Jul 31, 2017

7 Common App members will use new ‘Courses & Grades’ feature for 2017-18

Chapman University
Among several enhancements announced by the Common Application for 2017-18, one that seems to respond directly to the need for reduced paperwork and reliance on extraneous document transmission systems is the new Courses & Grades feature. While still a pilot program with participation limited to 7 (down from the original 12) institutions, the new section follows an industry trend, adopted last year by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, toward greater use of self-reported transcript information and has the potential for eliminating dependence on third parties to send such documents either electronically or via the U.S. Postal Service.

For now or at least for purposes of the pilot, the Common App is still requiring that students arrange to have official transcripts sent in addition to completing the Courses & Grades section. Presumably, this is to allow for research on student accuracy, as this is an experiment for the Common App. But it’s not really that new to admissions. A number of institutions, including those in the University of California and Rutgers University systems as well as the University of Washington and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have been using the “honor system” with great success for years.

“A major advantage of collecting self-reported information through the application process is the match to the applicant’s file,” writes Nancy J. Walsh, UIUC’s director of undergraduate admissions operations, in an article for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). “[W]hile the applicants are being asked to do a little more work on the frontend by completing the self-reported academic record, they don’t have to worry about the prospect of a transcript being lost somewhere between the high school and the admissions office, which may make them miss an important deadline. There is certainly less demand on the mailrooms in admissions offices, but on the high school side as well during application season.”

And the data provided by students is usually very accurate. In the case of applicant information, a college can always require that an official transcript be submitted for verification once a student commits to attending. In fact, UIUC reports that only four students had their admission offers rescinded for transcript problems out of almost 7,600 freshmen who enrolled for fall 2015. Other schools requiring self-reported transcripts report similar results.

The Common App’s new Courses & Grades section will be found under the Common App tab of the application, along with Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities and Writing. A few qualifying questions will be asked and the student will be provided with an instructional “wizard” designed to walk them through how the section, which is formatted as a grid, should be completed.

In order for a student to use Courses & Grades, s/he must have access to their high school transcript. The transcript must use grades, and the high school must use semesters, trimesters, quarters or block scheduling. Students who fall outside these parameter—those students whose high schools use narratives instead of grades or those with transcripts in a foreign language for example—will not be required to complete Courses & Grades.

The 7 colleges requiring Courses & Grades from students who apply using the Common Application include:

Chapman University, CA
George Washington University, DC
New York School of Career & Applied Studies of Touro College & University System, NY
Ohio State University, OH
Purdue University, IN
University of Southern California, CA
West Virginia University, WV

Again, according to Common App instructions, “Counselors who have a student using Courses & Grades must still send an official transcript for that student (part of the School Report).” Questions about this requirement should be directed to the Applicant Solutions Center.

Courses & Grades will launch with the rest of the Common Application on August 1, after a brief break starting on July 24.

Yale finds creative use of technology opens new possibilities for admissions

Yale University
Yale University is experimenting with the role digital media can play in college admissions. Using technology advanced last year by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, Yale’s admissions readers in some cases became admissions viewers and experienced what will likely become a third dimension in college admissions—the creative use of media to present the case for admission to a highly selective institution.

Staying on the cutting edge of technology is challenging in any field, but changes in college admissions since the introduction of the electronic application are almost beyond description. Stacks of manila folders tucked into walls of file cabinets have been replaced by application “platforms” configured to align with enrollment management software, which oversees a process that is increasingly data-dependent and data-driven.

And the work has become less cyclical and more continuous as applicants have the luxury of starting applications earlier by entering information that “rolls over” from one year to the next.  Marketing begins with the administration of the first PSAT, with even the earliest scores sold to colleges anxious to get their names before potential applicants. There’s hardly a moment to reflect on successes and failures before it’s time to gear up for the next group of recruits turned applicants.

But as almost anyone involved in college admissions would agree, something isn’t quite right with this picture—the entire college admissions process is due for a major overhaul. And a handful of deans and enrollment management experts are ready to try.

“Technology has transformed how we process applications and how we read applications, but not how we create content for these applications,” commented Jeremiah Quinlan, Yale’s dean of undergraduate admission.

Like many others charged with overseeing admissions, Quinlan felt the time had come for Yale to experiment with application content that responded to the pervasiveness and availability of digital media.  While the Common Application set the standard, others saw a market ripe for innovation.

