Elite colleges start own application

Frances Wu, News Editor

For the past 25 years, a majority of college applicants have used the Common App to avoid answering redundant questions, as well as to have one website through which all college applications can be accessed. However, several elite colleges and universities have created their own application system in order to create an alternative to the current admissions process.

The group of over 80 schools, collectively called the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, has divided its work into three parts. According to the Coalition’s website, this new system will allow high school students to begin their applications, called portfolios, in ninth grade, and is targeted toward low-income students.

The Coalition’s website allows students to create profiles using basic information such as test scores or extracurricular activities, and then allows colleges to create supplemental questions starting January 2016. The first section is the portfolio, in which students will be able to write brief descriptions of significant moments or activities starting from their freshman year.

The second section allows for a new method of receiving feedback from other students. Applicants will be able to share all or parts of their portfolio with their peers or colleges to gain feedback even before they submit entire application during senior year.

The final part of the website will consist of a new writing supplement system, which aims to encourage students to write their essays and relate them to experiences that they have had throughout high school, rather than scrambling to remember important events during their senior year.

These developments are to be a partial solution to the attitude students have toward applications. According to the website, the Coalition’s system is aimed at under-resourced students. By encouraging students to begin thinking about college earlier, these students will gain access to information about participating universities, since many students in low-income situations are actively dissuaded from attending college.

Schools that will utilize this new system include all of the Ivy Leagues and Stanford, among others. To become part of the group, the Coalition’s website states that schools must either provide financial aid for all demonstrated need if, private, or offer affordable tuition prices for in-state residents, if public.

While the Coalition has so far been able to provide a basic overview of the website and its’ main functions, further details will be released in early 2016.