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|Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.|
Monday, October 26, 2015
Making College Admissions More Accessible
One of the aims of the Obama Administration has been opening up access to third-level education to students from a wider variety of social, economic, and racial backgrounds. The prohibitive costs of college, coupled with the labyrinth of obstacles students must traverse in order to gain admission has historically made college admissions a ticket available largely to the wealthiest American demographic.
Part of the administration's goal was to make it easier for students to ascertain a return on investment from their college education. The theory was that, if students were to sink into enormous debt in order to obtain a degree, they should at least know whether they'd be able to ever feasibly pay it off.
While weighing the value of an education is crucial, it is only a piece of the puzzle. Certainly, access to transparency of costs at the front-end is crucial. But so too, is a logistical introduction into the application process itself. Where do I apply? How do I apply? How early do I start preparing to apply?
To assist students with this component, a growing group of national colleges are banding together. Under the auspices of Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success (http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/members.html), more than 80 schools have pledged to offer need-based financial aid packages and affordable tuition to in-state students. It is more nuanced than that. These schools are also working to ensure that these students actually graduate (within six years).
The first iteration of the application tools are set to be rolled out in early 2016. They will include free, user-friendly, on-line access to college information and applications for young high school students. The overall goal is theoretical at this stage, but designed to transform the college application process from one that is purely transactional to one that is less intimidating. This is especially crucial to students lacking the socioeconomic reinforcements that traditionally buoy successful college entrants.
The evolution of the college admissions process may be slow, but the gradual commitment to greater inclusion is promising. To everyone involved.
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