It’s an unfortunate fact that many students who should go to college can’t--or think they can’t. That’s why more than ninety colleges and universities across the country have come together to form the Coalition for Affordability, Access, and Success. These schools (including all eight of the Ivy League) are committed to providing students with all the tools they need to apply to college as well as an affordable education once accepted.
To be admitted to the Coalition, a public school must promise to offer low cost in-state tuition for residents of its state, and private schools must meet the full demonstrated need of domestic students. In addition, every Coalition school must maintain graduation rates of at least 70%. Coalition schools don’t just want to students to attend college; they want students to succeed.
To help students navigate the application process, the Coalition is developing a new application platform that, according to the Coalition website, will “streamline the admissions and financial aid processes and allow students to begin planning for college much earlier in their high school years.” Among the Coalition’s tools are a collaboration platform that will allow students to share materials with guidance counselors and mentors, an application portal, and the “Locker.”
The Locker will allow students to collect and organize materials throughout their high school careers. Only the student has access to the Locker, but students can choose to share documents with teachers and counselors. The Coalition website likens it to DropBox or Google Drive, “but customized for students.” Students can save essays, artwork, projects, or anything else they feel represents their best work. They can also save personal notes on college options, drafts of admission essays, or videos.
When the time comes to apply to college, students can pull material for their applications right from their Lockers and attach it to the Coalition application, which features “a modern, intuitive interface that adapts to a student’s life, whether engaging through a computer, tablet, or even mobile device.” The Locker and Coalition application are scheduled to be released in April and summer of 2016, respectively.
Although it’s not ready quite yet, the Coalition platform will allow students and counselors to contact Coalition schools’ admissions departments and allow admission counselors to provide feedback on a student’s progress. For instance, an admission counselor might offer advice on course selection or extracurricular activities early on in a student’s career, making sure he or she is on track for college admission.
The Coalition developed these tools in part to reach “under-resourced” schools and students, especially low-income and first generation college applicants. Although this is all very new and many schools don’t have concrete plans for utilizing these tools as of yet, all the Coalition members are committed to making college a real, affordable option for every student who is qualified to attend. For more information, explore the Coalition’s website at http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/.