More schools join movement to make applying to college easier
More schools join movement to make applying to college easier High schools routinely host application events hoping to give all students a shot at college. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
More schools join movement to make applying to college easier
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More than 80 colleges are creating a website where students will be able to apply to dozens of them and get help along the way.
Some of the top names in higher education are joining the effort under a group called the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, whose goal is to make the application process easier, especially for minority and low-income students.
The website gives students one place to send their applications, but it also gives them tools to get started years in advance. On the site, students will be able to request advice from college admissions offices and they can create digital portfolios with the help of their teachers and counselors.
Members of the coalition include private universities such as Harvard and Stanford and public counterparts such as the University of Virginia and Ohio State University.
The colleges came together to fix a problem that researchers have noted for years: Complex admissions processes deter students from applying and those who come from low-income families can't afford the counselors and classes within reach of their wealthier peers.
High schools, for example, can already buy software to help counselors track their students through the application process, but many can't afford it.
"This is a free tool that will be open to counselors in those types of schools and even in community-based organizations," said Zina Evans, vice president for enrollment management at the University of Florida, a member of the coalition.
The website is one more in a series of attempts to improve application rates nationwide. More than 600 colleges now accept the standardized Common Application, and many offer waivers for application fees. High schools routinely host application events hoping to give all students a shot at college.
Last year, the White House called on schools to step up their efforts to get students into college and on track to degrees. The schools in the coalition have individually tried many different approaches to address the challenges, said Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale University.
"We have come to the conclusion that we can have a much bigger impact on student access and completion if we work together," Quinlan said.
Unlike the Common Application, which aims to create a uniform process among schools, the new website aims to help students dive deeper into many distinct applications. It will give them a place to store their checklists and essays and invite anyone to provide feedback and editing.
Each college will have its own portal where students can submit applications, but they'll all be accessible through the same site. The portfolio tool will let students add any extra information they want. Artists can include samples of their work and musicians can link to performance videos.
Colleges said they envision students using the website as early as their freshman year of high school. Some colleges will let students start applying through the website next summer.

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How does this website help lower-income students?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • benjaminc-day
    10/10/2015 - 10:34 a.m.

    This is a breakthrough in the college application process. At a time when the economy is bad, one of the biggest factors a family has to consider is costs for college and college loans. College loans make up much of the debt for young people in this country and many families send their kids to wherever the cheapest college is. This new application process will now allow students to expand their horizon and look at new colleges that weren't available to them in the past because of costs. This is coming at the perfect time because right now I have to think about applying to colleges and money and applications are a factor in most places. This is all in an effort to improve the application rate nationwide and help underprivileged kids show their skills to a variety of colleges.

  • beyoncef-pay
    10/14/2015 - 01:14 p.m.

    This is a fantastic idea especially for lower class people in society who thrive to get better. Universities and colleges are making way for student to receive a better future. The lowering of college funds will make way to a better future for the nation.

  • ethans-bag
    10/14/2015 - 05:45 p.m.

    Teachers all around the world could probably use this with their students, this application would probably be used for a planner if you wanted to get to get into a really good collage; it says in the article "it gives students tools to get started years in advance." so it is probably made for students to start using at a young age you would probably want to start at a young age if you wanted to get into a really good collage.

  • ethans-bag
    10/14/2015 - 05:55 p.m.

    Oh I must have had a limit of fifty characters.

  • ethans-bag
    10/14/2015 - 05:57 p.m.

    This app is probably used mostly by older students

  • nikolasm-day
    10/21/2015 - 09:53 a.m.

    Applying for college is a long and strenuous process. There is so much you have to do in such a short time to do it. As I go through it right now, I personally believe that it should be made easier. The process is so standardized that it’s hard to really know if the college you are going to is the one you are destined to go to because you can’t get a feel for it unless you have the grades and the acknowledgments to get into that school. It just needs to be easier and I am happy that people are starting to realize that. Hopefully in the future, the application process won’t be so hard and so stressful for kids.

  • ravend-bag
    10/21/2015 - 08:30 p.m.

    This helps lower income students because some families cannot afford to get materials that other people have. Not having this might effect their grade.

  • julianc-bag
    11/02/2015 - 06:12 p.m.

    This helps lower income Kids going to college get materials because they're not fortunate like us and this could possibly affect their grade.

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