Who Needs Infosnap?

I recently received an email from Pingry School, asking whether Infosnap was worth the expense when they had already written their own online admission application. Infosnap was offering some additional features that they did not have, such as the ability for an applicant to save an application and return to it later. I grinned, both because I have received a number of Infosnap sales calls and because I was glad to hear of another school with programming expertise and the desire to write this stuff themselves.

Infosnap home page
A school administrator gives up and calls Infosnap.

Infosnap offers web-based forms for online admission applications and a host of similar functions. We have written our own script to do this.

The title of this post is deliberately sarcastic. Some schools undoubtedly do need Infosnap — we are lucky enough to have the resources to write their sorts of scripts ourselves. I guess I am just tired of the “feeding frenzy” atmosphere I observe in convention halls, where Infosnap and dozens of their competitors hunt for publlic and private school funds. The administrators at these schools typically have no idea whether the company’s services are a good value or not — typically I feel they are overpriced. If a teacher-turned-tech-director can write this stuff among his other responsibilities, then a company should not be charging thousands of dollars and ongoing maintenance fees for the service. Where is the middle ground of low-cost, open-source developers who put schools’ interests first?

I will probably get a comment from an Infosnap employee for this one. Your hard-earned tuition dollars at work!

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