DreamApply Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation in Student Applications Management

The journey of DreamApply started a decade ago with a wish to help universities around the world to improve their admissions processes and reach recruitment targets through innovative IT solutions.  

As we had several years of experience with international student recruitment, we saw how much institutions were struggling to manage all the applications coming in. Sometimes the guidelines were not easy to follow and created a lot of confusion. In other situations, the process was very costly to send everything on paper. In addition, it could take ages for to receive feedback and it wasn’t rare that some dreams were lost because of that. So, we believed there was a lot we could do to help streamline the process for everyone. Of course, it all wasn’t as easy as we imagined at first… 

From the beginning DreamApply was created as a SaaS offer which was not that common back in those days. The goal was an easy-to-use online solution that would be quick to implement and always up to date for all our clients. Today, this is very common but during the first years quite a lot of institutions were wondering how they could get the software solution of DreamApply to their computers. And we needed to explain that there really isn’t a copy of the code available for them.  

Our very first client was Stockholm School of Economics in Riga followed by Estonian national application system for international students in 2011. It was a huge challenge and a lot of trust by Estonian universities which turned quickly into a success story. The applicant numbers skyrocketed, Estonia became an attractive study destination and DreamApply was able to help streamline and automate a big part of the applications management for universities. But despite the first success it continued to be a long uphill battle to convince many more institutions to become dreamers as well.

Yet, the drive for growth and innovation has continued to be in our DNA throughout the years. Today, among our customers there are big state-financed universities, summer schools, governmental agencies, business schools, international agents and many others. And although a big part of our clients is in Europe, we are excited to see that DreamApply is getting more and more popular in countries like Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Canada, with interest growing from every continent. 

What has also changed is of course the system itself. Over the years we have been adding new features and innovative tools like automated passport checks, payment gateways, pre-recorded interviews, integrations with many new service providers and much more. So, it’s not a surprise that today DreamApply is used to manage besides international applicants also scholarships, agents, local and TNE applications.

At the end of the day when looking back to this amazing and challenging journey of 10 years, over one million applicants and hundreds of universities served, then we believe it’s just the beginning. The whole DreamApply team is working hard every day to provide a hassle-free solution for thousands of institutions and millions of students while keeping up with constantly changing needs of the international education sectorThat’s especially true for the past 2 years that have shown how much such solutions like DreamApply are needed.   

We are looking forward to continuing to innovate and simplify the student admissions journey as we have been doing during the last 10 years!  

Sten Rinne 

Co-founder & CEO 

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