Project Details

Student Housing Online Application

An enhanced and more integrated user experience for online applications at American Campus Communities properties. ACC had a great CX that the web needed to match. CURTIS Digital was charged with elevating the UI/UX of the student portal experience.
  • Payment integration & queuing to handle bursts of 50-90K online payments in a short period of time
  • Management of abandoned applications - maintaining the user data beyond the cart.
  • Internal API development for new payment context
  • Streamlined user experience with a more integrated and branded user interface - KISS principles applied to everyday UI.
  • A complex custom system for executing user Background checks based on properties’ unique business rules

Applying online doesn’t have to be so bad

American Campus Communities Inc. (ACC) is a big player in the growing trend of independently owned residences for university students. Previous to CURTIS Digital, the ACC system was an in-house solution targeted at direct integration and hosting from the core systems.

ACC needed to adapt this model to improve the overall UI/UX, user experience, and integrate its system with more 3rd parties. This included their other online systems too. The project with CURTIS Digital started with requirements gathering and reverse engineering the existing enterprise system. CURTIS Digital closely worked with the new 3rd party background API company to work out the details of data exchange. One of the goals was to create a compelling user experience (UX) that would help increase funnel conversions for the organization. To put it lightly end-user web conversions from site visits to property applications are of big importance. 

An aspect of the architecture that makes this a unique system is that it’s technically a 3rd party system. Yet, due to the tight use of integrated services, it features the same look and feel of the property site theme/template without compromising the security and comfort of a single system.Developing the systems at ACC in an API driven way would allow the systems we developed to scale without constantly increasing the size and complexity of individual subsystems.

Sure, applying for things online is probably never going to be a student’s idea of fun, but it can be less boring and more streamlined for everyone. Four days post launch, the system processed its first 1000 online applications.


The Technology We Used:

  • Microsoft .NET
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MVC
  • CSS3
  • jQuery
  • Responsive design
  • AWS - Amazon Web Services
    • EC2, EBS, s3, Cloudfront

About American Campus Communities

American Campus Communities (ACC) is the nation’s largest developer, owner and manager of high-quality student housing communities.

Whether we’re creating a new development, upgrading an acquired community, or partnering with a university to develop or manage on-campus housing, our goal is the same: deliver the best possible experience for students – at every price point.

And it’s not just about great living spaces and great amenities. It’s about giving students the resources and environment they need to succeed, both academically and personally.  

Throughout their collective careers, the ACC senior staff has been involved in the development, acquisition or management of more than 350 student housing communities consisting of more than 222,000 beds.

One of the great stakeholders we were able to work with was Jorge de Cárdenas and Jeff Barrett

Jorge and his team are revolutionizing the way technology is used in the student housing industry. Under his direction, ACC implemented the first “gigabit to the bed” Internet service in the country, providing our student residents the access they need to succeed in their college careers. At the same time, Jorge’s IT staff developed ACC’s proprietary enterprise-capable Leasing Administration and Marketing System (LAMS) – the first of its kind in the industry – while also sustaining the technology backbone that enables our multifaceted operation.

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