College Application Process

In previous posts, we’ve explored how Facebook has impacted college admissions. And Facebook isn’t alone. Other social networking companies have also changed aspects of the college application process. An article in “Forbes” by Michael Muska takes a look at other technologies that have changed how the game of college admissions is played over the years.

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Technology has changed the college admissions process. Naviance, for instance, allows counselors to scattergram previous applicants from their high school to see where students got in and didn't get in with certain SAT/ACT scores and grades.

The biggest technological change to the college admissions process has of course been the Common Application. Gone are so many of the individual applications to universities. And, if not more significantly, most colleges have done away with apply via snail mail. In an effort to increase application numbers, colleges streamlined the college application process by making it easier for students to apply. But don’t forget that most of the highly selective colleges still have supplemental essays to go along with the Common App. The Common App, by the way, isn’t the only college application. There’s also for instance ConnectEdu’s SuperApp.

And then there’s Naviance which features a program that allows high school guidance counselors to scattergram previous admissions decisions from their high school to see how their students did with certain grades and SAT/ACT scores. Writes Muska, “Along one axis are SAT/ACT scores. Along the other are student GPA’s. And scattered on the resulting graph are little green boxes (representing acceptances) and ‘X’s’ representing rejections.”

Then there’s a startup like Zinch, founded by a Princeton University grad (yes, an Ivy League entrepreneur, Anne-Marie Slaughter) that, according to the company’s website, urges students to “showcase yourself as more than a test score with a Zinch profile. Share a little or a lot about your interests, hobbies, strengths or passions. You’ll see colleges that might be a good fit, and hear from Admissions Officers that seek out students like you. Your dream school might be out there, but you don’t know it yet! You’ll also see scholarships that match you and get alerts when new matching scholarships are added to the database. Put Zinch to work so schools and scholarships find you.”

While forming connections with admissions counselors is a good thing, we at Ivy Coach cannot recommend this site as on Zinch “kids talk about their grades, SAT’s, academic interests, extracurricular activities, and family background.” Talking about grades and SAT scores to admissions counselors is not a good thing. They can read your scores when you apply. If you did very well on your SATs, that would surely paint you as a bragger which would hurt your case for admission. And by the way, most admissions officers at highly selective colleges don’t use Zinch. Browse through some of those admissions officer profiles on the site. There are other ways to communicate with admissions counselors that have a much better cost-benefit.

How do you think technology has impacted the college admissions process? Would you prefer to receive your admissions decision online or would you prefer to find out through snail mail? Let us know your thoughts by posting below. And take a look at the “Forbes article on college admissions and technology by Michael Muska.

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