“I really felt we needed to make a change. We were looking at more and more essays that felt like they had been written by 47-year olds and not 17-year olds,” said Quinlan. “We thought we needed more material—different material—in the review process.”

Enter the Coalition application. Born out of concern that reliance on a single electronic application was a risky proposition and developed with a view toward attracting a wider, underserved audience, the Coalition application as built by CollegeNet looked for ways to integrate creativity and give colleges the kind of basic flexibility they wanted in an application platform.

“After the fall of 2013, we needed to bring more options into the application space,” Quinlan explained. “We thought giving students a choice of applications would be better for colleges and better for applicants.”

One of over 90 colleges that originally joined the Coalition and 47 that actually launched applications for 2016-17, Yale viewed this as an opportunity to design a substantially different set of application specifications from those contained in the Common Application.

Students applying to Yale could choose to write two additional 200-word essays (beyond the personal statement and other short-answer questions) for the Common Application or they could choose to write one 250-word essay and provide an upload related to that essay on the Coalition application.

While many Coalition members chose to simply replicate requirements laid out on the Common Application, Quinlan decided to offer alternate but not totally different requirements on Yale’s Coalition application. He kept the prompts the same for both applications, but used the Coalition application’s functionality to support links to digital media.

“It was critical to our review process that we not give preference to one application type over another. Our results from the first year bear this out; the rate of admission for students who submitted the Common Application and for students who submitted the Coalition Application were nearly identical.”

Nevertheless, the results were exciting. While only about one percent or 300 of Yale’s applicants used the Coalition application, the advantage of providing students with a choice of how to present themselves was clear. In some cases, the online media helped “separate” a student or verified some element of the application that didn’t come through strongly enough in a recommendation or through a student’s writing.

“We found certain situations, for example, where a video component made a difference—showed examples of kinds of characteristics we’re looking for.”

To illustrate his point, Quinlan talks about an application Yale received from Justin Aubin, an Eagle Scout who lives and attends high school in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. Justin’s recommendations were excellent, and he was an outstanding student. But Yale has lots of those applicants.

What made Justin stand apart was a video his older brother filmed to document the construction of Justin’s Eagle project. In this distinctly amateurish record of decisions made as the work progressed, the Yale admissions office could easily see how Justin managed and supervised younger scouts and how he exhibited compassionate leadership, which inspired respect from the group as a whole.

The additional essay Justin provided put the video in context. But most importantly, he presented information that highlighted and underscored character traits Yale values and wants to bring to campus in the classes they admit. Other information on the application suggested this was possibly the case, but the video nailed it.

Justin Aubin was eventually admitted and will be attending Yale in the fall as a member of the class of 2021. And Quinlan credits Justin’s creative use of digital media—submitting the video—as making the difference.

In all fairness, Yale isn’t the first institution to allow videos and other digital media to be submitted as part of an application for admission. Goucher College in Maryland and George Mason University in Virginia and others have video options available through institutional applications.

And it’s not all that unusual for colleges to offer several different application formats with differing requirements. In fact, smaller colleges make clear that their institutional applications are often more popular than the standardized Common Application.

In addition, last year’s applicants could use ZeeMee, an online resume promoted in questions on the Common Application, or SlideRoom—a Common App partner—to provide more visual support for their talents and interests.

But the difference for colleges using the Coalition application was that they could design their own questions and media integration. They didn’t have to rely on a third-party website that might encourage more “freeform” or off-message responses.

Yale’s new application was no more difficult for staff to review than the two-essay Common App version and could be scripted to allow for comparable responses across applicants using either platform. Linking the digital media to an essay prompt was key to the success of the experiment.
“Staff enjoyed doing something else. It was a way to experiment with new ways of interpreting new kinds of application content.”

Quinlan has a great deal of respect for the Common Application and has no interest in changing that relationship, which has worked very well for Yale. But he does want to offer students a choice of application platforms.

“We want the two applications to be different so students can be thoughtful about which they use and what they decide to present to us.”

National Merit® ‘Commended Student’ cutoff up by 2 points

The National Merit® Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has confirmed that the national cutoff score for the ‘Commended Student’ designation will be 211 for the class of 2018—or 2 points higher than the cutoff for the class of 2017. While the higher cut score isn’t particularly predictive of state-by-state ‘Semifinalist’ cutoffs (except possibly at the lowest levels), it does reinforce speculation that continued upward pressure on PSAT/NMSQT® scores may result in higher score requirements for students hoping to earn National Merit Scholarships in some states.

