Author Topic: Online Application for a summer program...  (Read 1203 times)

kermi3

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Online Application for a summer program...
« on: August 08, 2015, 09:09:26 AM »
Huh...It's strange to post in Programming...Interesting....

So I need some suggestions/help.  I work at an absolutely amazing 3 week summer program in New Orleans.  I could gush for a long time, but the gist of it is that we take kids who are not used to being successful during the school year for a variety of reasons (attention/impulsive, social skills, anxiety, home life, learning disabilities - whatever) and give them 3 weeks of acceptance/success/confidence boost while simultaneously teaching them and their families some basic vocabulary and strategies they can use to develop coping skills.  The staff is amazing, the kids are amazing, and I love it.  I had several moments of tears as camp ended yesterday...

We are a very old fashion camp.  Activities are done with markers and crayons, and my director is open but not tech savy - it's a 35 year old program and doesn't even have a website.  I've promised the rest of the staff that I will work on an online application for next year.  I'm trying to figure out how to do it as cheaply and efficiently as possible.  My original plan was to use google forms, but I'm not sure how easy that will be.  Here are the basic requirements...keeping in mind that I haven't programmed anything but stats in 15 years, anyone have any thoughts as to the best way to do a SIMPLE online application?

Here are all of the requirements as best as I can figure them out...

1. Secure - kid's disabilities go on here
2. A very simple opening page with a welcome message and places where users can click if they are a parent or a teacher.
3. Parents fill out form information - it includes fill in the blanks, short answers, drop down menu selections etc.
4. Parents upload a photo that goes with the application
5. Teacher form also include "rating scale" options
6. The information populates an excel form that I could mail merge into a more "document" format (easy part I think - it does not have to automatically match teacher and parent apps, I can do that by hand)
7. MAYBE accept deposit payment in some sort of way that doesn't cost us....otherwise they're still mailing us check's.

My current plan is to get a domain, then link it with a google apps for work account, and then request that it be made HIPAA compliant (i.e. secure).  Make the application basically a google form. That would put the data into a google doc which I could then export to excel and mail merge.  My biggest concern is uploading pictures and keeping them with the rest of the students' info.  I'm not sure how I'd do that in google forms. 

Anyone have any suggestions/advice/help if there's another approach I should be considering? We are a non-profit, but that status is kinda strange cause we're loosely affiliated with a school - but I think I could use that for cheap hosting somewhere if I need to go that route.
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kermi3

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Re: Online Application for a summer program...
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 12:12:10 AM »
Bump you assholes. :)

Sorry to make you work at home...could someone please just scan this and tell me if this sounds plausible.
govtcheez03:  i kind of look for it - i seek out stupidity and annoy it until it either gets better, gets banned, or goes away on its own

micah

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Re: Online Application for a summer program...
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 08:52:12 AM »
I think it sounds like a legit way hack together what works.  Just make sure the user's don't feel like the experience is being held together by duct tape and then don't trust using the site.

HIPAA is tough if you really need to meet that level of privacy/security.  Most shared hosting sites go out of their way to point out that they are not HIPAA compliant.  But I suppose if you're doing all your record collection and storage through docs you'd be ok; presuming you're using the paid $5/mo/user business version. 

For payments there's always paypal, but I'd seriously consider using Strip.com.  Both are gonna cost you $0.30 + 2.9% per transactions, so you'd have to roll that cost into the payment to make sure your organization doesn't lose money.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 10:50:46 AM by micah »

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ober

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Re: Online Application for a summer program...
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 10:31:46 AM »
Look into the payment gateway if you go that route.  There's a cutoff for whether strip or paypal is better financially.  I think Strip is good for smaller numbers of transactions but once you get above a certain level then Paypal makes more sense (you get charged less in the long run).  But that level is relatively high... I think it was like $10K/year or something.

kermi3

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Re: Online Application for a summer program...
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 08:57:17 AM »
Thanks guys, this is helpful.  I'm glad to know it sounds plausible.  I think I'm going to skip the online payments enough this year.  We're expensive enough as is....The thing I'm most worried about is the photos.  that's going to be a pain to port over!
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micah

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Re: Online Application for a summer program...
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 09:26:17 AM »
The thing I'm most worried about is the photos.  that's going to be a pain to port over!

maybe instead of google docs you might want to consider a different service, like Formstack.  We use them for several of our clients.  If you're going to have less than 2,000 form submissions it costs like $39/month (less if you pay annually) but it gives you a LOT of analytic data (like partial completes and un-submitted form rates) and allows for file/image attachments.  You can export all your data easily or manage it through their site.   It also has a lot of integration tools, like mailchimp and whatnot.

"I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man.  I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers."

kermi3

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Re: Online Application for a summer program...
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 12:19:19 PM »
Thanks micah - I really appreciate the thoughts, but that's a bit expensive for me.  I'm more in the less than $100 a year for ~150 forms max.  I think I'm just going to have parents email in photos.  It'll be a pain, but it'll be cheap!  Thank you!  I'll happily take more advice!
govtcheez03:  i kind of look for it - i seek out stupidity and annoy it until it either gets better, gets banned, or goes away on its own