With overall college enrollment continuing a decade-long pattern of decline, much has been said about the need to break down barriers inherent to the traditional admissions model. Such efforts would create a more equitable path to higher education and encourage more Gen Z students to attend college.
In an effort to improve the admissions process, “direct admissions” programs have gained widespread attention as a potential solution. But these programs do not go far enough. They do not provide personalized information to each student on which academic programs might be a fit, or which specific scholarships they are eligible for. Most importantly they still require students to submit applications, often including essays and other materials.
In October 2021, EAB piloted a solution to these challenges in the Chicago area. Our unique “reverse admissions” model, called Enroll360 Match, powered by Concourse technology, overcomes the limitations of direct admissions programs by delivering personalized, best-fit admission offers to each student that can include admission into specific academic programs and scholarship awards. Our pilot enabled institutions to reach and attract first-generation, low-income, and historically underserved students within the College Greenlight network of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs).
What does direct admissions entail?
- Students are informed of their admission up front
- After students are notified, an application is typically required
- Students who apply are typically funneled into the same stream as all other applicants
- High school counselors are typically not part of the process, isolating this key student advisor and influencer
What does reverse admissions entail?
- Students are informed of their admission up front
- No application is required
- Students who indicate that they wish to pursue an admission offer immediately enter the college’s admit stream, often before traditional applications are even reviewed
- High school counselors, students, and university admission officers collaborate to explore each offer.
Naviance Students Will Have Direct Access to Match in 2024
Beginning in 2024, Match will integrate with PowerSchool Naviance® to extend platform access to more than 3 million high school juniors and seniors who are searching for colleges and careers. Naviance students will be able to easily create anonymous profiles and receive admission and scholarship offers without completing a traditional application.
“We’ve seen firsthand the difficulties many students face during the college admission process,” said Marcy Daniel, Chief Product Officer at PowerSchool. “We’re thrilled to partner with EAB to make college admissions more accessible for more students.”
high school students are supported by PowerSchool Naviance®.
Naviance, which supports around 40% of US high school students, provides a comprehensive postsecondary planning solution for districts, schools, students, and parents. But even with strong supports in place, applying to college can still be costly and cumbersome for many students, especially those from families with lower incomes or those who are first in their families to attend college. As a result, many eligible and interested students opt out of the college application process each year.
of high school counselors report the pandemic has at least moderately weakened their students’ academic preparation.
In recent years, high school students and their families have taken a hard look at the value and feasibility of attending college, questioning whether a university degree is worth the cost and whether they are “mentally ready” to pursue a college degree. At the same time, over 25% of high school students in the Class of 2023 have said that they lack information about colleges and programs that will fit their needs and interests.
Match aims to combat these challenges by breaking down barriers that are hindering students from considering college as a viable pathway. Students receive well-matched admission offers early and proactively and are given an opportunity to explore them with their college counselors and the admission offices making the offers. The upfront information about scholarships helps students and families assess the financial viability of each offer much earlier in the process. And because college counselors are part of our ecosystem, participating institutions enjoy high-quality student data, authentic engagement, and deeper counselor relationships that benefit multiple recruitment cycles.
Joe Morrison is the founder of Concourse Global (now part of EAB), creator of an innovative college admissions platform that is expanding access to higher education. A longtime technology entrepreneur, Joe previously developed computer music software, founded Canadian technology startup e-smith, inc., and built financial trading platforms on Wall Street. After shifting fields to education, Joe served as Managing Director at Grok Global Services, a leading provider of strategic consulting and in-country marketing services for universities.
Joe now serves as Managing Director, Concourse at EAB. Joe has given presentations on the future of college admissions at NACAC, IACAC, CIS, IC3, NAFSA, and AIRC. Outside of work, he mentors aspiring software developers and entrepreneurs, and loves to travel, especially in Southeast Asia.