Applying for college can be a stressful process. The amount of information and paperwork can seem endless. They can’t cut down on the amount of information needed, but a group of colleges and universities hope to streamline the application process, US News and World Report reported Friday.
The Coalition for College Access, Affordability and Success has over 90 member schools. Members must offer affordable tuition to admitted students. That’s the “affordability” part. They must have at least a 70 percent graduation rate within six years. That’s the “success” part. And they’ve created an online tool to make applications easier, especially for low-income students. That’s the “access” part.
The online tool helps students create a portfolio of work throughout high school. They can add papers, photos of artwork, projects, awards, and videos of performances. Teachers and parents can look over portfolios and give feedback. Many high schools don’t offer much in the way of college counseling. Parent and teacher feedback is a way to help students at such schools.
Some say freshman year is too early to think about college. Nonetheless, students’ virtual “lockers” are accessible in ninth grade. The Coalition hopes that this will get more students focused on college planning earlier.
“We want to signal to these students that there are a lot of schools where they are welcome,” the University of Chicago’s James Nondorf, president of the Coalition, said.
Portfolios connect to a Coalition application to further ease the process. But the Coalition application isn’t meant to replace the Common Application. Instead, it's an alternative. Its creators hope it will get students organized before application season starts. The application is available now. Over 50 colleges and universities have begun accepting it.
With college applications becoming more and more extensive, tools like this are invaluable.
Lead image credit: CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr Creative Commons.