3 Aspects of the ‘Tech Revolution’ and College Admissions

Steve Cohen, in his College Admissions blog for Forbes, details the impact technology changes have had on college admissions.

N.B., Some of the tools are for the high schools and colleges, one for the students requires a fee, and Cohen has a vested interest in another tool. Still, worth reading.

Three bits on tech changes and tools, here:

1. The Common App. While we knew the Common App simplified the process for students to apply and to apply to more colleges (too easy?), the year over year data is dramatic. Columbia University, which just accepted the Common App for the first time this year, received 35,000 applications in 2011 (6.9% acceptance rate) up from 26,000 applications in 2010 (9.2%).

2. College Essay Organizer. The Common App requires one essay, yet many selective schools using it also require their own supplementary application with additional essays, “short-takes”, program specific essays, etc. For a fee, College Essay Organizer [CEO] will help keep all those different essay requirements straight, including finding the common aspects among the various requirements, possibly streamlining the writing process. Could Mod Squad Pete do that with a spreadsheet? Probably. Would he? Probably not. He’s more likely to just sit down and write essays.

3. Zinch. Developed by a Princeton student to help applicants highlight their talents, Zinch offers the high school students the opportunity to create an online profile — more like a “pubescent Linked-In” than Facebook. Colleges can target specific students, using more detailed data than their usual source (buying bulk names from CollegeBoard) and at a lower cost than current direct mail campaigns, working toward their goal of a well-rounded cohort. Students may be able to create a connection with their colleges of interest, since they control which colleges receive their profiles.

Specifics on the ROI for colleges make this sound attractive for their use, which might make it an effective tool for students.

And the tag line? “I am more than a test score.”

Anyone used the CEO or Zinch yet?


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