UofSC joins coalition to improve admission process
By Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of South Carolina is among a diverse coalition of public and private colleges and universities coming together with the goal of improving the college admission application process for all students. The coalition is developing a free platform of online tools to streamline the experience of planning for and applying to college.
The initial iteration of the planning tools will be available in January 2016 to freshmen, sophomores and juniors in high school. The online application will be available in summer 2016 for students applying for fall 2017 admission.
In creating this platform, these colleges and universities hope to recast the college admission process from something that is transactional and limited in time into a more engaged, ongoing and educationally reaffirming experience. They also hope to motivate a stronger college-going mindset among students of all backgrounds, especially those from low-income families or underrepresented groups who have historically had less access to leading colleges and universities.
“We are pleased that the University of South Carolina has been invited to join the coalition schools. We are proud to join this group of exceptional institutions which are committed to helping make the application process easier for students,” said Scott Verzyl, UofSC associate vice president for enrollment management.
The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success currently includes more than 80 public and private universities and colleges across the United States that have made a commitment to make college accessible for students from diverse backgrounds, and for students to be successful in completing their education. The coalition, which continues to add members, will be working over the next few months to develop tools and processes that are intended to address many of the barriers that prevent students from attending college or successfully earning a degree.
These tools do not impact students who are now high school seniors and applying for admission in fall 2016.
“Our hope is that these tools will make it easier for students to apply to college and will enable the university to reach a broader and larger group of students, including those who are the first in their family to attend college,” Verzyl said. “By joining with other colleges and universities around the country and developing an alternative application process, we believe we can have a bigger impact on student access and student success.”
Later this year, the coalition will share details about new college planning and application tools that will streamline the admission and financial aid processes and allow students to begin planning for college much earlier in their high school years. The online tools—which will include a digital portfolio, a collaboration platform and an application portal—seek to reshape the process of applying to college as the culmination of students’ development over the course of their high school careers, reducing the unfamiliarity of the application and leveling the playing field for all students. The application will add another option to all the ways that students currently apply for college.
Research has found that students from disadvantaged backgrounds often do not participate effectively in the college application process, struggle with applying for financial aid, and often do not get awarded all the financial aid they qualify for. As a result, even the most highly qualified students do not attend college, attend a college that does not engage their full potential, or do not complete their degrees. Attending a high school with a college-going culture greatly increases students’ college success.
The coalition hopes to address these findings through its free online tools and increased transparency around admissions and financial aid.
Members of the coalition include a diverse group of public universities that have affordable tuition along with need-based financial aid for in-state residents, and private colleges and universities that provide sufficient financial aid to meet the full, demonstrated financial need of every domestic student they admit. Coalition schools graduate at least 70 percent of their students within six years, with many having much higher graduation rates.
The coalition’s online portfolio of college planning tools will be open to high school students starting in January 2016, but the tools do not apply to current high school seniors applying for admission for fall 2016. Additional details about the application process enabled by the platform will be announced before summer of 2016. More information can be found at coalitionforcollegeaccess.org.
Coalition Member Institutions
Bryn Mawr College
California Institute of Technology
College of Holy Cross
College of William & Mary
Franklin and Marshall College
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Illinois State University
Indiana University - Bloomington
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University
Miami University - Ohio
Michigan State University
Mount Holyoke College
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Ohio State University
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
St Olaf College
State University of New York - College at Geneseo
State University of New York - University at Buffalo
Texas A&M University
University of Chicago
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Maryland - College Park
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
University of Missouri
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of South Carolina
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Washington University in St. Louis
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