“A simple response to a 2-point increase in the Commended Student cutoff would be to assume a 2-point increase in state Semifinalist cutoffs. It turns out that things are far from simple,” writes Art Sawyer in the Compass Education Group blog. “Based on our research, we are predicting that the most common state cutoff changes will be +0, +1, and +2. We expect that a small number of cutoffs may drop a point or go up by 3 points.”

And between changes in test scoring eliminating the guessing penalty and changes in the scale (from 20-80 to 160-760), the use of data from years prior to 2016 make estimates for state-by-state cutoffs a little complicated.

In addition, the scoring changes together with a new computation for the PSAT/NMSQT “Selection Index” (math, writing/language and reading on a scale of 8 to 38 multiplied by two) also put into play the possibility that two students from the same state with identical Total PSAT/NMSQT scores from the October test could have very different outcomes—one commended (or semifinalist) and one not.

According to the NMSC website, of 1.6 million NMS entrants, roughly 50,000 with the highest Selection Index (SI) scores qualify for recognition in the scholarship program. Note that only students taking the PSAT/NMSQT in the 11th grade qualify.

About 34,000 or more than two-thirds of the high scoring juniors receive Letters of Commendation. These students are named on the basis of a “nationally applied” SI score which varies from year-to-year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named semifinalists in most states. For the class of 2017, the cutoff score was 209.  In 2016, the last year to use the “old” PSAT, the cutoff score was 202. In 2015, it was 201 and in 2014, it was 203.

The increase in this year’s cutoff for commended status is in line with generally inflated PSAT scores, which may have been encouraging to students initially hoping to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. Unfortunately, life isn’t always so straightforward and the NMS competition is anything but straightforward. State-by-state semifinalist cutoffs are predictable within a range. But only after the NMSC applies a little politics to its formula and the announcement is made in September will there be any certainty as to who qualifies as a semifinalist. To earn the title of “finalist,” these students will have to jump through an additional series of largely bureaucratic administrative hoops.

To facilitate the conversation about the class of 2018, however, Compass Education Group has come up with a chart predicting “estimated ranges” (with 1330 comments) for the state-by-state semifinalist cutoff.  The ranges “reflect the variability of year-to-year changes within a state” and are based on research conducted by the test wizards at Compass Prep. While interesting, the ranges and “most likely” scores are by no means guaranteed.

At this point, it’s not worth spending a whole lot of time worrying about PSAT/NMSQT® results. They are predictive of very little beyond possible achievement on the SAT. Colleges will never see these scores, and how the NMSC determines state-by-state semifinalist cutoffs is entirely out of anyone’s control.

Goldwater Foundation awards 240 scholarships to STEM undergrads

Iowa State was awarded the maximum of 4 Goldwater Scholarships for 2017.

The Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation recently announced the awarding of 240 scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States. An additional 307 nominees were named as Honorable Mentions.

These scholarships represent the “gold standard” for undergraduate achievement in fields of science, mathematics and engineering. Not only are they the source of significant bragging rights for the various institutions represented among the winners, but they are quite frequently an important stepping stone toward significant financial support for postgraduate education.  PhD programs in STEM areas and important fellowship providers such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Hertz Foundation, consider Goldwater awards among the most prestigious of national undergraduate awards for young scientists.

The one- and two-year scholarships are set up to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500.  They were originally designed to “alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.”  In today’s terms, a more realistic statement of purpose would be to provide “a continuing source” of highly qualified individuals to those fields of study and research. While the money isn’t huge, the prestige is enormous and undergrads in STEM fields compete hard for nominations based on their research, internships, and work in relevant industries.

This year’s Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,286 students who were nominated by the institutional representatives from among 2000 colleges and universities nationwide.  Among these, 133 of the Scholars were men and 103 were women, and virtually all intend to obtain a PhD as their degree objective. Twenty-two Scholars were math majors, 153 were science and related majors, 51 were majoring in engineering and 14 were computer science majors.  And for the record, many have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering and computer disciplines.

