Between demographic information, parents’ information, letters of recommendation, transcripts, a personal essay, an activities list, supplemental essays, video profiles, interviews, and an optional additional information section, claiming that the college application process is complex is quite the understatement.
Navigating the process is achievable for those with time and resources, and many do succeed, but for those who are juggling multiple responsibilities in addition to school, the complexity of the process can simply be a barrier to access.
Last week, the Coalition for College Access, announced a partnership with Scoir and Technolutions with the aim of “of expanding college access and bolstering the post-collegiate success of lower-income, under-resourced, and first-generation students.”
The Coalition expects the new partnership to enable Scoir students “to seamlessly apply to all participating Coalition member institutions without needing to create a separate Coalition account or enter their information on a separate website” as soon as this summer.
The Coalition quotes Scoir’s founder and CEO in their announcement: “Through this partnership with the Coalition and Technolutions, we’ll be able to have a broader collective impact than we can on our own. We see tremendous potential to help more underserved students find and apply to affordable college options with a track record for supporting students to and through college.”
In Rethinking the Act of Applying to College, The Chronicle’s Eric Hoover reports that Scoir, which is free for all high schools eligible for Title 1 funding, is used by more than 2,000 high schools. Hoover explains that the system would not automate the process. He quotes Stacey Kostell, CEO of Coalition as saying that the “system would… reduce “portal fatigue” among applicants by reducing the number of websites they must log in to to assemble their application,” and explains that students may still need to submit additional application materials for individual schools.
Given the vast inequity of college admissions, any initiative that can ameliorate the process for all students comes as a welcome change. We caution students who take advantage of this easy-to-use system to do their due diligence, particularly if they are required to write the common “why this school?” supplemental essay as part of their college application. One of the most important qualities of a successful college application is demonstrated interest. A simpler application system should not lead to a lack of time and effort on the part of the interested student. If anything, the additional time it affords should be regarded as an opportunity to be all the more thorough when crafting supplemental essays and compiling other application materials.