Auto-Generated Checklist Items & System Materials
  • 13 Mar 2024
  • 5 minute read
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Auto-Generated Checklist Items & System Materials

  • Dark
  • PDF

Article Summary

Slate instances come pre-loaded with certain specific system materials and checklist items already present. These system items are designed to auto-populate specific items onto applicant checklists based on specific actions the applicant takes.

These system items include: test scores, recommendations, transcripts, and school reports.


DO NOT modify the key of any existing system materials that have a key that begins with 'sys:'. Additionally, creating new materials that begin with this 'sys:' key part will not function in the same ways that the pre-loaded system materials function.

Test Scores (Score Reports)

By default, when a test is added to the tests section from the Slate Template Library in the Database, the 'Add to Checklist' setting is set to 'No.'

When changed to 'Yes' a test score report checklist item is automatically generated for each self-reported test score. This process works for partners that require a one-to-one relationship between the score being collected and the checklist item that will be displayed on the status page.


Once a test score has been verified administratively, it automatically fulfills the auto generated checklist item.

  What if a test score process calls for a more generalized approach?

It is also possible to generalize the way test score requirements are added to a checklist. This can be useful when multiple tests are accepted, but only one is required.

If only one test is required, and the test score that is provided does not matter, then creating a checklist item similar to the one below is a good strategy:


By default, recommender-specific checklist items are generated on applicant records when recommendation data is collected on a Slate application.


In this example, Dumbledore (who works at Hogwarts) and Dewey Finn (who works at the School of Rock) were listed as recommenders by an applicant on their Slate application.

These auto-generated checklist items allow partners to collect recommender-specific feedback on applicants, as well as corresponding materials (if applicable), via a recommendation page within the Slate application. The information collected uses reference-scoped fields and materials and is a function specific only to Slate-hosted applications.


It is not possible to import to reference-scoped fields and prompts.

For imported applications - recommendation PDFs brought in via import should be associated with custom materials which will fulfill custom checklist items. It is important to note that PDF's function similar to images in Slate, and any data they contain will live exclusively on the file and cannot be queried on.

  What if a recommendation process calls for a more generalized approach?

It is again possible to generalize the way a recommendation is added to the checklist for Slate applicants. If recommendations are primarily uploaded/provided by the applicant (and it's not necessary for an applicant's recommenders to be sent a specific recommendation form which they fill out), then creating generic recommendation checklist items such as those below may be recommended:

Slate Standard Transcripts

Slate's inherent functionality is to auto-generate school-specific transcript checklist items for every school with a level of study listed on a person's record. Additionally, school data collected via the Slate application will always include level of study, as it is a required field on the academic history page. These auto-generated school-specific transcript checklist items will display in the following format on a person's application tab: Transcript (School Name).

For applicants, there are two ways to fulfill these auto-generated school-specific checklist items:

  • Uploading them directly within an application while supplying school information. (See "Tech Specs 1" note below).

  • Uploading a transcript via an applicant status page. (See "Tech Specs 2" note below).


There are important settings to keep in mind!

Tech Specs 1: In order to allow applicants to be able to upload their transcripts within the application itself, follow these steps.

  1. Select Database on the top navigation bar and select Application Editor.

  2. Select the "aca" Part ID of the application.

  3. Select General Settings.

  4. In the dialog box, change the "Upload Transcript" setting to 'Enabled.'

Once enabled an applicant will see the following text as well as a material uploader appear on the Add Institution modal window on a standard Academic History page on their Slate application:

NOTE: Uploading school-specific transcripts directly within an application is a function only available on the Slate standard "Academic History" ('aca' Part ID) page. This functionality does not exist yet on "school widget" scoped forms.

Tech Specs 2: Slate's standard auto-generated school-specific checklist items primarily relate to a few items in Slate, most notably:

  •  [Material] Transcript (Copy) - key 'sys:transcript'

  • [Material] Transcript (Official) - key 'sys:transcript_official'

For the material of "Transcript (Copy)" it's best to mark the Access setting for this particular material to "Available for upload through student self-service website." This will allow applicants to upload to this material via the applicant status page.

It's also recommended to set the Access setting for the "Transcript (Official)" Material to "Admin only" as official transcripts should be verified administratively.

Once a material is set to "Available for upload through the student self-service website" (and the "Upload Transcript" setting is set to "Enabled" within the 'aca' part in the Application Editor) an applicant will select the appropriate material they are uploading in the material uploader drop down:

In this example, the school-scoped Material of "Transcript (Copy)" is already specific to the school (Slate University) which an applicant has added to his/her application. These system transcript materials will display in the material uploader drop down in the following fashion: "Transcript: SCHOOL NAME HERE"

When importing school data - unlike on the Slate application - collecting level of study data is optional. If data is imported into a level of study on the school record, the applicant will get a school-scoped transcript checklist item, regardless of how the application was collected (Slate, CommonApp, Coalition, etc.) if your checklist process relies on Slate auto-generating school-scoped transcript checklist items.

School-specific transcript checklist items can also be assigned using the Rules Editor. For more information on this option, see  School-Scoped Checklists.

School Reports

School reports are a preexisting material in every Slate database with a key of 'sys:school_report_stream'. School report functionality is only available to applicants applying via a Slate-hosted application when the school report section of the Academic History page is enabled.

If the school report section of the Slate application is enabled, and an applicant has also provided at least one course, an applicant is given the ability to add one school report and official per school listed on their application. Each school report will then be added to the checklist automatically:

Example of school reports -- which display using the following structure: School Name (School Official Name) -- can be seen here (Note: in the example image below, three different schools and school officials have been provided):

Any materials collected via a school report form will be report-scoped in Slate and can only be added to the reader as ONE document. Individual sections of a school report cannot be split out.

To activate school reports in a Slate Application:

1. Click Database in the top navigation bar and select Application Editor.

2. Select the appropriate application base. (If only one application base exists, there will only be a one blue /apply/ link -- click this link.)

3. Click on the 'aca' Part ID of the menu.

4. Click School Report Settings.

5. Enter the following school report configurations in the popup window:

  • Enable School Report - Select Enabled.

  • Verify Courses - If the course widget is NOT enabled, select 'Disabled'.

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