Since its first award in 1989, the Goldwater Foundation has distributed 7,921scholarships totaling approximately 63 million dollars. And these award-winners go on to do great things. Recent Scholars have been awarded 89 Rhodes Scholarships, 127 Marshall Awards, and 145 Churchill Scholarships, 96 Hertz Fellowships, in addition to winning other distinguished national awards.

For many prospective Goldwater Scholars, the competition is most intense at the institutional level.  Colleges establish their own nomination criteria and procedures to determine the extent to which individual students have the commitment and potential to make significant contributions to their fields. Students who plan to study medicine are only eligible if they plan a research career rather than a career as a practicing physician.  Four-year institutions may nominate up to four current sophomores or juniors.

This year, the University of Maryland-College Park, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Richmond were the big winners among competing colleges and universities in the Washington metropolitan area, each with three Goldwaters. Two George Mason University students were awarded scholarships, while Georgetown University, the College of William and Mary, James Madison University, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, each had one Goldwater Scholar.
The only universities receiving the maximum of four Goldwater awards were the University of Alabama, Iowa State University, Princeton University and Stanford University.

From any perspective, an institution’s track record for Goldwater Scholars is a reasonable barometer by which prospective students might measure dedication to undergraduate research in STEM-related fields. For more information and complete lists of scholars going back to 2006, visit the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education website.

One way to say ‘thank you’: Veteran-friendly colleges and universities

Amherst College War Memorial
One of the ways in which a grateful country says “thank you” to those who have served is by continuing to invest in educational benefits targeted to veterans and their families.

And with support from the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) created the GI Bill Comparison Tool designed to make it easier for veterans, service members and their dependents to calculate these benefits and learn more about approved college, university and other post-secondary education training programs.

The GI Bill Comparison Tool draws on information from more than 17 online sources and the three cooperating federal agencies to provide key information about cost and quality of education.  Data delivered on a college-by-college basis includes the number of GI Bill students on campus, the availability of veterans support groups and a compilation of various outcomes such as retention, graduation, salaries and loan repayment rates.

According to the VA, the current version of the Comparison Tool not only reformats the federal data, but also has new functionality including a “more robust” GI Bill benefits calculator and additional information of interest to veterans. Specifically, the calculator provides a personalized estimate of Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition and fee, housing allowance, and book stipend benefits that would potentially be paid to the student.

Anyone who has worked with with College Navigator, a wonderful free college search tool supported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), will be familiar with a series of dropdown charts covering programs for service members and vets.  This data forms part of the basis for the Comparison Tool plus a little more. For example, it includes valuable links to college-specific tuition policies for veterans as well as bar charts illustrating the number of students receiving benefits/assistance within a specific institution, the average amount of benefits awarded through the institution and retention rates for first time, degree/certificate education benefit users pursuing bachelor’s degrees.

Roughly 1.3 million men and women served in the military in 2016, and a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates there are over 21 million veterans of the armed forces currently living in every corner of the country and abroad.

And these veterans are returning to school in significant numbers. The American Council on Education reports that about four percent of all undergraduates are veterans.  The VA estimates that 73 percent to 80 percent of student veterans are male, and 21 percent to 27 percent are female. On average, at the start of their postsecondary education, vets are 25 years old.  Of these, 77 percent attend a college located less than 100 miles from home and 44 percent are in bachelor’s degree programs.  One in five veterans major in STEM fields, and 42 percent work full time (excluding work study).

In other words, vets make up a large, diverse, and growing market for colleges and universities across the U.S.

To help veterans make informed decisions about where to spend their education dollars, the Military Times annually evaluates four-year degree-granting institutions for its Best for Vets ranking of colleges and universities. To be considered, colleges had to complete a detailed 150-question survey. Rankings were then based on survey responses as well as on data collected via the Comparison Tool.

The top-20 ranking for 2017 is as follows:
  • University of South Florida, FL
  • Rutgers University, NJ
  • Syracuse University, NY
  • Armstrong State University, GA
  • D’Youville College, NY
  • Colorado State University, CO
  • Georgia State University, GA
  • South Dakota State University, SD
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE
  • University of Kansas, KS
  • Florida State University, FL
  • Lipscomb University, TN
  • Western Illinois University, IL
  • Western Kentucky University, KY
  • University of Southern Mississippi, MS
  • Stockton University, NJ
  • Eastern Kentucky University, KY
  • California State University, San Bernardino, CA
  • Northwest Nazarene University, ID
  • University of Texas at Arlington, TX
As is usually the case, this ranking is  based on a weighting of select metrics and should be considered only in the context of other relevant sources of information. But the important take-away for veterans and their families is that there are many different affordable opportunities available for them to earn degrees and succeed at rates similar to the traditional college-going population. You just have to do a little research using readily available tools.

