In a newsletter circulated late last week, Annie Reznik, executive director of the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, described some of the progress the Coalition has made since she joined the organization last April and announced expansion plans for the coming year.
“…my first week with the Coalition coincided with the launch of the Platform; at that time we had 900 users which grew to 119,000 users at the year’s end.”
While only 47 out of 95 Coalition members finally launched applications during 2016-17, it is expected that all will be online by next summer. In fact, with new membership guidelines in place effective January 1, the Coalition expects to add more colleges for 2017-18. So far, new members include Arizona State University, Drew University, Loyola University Maryland, Rutgers University—Newark, University of Arizona and University of New Mexico. By May 1, the Coalition plans to make a final announcement of all members for the upcoming cycle.
But most important, according to Reznik, during this time Coalition member colleges and universities completed 554 visits to 270 high schools where students are most likely to benefit from college information and resources. In preparation for these visits, several members collaborated to create a series of communications to connect students with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Up Next mobile text messaging campaign, which is designed to introduce students to the FAFSA toolkit and College Scorecard.
This project, together with the free tools available as part of the Coalition platform, form a foundation for achieving the Coalition’s mission to “improve the college admission application process for all students.”
And for juniors on deck for 2017-18, Reznik announced that the Coalition essay questions will remain the same for next year for those members requiring a personal statement—not all do. They are:
- Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
- Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
- Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
- What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
- Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
To learn more about the Coalition for Access Affordability and Success or to create an account, visit the Coalition website.
Nancy Griesemer is an independent educational consultant and founder of College Explorations LLC. She has written extensively and authoritatively about the college admissions process and related topics since 2009.