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Online Tools Improve College Access

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A new suite of tools will provide an additional level of support for students during the college planning and application process. The University of Maryland has launched a new application program, developed by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, that includes a free platform of online tools to streamline the college planning and application process. The Coalition is a diverse group of public and private colleges and universities from across the country where the goal is to improve the college admission application process for all students.


“The University of Maryland is committed to making college attainable and affordable for all students,” says Shannon Gundy, UMD’s director of undergraduate admissions. “It’s never too early for students to ensure that they are building the foundation that will allow them prepare for college. This new suite of tools will provide earlier awareness of the college application process to low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation students, and ensure that all students have the support networks they need to be successful in the college application process.”
The Coalition’s college planning and application tools—the Locker, Collaboration Space, and Application Portal—are designed to assist students no matter where they are in the college exploration or application process, and help students create a narrative of their high school career well in advance of filing an application.

The Coalition platform includes:
Locker: a private space for students to collect and organize materials throughout their high school career that can later be used to support their college applications, including writing samples, letters of support, records of activities, awards and more.
Collaboration Space: an interaction tool where counselors, teachers and mentors can support the student’s college search and application through sharing of materials, review, feedback and editing.
Application: a platform for applying to schools in the Coalition, which features a modern, intuitive interface that adapts to a student’s life.
For more information, visit coalitionforcollegeaccess.org
— Donna Jefferson

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