Cappex and Greenlight Scholars announce essay prompts for 2017-18

The University of Rochester accepts the Greenlight Scholars application.
Last fall, Cappex entered the college application market by launching two new products—the Cappex and Greenlight Scholars applications.  Both were designed to build on existing relationships college-bound students have with the Cappex and College Greenlight websites by allowing them to apply directly to participating colleges from the websites.

Both applications launched on September 1 of last year and both attracted participation from colleges already part of the Cappex and/or College Greenlight networks.

“We signed on with the Cappex Application because it’s one more way students can connect with Northland at the applicant stage,” explained Teege Mettille, executive director of admissions at Northland College.

While Greenlight serves first generation, low-income students, both the Cappex and Greenlight Scholars applications were created to streamline the process of applying to college by doing away with application fees and the kinds of extraneous essay requirements students describe as barriers for application completion.

Similar in many ways, the two applications have different approaches for showcasing credentials. The Greenlight Scholars application uses the Cappex Application Platform but is designed to help identify non-cognitive predictors of academic success such as a student’s drive, commitment and interests. And Greenlight is specifically promoted through a network of 1,200 Community Based Organizations (CBOs) which is already using the website’s suite of tools and resources in support of their student communities.

Both applications are looking forward to expanding their rosters of participating institutions for 2017-18, and both will launch on August 1, 2017, with the following essay prompts:

Cappex Application
Prompt 1 (required): Tell us a story about yourself that is key to understanding who you are. This could be a moment you changed, grew, or made a difference. (500 words or less)

Prompt 2 (optional): The goals of this application are to reflect your unique interests, experiences, capabilities and pursuits. To this end, is there anything else you would like us to know? (300 words or less)

Greenlight Scholars Application
Prompt 1 (required):  Please select one question to answer in maximum 500 words.
Defining moment: Tell us a story about yourself that is key to understanding who you are today and reveals aspects of who you want to become in college and life. This could be a moment when you changed, grew or made a difference or an everyday moment that reveals something people count on you for.

Community: A college is a community of diverse individuals. What is your ideal of community? What communities do you come from? How have those communities shaped and supported you and how have you shaped and supported those communities? What do you uniquely bring to your college community?

Learning: People learn many different things in many different ways. Describe a project or opportunity--in school or out--that challenged you, revealed something new or where you experienced failure. Reflect on what you learned, how you learned and how that learning influences your plans for college and the future.

Overcoming adversity:  Describe a significant obstacle that you have overcome. How were you able to overcome this challenge? How has this shaped who you are today and who you will be in the future?

Prompt 2 (optional): Please describe your ideal college campus/academic environment. How will you gain from it? How will you contribute to it? (300 words or less)

Prompt 3 (optional): The goals of this application are to reflect your unique interests, experiences, capabilities and pursuits. To this end, is there anything else you would like us to know? (300 words or less) ​

This is the second of a two-part series.

A conversation with Alex Stepien on the Cappex Application and College Greenlight

Swarthmore College accepts the Greenlight Scholars application.
Alex Stepien literally worked his way to the top at Cappex—an all-purpose college and scholarship search website that includes College Greenlight among many tools and services provided to college-bound high school students.  After graduating from the University of Michigan, Stepien joined the company in 2008 as its first Account Executive and now oversees the entire operation as CEO responsible for maintaining relationships with 600 colleges and universities across seven countries as well as for launching both the Cappex and Greenlight Scholars applications.

It’s a big job, and Stepien is an extraordinarily open and engaging executive with lots of plans for enlarging the Cappex role in college admissions, not the least of which involves targeting a nationwide audience including low-income and under-resourced students and families served by College Greenlight.

Last fall, Cappex entered the college application market with a product designed to capitalize on relationships with students developed through its basic college-and scholarship-matching services.

“In our surveys and conversations with students, we’ve heard that essay supplements and application fees represent huge barriers for application completion,” explained Stepien. “Our application simplifies the process by doing away with fees, getting rid of repetitive and burdensome supplements and reducing duplication of effort in the process.”

