Improving College Access

Every year, counselors and college admissions officers say the same thing:

"There has to be a better way to get kids into college."

OK-- but what would that look like?

Here's your chance to explore that question.

​Take a look at the statement below, then put together a 600-word (more or less) answer you think could increase college access and equity.  Your answer needs to address the question in particular; it should include some data or otherwise indicate this problem lives somewhere else besides just your school or your head, and it needs to address the current social and political climate to explain why this new approach stands a chance at being accepted, and will make a difference.

I’ll be the sole judge of each submission, and each submission could become part of future columns (I’ll give credit for ideas where appropriate). The idea I think makes the most sense will be judged the winner, which means the idea becomes a column for sure—and the winning author gets $250.We always say there has to be a better way to help kids make college a reality.  I’m hoping a little cash will encourage you to give a little air to that wish this summer. ​

Be sure to include your name, your institutional affiliation, and your email address.  Submit your ideas, either as an email, Word document, or PDF, and send it to me right here by August 31, 2023.

I can't wait to see what you have to say.  Here's the question:

Jamie is a 14-year-old student living in a large city. Jamie’s 15-year-old cousin Blaine lives in a rural area, some 100 miles from the nearest college campus.  Both come from single parent households, with Jamie’s mom holding down three jobs just to pay the rent, and Blaine’s dad making just enough from his crops each year to stave off bankruptcy.  Both attend a public high school where the one school counselor meets the social/emotional, academic, and career and college plans of 1800 students, and both come from homes where they would be the first in their families to go to college.

What would the college admissions process look like if we assume every student had the backgrounds and resources of Jamie and Blaine?

Type your paragraph here.