Forms: Overview

Forms allow you to collect user data that will help you make decisions in your application process. Apply uses a simple form builder offering multiple question types such as multiple choice, text response, or dropdowns, as well as form logic to tailor the form to your applicant and summarize rankings.

The Form Builder is used to create and customize the forms within your site. For more information about navigating around the Form Builder, you can refer to the article: Form Builder - Overview.

Within a form you can:

Forms within your programs are completely customizable based on your needs. However, listed below are a few examples of common reasons why administrators will use forms within their site. These are strictly examples to get you started. Some of these examples may also be combined into one form depending on your process.

Form ExamplesDescriptions
Eligibility FormsAsk your applicants preliminary questions and use their responses to determine whether or not they are eligible to apply for your program(s).
Personal InformationAsk your applicants for basic information about themselves such as Contact Information, Mailing Address, Birthdate, etc.
TIP! Use Piping Variables if you require this information to be displayed or answered in your other forms in your program workflow. This will ensure that applicants don't have to respond to the same questions multiple times.
Applications FormsThese are usually the core of the application process. Ask your applicants all the questions you need to that are relevant to the Program they are applying for.
TIP! If you require your applicants to write an essay for the application, create a multiline Text Response question within a form to ensure that word or character limits are met.
Budget FormsIf your application requires your applicants to fill out a budget, create a form using Advanced Expression Piping to perform calculations within the site.
Form Examples=Descriptions
Recommendation FormsAsk your recommenders specific questions about the applicant they are referring.

TIP! Use a recommendation form as opposed to having your recommenders upload a letter to ensure that you are getting all the pertinent information you need to make an accurate decision. This will also allow you to report on the responses given by the recommenders.

Form ExamplesDescriptions
Accept/DeclineUsing the Simple Review stage, create a simple form to ask your reviews whether they wish for the applicant to be Accepted or Declined in the application process.
Scoring RubricUsing the Advanced Review Stage, create a form to ask your reviewers to score the application based on various criteria. These forms commonly include DropdownMultiple Choice, or Rating Scale questions with an internal scoring setup for the choices. For more information, you can also refer to How to Set Up an Advanced Review Form
Feedback FormsAsk your reviewers for comments and feedback that they wish to give the application using Text Response questions.

Within SurveyMonkey Apply, we use unique identifiers to store and match up data. Every task, form, question, and choice has a unique ID that allows us to match up that question and choice to the User and the Application that gave the response. Therefore, when an applicant completes the application form within your site, their responses are stored within that form. To break that down even further, each individual response they give is stored within the questions and choices within that form.

For example:

The Applicant Tom Jenkins enters the "Application Form" and he is asked the question "What is your favourite colour?"

This question gives him the options of:

  • Choice 1: Red
  • Choice 2: Blue
  • Choice 3: Green
  • Choice 4: Yellow
  • Choice 5: Purple

He then decides to select Blue as his favourite colour.

Tom Jenkins's response is then recorded as Choice 2 which has the label Blue. When pulling reports or piping this information into other areas of the site, we would be able to pipe this particular response to Choice 2 as it has been stored within the question.

This information is important to know to ensure that changes in your form do not impact your data. If you are deleting questions/choices or restructuring a form then this could delete or skew your responses. For example, if the second choice in the list gets changed to Pink. Then because Choice 2 now equals Pink, Tom's response will be displayed as Pink as well. Therefore the change would result in inaccurate information.

For more information in regards to this, we highly recommend referring to the article How to Safely Make Changes to a Live Form to ensure that you are not making changes that will negatively affect your data.