Ivy Coach has been featured in “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania. The topic of the piece, one authored by Sydney Schaedel, is the Coalition for Access, a new platform through which students can apply to various universities (including the University of Pennsylvania) beginning next admissions cycle. Regular readers of our college admissions blog might know that one of our favorite Deans of Admission is Penn’s Eric Furda (formerly of Columbia University). Dean Furda has a very good habit of telling it like it is, and we admire him for it.
The Coalition for Access has received quite a bit of criticism within the college admissions community. And even though Dean Furda’s school, Penn, is a member institution, that hasn’t stopped him from also raising a concerned eyebrow. As referenced in the piece in “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” “Penn Dean of Admissions Eric Furda emphasized that Penn is currently a member of the Coalition for Access because so many of its similar and peer institutions are. ‘We’re part of that group of schools; we share a lot in common,’ he said. But he added that nothing is set in stone. ‘There’s still a lot of conversation and consideration,’ Furda said. ‘There’s still a road to go here before these ideas, which could be good ideas, are actually implemented.'” We believe there was a whole lot of subtext here in Dean Furda’s quote.
Anyhow, we were subsequently quoted in the piece as follows: “Both the mission statement and the limitations of the coalition have led to a great deal of debate among high school guidance counselors, administrators in admissions and even third-party counselors like Brian Taylor, who works at Ivy Coach, where he helps high school students navigate the college admissions process. He said he sees problems with the Coalition. ‘How they’ve laid out this program defies their objectives — it’s increasing workload on high school counselors,’ Taylor said, adding that counselors for disadvantaged students are usually already overworked. He also described what he calls a fundamental problem with the online platform. ‘Students need computers to log into these ‘lockers,” he said. ‘Locker’ is the term that the Coalition uses to stand for an online portfolio that students would compile throughout their high school career, and would later pick and choose what to make visible to different colleges when they applied to schools. ‘For disadvantaged students, where are they accessing these computers?’ he asked.” It’s a simple point. But a valid one indeed!