With your Online Forms in SchoolAdmin, you have many different customization options. You can collect information from students and parents, you can add custom text with formatting, and you can even use headers to easily section out the information for families.

This article will detail the different types of form sections and options available to you while creating new forms or editing existing ones. To learn about field dependencies and filter options within your forms, click here.

How-To: Use Different Form Field Types

There are several different types of sections you can use in a form. Each of these will be explained below. Click here for more information on how to edit a form and add fields.

Click to jump to a specific form field type:

* Fields *

Fields are the basic building blocks of a form. They allow families to input data that is written through to the system. A field is composed of the following elements:

  • Internal Field Name: This is the name used on the back end of the system, also referred to as the canonical name. It cannot be changed at any point, even if the field display name changes. You can find the canonical name of any field on the 'Fields' page under 'Settings' -> 'Fields & Data'.

  • Prompt: Text that appears for that field, visible to the person filling out the form. For example, a field called business_name might have a prompt of “Place of Employment.”

  • Map-To: This is the type of contact the field will be written to such as child, parents, or siblings. In most cases, fields will be mapped to the child (student), but parent and sibling information fields (e.g. names, phone numbers, etc.) should be mapped to the PARENT1-4 and SIBLING0-9 entities, as appropriate.


  • Primary and Secondary Address Fields should only be mapped to 'HOUSEHOLD1' or 'HOUSEHOLD2' so that the households can be created correctly on the family contact records. Custom address fields can be mapped to other entities.

  • Signature Fields should always be unmapped. If you need to collect more than one signature on a form (e.g. parent/guardian signature and student signature), you will want to have multiple signature fields created.

  • No fields should be mapped to the 'RELATIVE' entities. To collect additional relative information outside of parents 1-4, you will want to have custom fields created.

  • SchoolAdmin Support can help you with any questions or concerns you have with regards to mapping fields!

There are also some additional checkbox options you can select for each field:

  • Required: When checked, makes the field required to fill out for anyone that it is visible to. The form will not be able to be submitted unless all required fields are filled out. Required fields are indicated by red asterisks when filling out the form.

  • Read-Only: When checked, makes the field unable to be edited. It will pull any data directly from the contact record for viewing only. This is used for displaying data, such as student name, that should be on the printable form, but should not be editable.

  • Hidden: When checked, hides the field on the form so that it is not visible to the family filling it out. This can be used to set internal dependencies on the form. For example, a hidden field that can only be set by the school can be set to waive dual signatures on a contract form. Hidden fields must also be read-only.

  • Show/Hide Field Based on Other Fields: When checked, gives you additional field dependency options to configure when the field will display or not display, based on other field selections. For example, you can have a set of questions that only appear when a student indicates that they are an international student.

  • Filter Option List: When checked, gives you additional filter options to configure which options will display, based on other field selections. This option is only available on fields that have a list of values from which to choose (e.g. a drop-down list or checkboxes).

Click here for an in-depth explanation of how to use Field Dependencies and Filter Options in your Online Forms.

After you have added a field to a form and saved the page, when you return to that page you will see the Display Name and Field Type displayed for it. These are read-only on the page and designed for you to easily see this information at a glance.

* Section Header & Subsection Header *

These two types of headers can be used on your forms to break out different sections of questions or content. The color of the text for these headers is defined by setting the dark accent color option within 'Settings' -> 'Portal' -> 'Parent Portal Design'.

Section Headers are the largest headers, typically used to break your page into its main sections (such as Student Information, Household Information, Academic Information, etc.).

Subsection Headers are slightly smaller headers, typically used to further separate out questions within a Section grouping. For example, you could have Primary Contact Information and Secondary Contact Information as subsection headers below your Household Information section header.

Here is an example of a Section Header (Household Information) and a Subsection Header (Primary Contact Information) on a form preview:

Section Header and Subsection Header on form preview.

* Comment *

Comment type fields can be used for displaying any type of explanation or additional text anywhere in the form. Comments do support HTML formatting (e.g. change font color and/or size, add hyperlinks), and Merge Fields / Tokens can also be used to pull in dynamic information. This is also where you can place the Google Translate token if you want it on your form.

