College Admissions: 5 Websites Revolutionizing Admissions

Monday, March 06, 2017
Cristiana Quinn, GoLocalProv College Admissions Expert

Hoverboards, Apple watches, self-driving cars…..but what is really new in college admissions? What are the ideas and technologies propelling students, college administrators and counselors into a more holistic college admissions process?

1.    Zeemee: For years, I’ve had my students create platforms to showcase their artistic, musical, athletic and other talents. We’ve spent hours uploading videos to Youtube and creating custom websites. Finally, someone made it easy. With Zeemee, the platform is ready for you to upload pictures, video, text and other materials to help make yourself 3 dimensional to colleges. You can record what you want to say about yourself and show colleges how you spend your time and what is unique about you. Upload your artwork, scene from a play, your championship goal or video from your work at a community garden. It’s free for students, and you can include the link in any of your college applications. It’s hands-down the best new site of 2015 in the college admission arena!

2.    Raise.me: I’ve written about this site in some of my columns on financial aid, but I’m not going to stop singing its praises. Raise.me is a micro scholarship site that is different from any other. Backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UPENN’s Graduate School of Education, it has a growing list of member colleges that include Tulane, Oberlin, U. Delaware, Denison and U. Tampa. Students earn guaranteed scholarships by simply recording their AP and Honors courses, participating in extra-curriculars, doing campus tours, and performing community service. What’s the catch? You need to start early as many deadlines hit before senior year begins. Additionally, only a small number of colleges offer these scholarships, you must be accepted to the college in order to cash in, and the money is not transferrable to another college. However, for middle class families that don’t qualify for need-based aid, this is an incredible opportunity to get tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship money. 

3.    YouVisit: Founded in 2009, YouVisit really began making waves in the last year with its innovative virtual reality tours that let you navigate a campus, walk the pathways of the college, and turn into buildings as if you were there. Online college tours have been around for a while, but no one does them like Youvisit. Forget talking heads and boring click-on buildings, these tours are as close to real life as you can get. Want to visit a college in California or Texas, but can’t afford the cost or time away from school or work? YouVisit.com is the answer. I only wish all colleges were onboard, but hopefully more will join as they realize this technology is truly outstanding.

4.    Kahn Academy SAT Prep: The new SAT which launches this month has brought fear and loathing to the hearts of students everywhere. The massive changes make it a completely new test where the old rules, content and strategies don’t apply at all. The good news is that the Collegeboard paired up with Kahn Academy to offer free practice tests and short tutorials online. They won’t replace a comprehensive prep class or highly skilled tutor, but they do allow access for free that will benefit self-motivated students or those who can’t afford more expensive options.

5.    Fairtest: It’s true that Fairtest is not a new organization or website, but they continue to redefine the way colleges and the admissions industry think about success in college. What began as a small movement of mostly tiny liberal arts colleges, has grown to more than 850 members today. Aside from their explosive growth, the big new development is that larger universities are starting to join the Fairtest movement, among them: DePaul and George Washington. If you are looking for a list of all the colleges and universities in the U.S. that are SAT/ACT optional, and the specifics of their policies, this is the place to find it.

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, college counseling and athletic recruiting services for students.http://www.collegeadvisorsonline.com/.

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