 AM on the date you enter. So, if you want to close the application on Friday night, 12/2 for example, you would want to enter Saturday's date of 12/3.

Click here for more details

What applications can reviewers see?

Reviewers can only see "submitted" applications that they are assigned to review. They cannot see any "in-progress" applications. 

Can I see information on when an application was started and when the application was edited by the applicant?


  • For submitted applications, open the profile and click the "date submitted" in the upper left to be taken to the application history panel.
  • If the application is "in-progress" which means there will be no date to click on, just add  “/history” to the end of the url in your browser’s search bar and refresh the page. This will take you to the same application history panel.

Can I sort the applicant list by columns?

Yes, of course! Sorting will work a little bit different based on whether you are viewing the applicant overview on the "Desk" level vs the "Institution" level. Click here to see our article that will explain the how the Desk and Institution concepts work together. 

On the "Desk" level by default you can sort the applicant overview page by;

  • Name
  • Date Submitted
  • Review Rating* - this applies to desks that are using not using "Advanced Review"

*Review Rating refers to a dropdown field in the review panel that uses a series of numbers to choose from, usually titled "Rating". When reviewers submit their review with this information, this data will be aggregated with other reviews that have this data, and then produce the number you see in the the rating column and can sort by. This does need to be configured by your Account Manager or Implementation

At the "Desk" level, you can also select fields from the application to use in custom user "Views" to be available for sorting. These fields need to be selected first on the Desk Settings page to be available as sortable fields/columns in for a custom view. Click here for more details on using custom Views.

At the "Institution" level, the overview can be filtered by the following default fields by clicking the column header;

  • Name
  • Program
  • Email
  • Status
  • Date Started
  • Date submitted

In addition, by default, this list can be filtered by clicking the "Filters" option in the upper left above the applicant list. This will present the options to sort by program, applicant status, and application "start" and "submitted" dates.

Can I manually assign reviewers to applications?

Yes, to do this you will need a little help from us to get started. Please reach out to support@decisiondesk.com, or click the "Help" tab to send us a message to let us know that you would like to configure manual review assignment functionality. Provide us with a list of your reviewer's names if possible. We will create a "review assignment" field containing the reviewer's names that is accessible to administrators. Once this is done there are 2 steps to make a manual reviewer assignment:

  1. Make sure the reviewer(s) have their name from the "review assignment" field as one of their review assignments
  2. Open the applicant's profile, select the reviewer's name from the "review assignment" field in the admin panel, and click "Save".*

*This can also be done in bulk by using the bulk actions function in a view.

Will reviewers see other reviews?

Reviewers will only be able to see other reviewer’s review entries if Reviewer Sharing is enabled within the Desk Settings. Otherwise, reviewers will only be able to see their own reviews.  

Will the applicant see files that I upload?

An applicant will only be able to see files uploaded using the Admin Uploader in the right side panel of the application (Admin drawer/tab). Any files using the Administrative Upload feature that is located in the middle of the application will be seen only by reviewers and admins. 

Why don't the numbers match for reviewers in blind review?

The review queue in blind reviewing is relative to that reviewer, so Applicant 1, Applicant 2, etc is just numbering the applicants in that particular reviewer’s list in order, not designating a specific number to that applicant.  

How big should my "branded" application banner be?

To look best on just about any screen size, your custom application banner should be 2200 x 150px. Be sure that they're in .jpg or .png format.



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