Eighty colleges announced last Monday a plan to instate a new application process that has created a platform of tools, which aim to make the process of applying to college easier for all students. Union has joined this group of both public and private colleges in the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success.
Along with Union, all colleges and universities involved in this coalition are giving high school students free access to this platform.
According to Inside Higher Ed, the goal is to encourage high school freshmen to think on a deeper level “about what they are learning and accomplishing in high school, to create new ways for college admissions officers, community organizations and others to coach them, and to help them emerge in their senior years with a body of work that can be used to help identify appropriate colleges and apply to them.”
The hope is that this new program “will minimize some of the disadvantages faced by high school students without access to well-staffed guidance offices or private counselors,” according to Inside Higher Ed.
The portfolio will be available in January 2016 to freshmen, sophomores and juniors in high school, and the full application will be available this summer.
The online tools will include a digital portfolio, a collaboration platform and an application portal. The system will create a new process for students to apply to colleges.
Matt Malatesta, Vice President for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment, noted in a news release that Union has been “well served” by the Common Application “and has seen
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many great students apply and enroll” through it.
Yet, he emphasized that Union is excited to become a part of this new coalition, especially in regards to Union’s “long-standing commitment to meeting the full financial need of all students” admitted to the college.
According to the coalition, it will be open to public institutions with “affordable tuition along with need-based financial aid for in-state residents.”
There is not yet a clear definition on what is meant by “affordable.” Private colleges such as Union are permitted to join if they “provide sufficient financial aid to meet the full, demonstrated, financial need of every domestic student they admit.” Colleges that participate in “gapping,” in which some admitted students are not provided enough aid to attend said school, will not be allowed to join, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Gapping is a common tactic among private colleges that do not have substantial endowments.
Additionally, in order to participate, colleges must also have a six-year federal graduation rate of 70 percent, which will exclude many public institutions.
Many of the colleges participating in the campaign have a wealth of resources available to use in meeting the campaign’s goals. These colleges include every Ivy League university; Stanford University; the University of Chicago; other liberal arts colleges such as Amherst, Swarthmore and Williams colleges; and public institutions such as the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia.
Union will still allow students to apply to the college through the Common Application.