Testing the Applicant Experience

Once you’ve set up the application, it’s a good idea to go through the process as an applicant to get a feel for what your Applicants will experience. It also gives you a chance to practice opening and closing the program, approving Pre-Apps, and opening applications for editing.

How to Submit a Test Application

Below are instructions for creating an applicant account and submitting a test application. Actions that you need to complete in your Administrator account begin with “ADMIN” while actions completed in the applicant account begin with “APPLICANT”.

ADMIN: Open the program.

Program Setup > Settings Tab > Availability Settings

Click into the Settings tab in Program Setup and scroll down to the Availability Settings.

  • Make sure the Availability Status is set to Open.
  • Change the Open to Apply Date to the current date.
  • Check to make sure that the Deadline date is sometime in the future.
Have you paid for your program?

Unpaid programs will not open. If there is a balance due on your program, you will not be able to test the applicant experience. We’re happy to open the program for you to test your application, however, so contact our support team and we can walk you through that process.

ADMIN: Get the link to the program.

Program Setup > Settings Tab > Publishing/Sharing Settings

Click on the Settings tab and copy and paste the Direct Link URL from the Direct Sharing Settings into a new window, preferably in a different browser. (Using separate browsers allows you to be logged into both accounts at the same time.) This will take you to the page where you can create an applicant account.

Applicant Access to Your Programs

To ensure that you have complete control over who can access your programs and when, we do not post programs anywhere on our homepage or allow applicants to create accounts there. Applicants can be directed to your program(s) however you’d like, and you can use the links or HTML code provided in the Settings tab to provide access in a notification email or post on your own website.

APPLICANT: Create an applicant account.

Use an email address that is different from the one that you use to log into your Administrator account to set up a dummy applicant account. Each email address can only be used once in the system, so you’ll need to have a separate one for your tests. You may even want to set up a generic testing email address that everyone in your organization can use now and in the future! It’d be a great way to keep your tests in one place.

If you use an active email address that you own, you can see receive confirmation emails sent to applicants to check if the text you added in the Settings tab is as you want it.

After you’ve created your account, you’ll be logged in automatically. If you already have an applicant account, just log in using the existing users login at the top of the page.

APPLICANT: Start the application.

Click the Apply button to create your application. It will be created and you will be taken directly to the first tab of the application. If applicable, give the application a goofy title – something to help you and other users recognize it is a test/fake application.

ADMIN: Close the program.

Program Setup > Settings Tab > Availability Settings

Go back to the Settings tab and close the program by setting the Open to Apply Date back to your official date. If you have already shared the link to your program on your website or in an email, changing this date will ensure that other applicants are not able to create applications before you are ready.

ADMIN: Open the application for editing.

Open the application for editing so that you can keep working on the application in your applicant account, even though the program is no longer open.

APPLICANT: Complete the application.

Click through the tabs and complete the content.

If there is a Pre-Application, fill out that portion and submit it first.

  • ADMIN: Approve the Pre-App – Change the Pre-App Status to ‘Approved’.
  • APPLICANT: Refresh the page to view the changed Pre-App status – Use the Refresh Page button in the upper right section of the page (instead of the browser refresh button) to view the changed decision, then complete the rest of the application.

APPLICANT: Submit the application.

Click the Submit button to submit the application. ZoomGrants will run a check for completion on the application.

Once you’ve set up the Review phase – created your Committee and Scoring criteria, etc. – you can test the Committee Experience.

Testing the Post-Decision Features

After you’ve made your decisions, you can also use this same submitted application to test the Post-Decision features such as the Contract, Reports, and Invoices. Just mark the application approved and ‘notified‘ on the administrative side, and then you can get into the applicant account to see what your applicants will see during the post-decision period.