And while the Common Application and the Coalition squared-off in a more visible competition for market share, Cappex quietly worked behind the scenes to develop products they thought would streamline the process of applying to college and appeal to students looking for less complicated and more straightforward tools for conveying credentials to a variety of institutions.

So far, the strategy appears to be working. Colleges already accepting the Cappex Application include the College of Wooster, Whittier College, University of Tampa, Northland College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Cornell College, and Queens University of Charlotte. And among the colleges accepting the Greenlight Scholars Application are Swarthmore College, the University of Dayton, and the University of Rochester. And for the record, both the Cappex Application and College Greenlight will be adding to their rosters of participating colleges and universities for 2017-18.

To help families and college counselors—both school-based and independent—become familiar with the Cappex and Greenlight Scholars applications, Stepien agreed last week to answer a series of questions.

Question: Now that you have basically completed one application cycle, how would you characterize your first year of operations?

Our pilot year was a successful start for the Cappex Application. We saw a strong response from our college and university partners with 70 institutions participating. Students voiced excitement about the ability to apply directly to the schools they were connecting with on Cappex.com.

Question: Would you have done anything differently? What were some of your biggest problems? Biggest successes?

Given that it was our pilot year, we wanted to make sure we got it right and had a strong foundation before we actively promoted the application, only really building awareness to the student community after our soft launch on September 1. We heard from a lot of our students, “I wish I knew about this earlier!” So this year, we’re launching on August 1, and have begun building awareness of the Cappex Application much earlier.

Question: Do you anticipate any major changes in the platform for the coming year? 

We’re making significant improvements and technology investments this year, focused on streamlining the student experience and making the path to adoption easier for our college partners. Among the many enhancements, students will be able to import their existing Cappex profile information into the application; benefit from Cappex’s responsive user-interface that works great on smartphones, tablets and desktops; and utilize our Application Manager feature to organize applications in process and stay on top of deadlines.

For our college partners, we’ve focused on getting them the data they need in the easiest fashion possible, to allow for a streamlined import for reading. Improvements in the onboarding experience for colleges are contributing to an increase in adoption. This represents a huge win for students as it increases the number of colleges they can apply to via the Cappex Application. 

Question: How are you reaching out to students and counselors to make them aware of the Cappex Application for the 2017-2018 cycle?

We have a robust marketing plan scheduled for the months leading up to and through the Cappex Application launch, highlighted by unique content and training materials, email notifications, webinars, and exhibiting at NACAC. We hope to see you there!

Question: Do you expect to welcome new members for 2017-18?

Absolutely! We’ll be sharing a full list of participating colleges in the near future, but we anticipate the roster will be well over 100 institutions this year.

Question: Why would a student choose to use the Cappex Application over the Common App, the Coalition App, or the Universal College Application? Who is your target audience?

Every year, over 1 million high school seniors create accounts on Cappex to use the platform’s tools through the college discovery and search process. They trust our best-in-class tools to help them research and choose the right college, so it’s only natural to be able to immediately act upon that information within the platform they trust and apply directly to those schools with the Cappex Application.

The simplicity and ease of use of the Cappex Application make it the right solution for every Cappex user, as well as every student across the country who will apply to participating colleges.

Question: Could you explain the relationship between the Cappex Application and College Greenlight?

The Greenlight Scholars Application uses the Cappex Application Platform, but is designed to showcase the strengths and talents of first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students. The Greenlight Scholars Application includes questions that help identify non-cognitive predictors of academic success, such as the student’s drive, commitment and interests.

College Greenlight works with a network of 1,200 CBOs to help them help their students.  College Greenlight students can engage with colleges that are actively trying to recruit low-income, first generation and minority students, in addition to all of the college opportunities that are available on Cappex.com.

Question: How have you structured The Cappex platform to make it user-friendly for counselors? Why would a counselor recommend the Cappex Application to students?

The Cappex Application is easy for students and easy for counselors.  We’ve built our counselor facing tools with ease-of-use in mind, so there’s no need to create, remember or manage unnecessary credentials just to submit letters of recommendation or transcripts. Cappex offers a free counselor portal and resources accessible to any school counselor across the country.  More than 30,000 counselors across the country are already recommending Cappex to their students as the place to research and discover colleges.

This is the first part of a two-part series on the Cappex and Greenlight Scholar applications.