Overall the whole process has become more streamlined, but this doesn’t necessarily equate to it being less stressful.
As technology allows for more effective communication and accessibility, it is having major impacts on the college admissions process. With increased access to information and a reduction in the previously labor intensive parts of researching schools and filling out applications, students are applying to more institutions. Whereas students in the past applied to an average of five schools, today we see students in regions like the Northeast or in countries like China applying to an average of ten to twelve schools. How has this impacted the admissions process? Acceptance rates have dropped at many schools as a result of application inflation, which in turn makes the competition fiercer.
With increased competition, it is more important now than ever before to work with a professional. Effective school counselors and independent educational consultants increase the likelihood of admission by guiding the student and their parents through the college application and admissions process, often through the use of technology. Many school counselors use technology to analyze data and to research current trends in education and career planning to better prepare the student for success in the real world. They do so by helping students to choose their coursework, but also through disaggregating data to find individual and systemic patterns and problems that require intervention and modification. Counselors and consultants use technology to stay organized by keeping students and parents on track through the use of shared calendars and other documents. Effective counselors incorporate new technologies into their guidance classes, using Prezi and PowerPoint presentations to keep students and parents interested. Other uses of technology may come in the form of software such as Naviance or additional college planning tools such as The College Board’s Big Future website.
Professionals who keep abreast with new changes in technology are more likely to witness success for their students. Technology increases students’ exposure to the necessary material, deepens the understanding that is required to process and act upon this new material, and also eases the process of communication between the institution, the student, the counselor and the parents. The next time you visit your son or daughter’s school counselor or schedule a meeting with an independent educational consultant be sure to inquire about their own use of technology in the college admission process.