* Likert Definition *

If you have any Likert Fields on your form, they must be directly preceded by a Likert Definition Field to define the rating scale. When adding a Likert Definition Field, you will simply type in the desired rating values, one per line.

Likert Fields are most commonly used on teacher recommendation forms and some document request forms.

* Appointment *

Appointment type fields can be used to link to any of your SchoolAdmin calendars for booking appointments. This field type creates a drop-down list of every available appointment on that calendar, allowing a family to select their desired date and time directly on the form. Please note: You cannot add Appointment fields to the Contract Form.

* Tuition & Fees *

The Tuition & Fees field is a special field that can only be used on the Contract Form. When added to the contract, this field will automatically list out the tuition, any scholarships and/or financial aid, additional (required) fees, and optional fees for the student, based on the applicable contract fees and contract fee rules for that term. It will also total all of these amounts together at the bottom of the section.

The 'Tuition & Fees Total' text at the bottom can be customized by clicking the More Options button on the Tuition & Fees field when editing the contract form. See the section below for more details.

* Payment Plans *

The Payment Plans field is a special field that can only be used on the Contract Form. When added to the contract, this field will automatically pull in the applicable payment plan options for the student, as configured on the payment plan setup page (within 'Settings' -> 'Financial').

Parents will be able to click to choose which payment plan they want to enroll in for the school year. When a payment plan option is clicked, they will see the plan details, schedule, and any associated fees for selecting it.

* Totals Summary *

The Totals Summary field is a special field that can only be used on the Contract Form. When added to the contract, this field will automatically sum up the tuition and fees total for the student, as well as list out any payment plan fees, the deposit due, and the total amount due now (i.e. deposit + any fees added to deposit). It will also list the total that will be due after that amount is paid.

Custom deposit, payment plan, and total text can be added by clicking the More Options button on the Totals Summary field when editing the contract form. See the section below for more details.

* File Upload Field *

File Upload Fields allow the person filling out the form to upload one or more files to flow into the student's contact record. File Upload Fields are commonly used on document request forms and teacher recommendation forms, but can also be used on custom admissions and enrollment forms. Since files have to be uploaded to an already completed contact, you cannot collect them on the application.

When adding a File Upload Field to an online form, you can also designate a specific checklist item to be marked complete upon the file upload. This is optional and will only work with File Upload type checklist items.

How-To: Use Special Section Options

Some section types have additional options available. If applicable, there will be a blue button for More Options at the bottom of the section, which can be clicked to expand the options.

Form edit mode with More Options button highlighted.

All available options are explained in detail below. Please note: If you added a new field to the page, you must first save and return to that page before you will see the additional options.

* Default Value *

For Single Select (drop-down), Boolean (yes/no), and Phone Fields, a default value can be set. This value will automatically be pre-filled and displayed on the form, unless the family chooses a different option from the list. Click here to learn about field types.

* Text Area *

For Text Fields, the text entry area on the form can be expanded by checking the 'Textarea?' box in the additional options. This will make the text entry area on the form into a larger box, instead of a single line text entry. However, it is highly recommended to use the TextArea Field type, rather than using a TextField with the Textarea checkbox selected.

* Hide Phone Types *

For Phone Fields, the phone type subfield (i.e. the drop-down menu where cell, work, or home is selected) can be hidden by checking the 'Hide phone type' box in the additional options. When checked, the phone field will only display space for the phone number.

You can use this in conjunction with the Default Value box in order to explicitly collect home, cell, or work phone numbers from parents, instead of primary or secondary phone numbers. Setting a default value ensures that the phone type is still coded on the back end of the system, even though a parent cannot select it.

* Columns *

For Booleanlist (multi-select) Fields, you can set how many columns the available selections will display in on the form by entering a number in the Columns box in the additional options. The maximum number of columns you can have is three.

* Name Options *

For Name Fields, you can hide certain parts of the name on the form by checking the appropriate boxes in the additional options. For example, if you do not want to collect name titles for students, you can check the 'Hide name title' option for the student name field.

* Address Field Options *

For Address Fields, you can hide certain parts of the address on the form by checking the appropriate boxes in the additional options.

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