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University of Maryland Launches Coalition Application to Improve College Access

New suite of tools will provide additional level of support for students during the college planning and application process.


Jessica Jennings , 301-314-1482 jjenn@umd.edu


The University of Maryland has launched a new application process that includes a free platform of online tools to streamline the experience of planning for and applying to college, developed by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. The Coalition is a diverse group of public and private colleges and universities from across the country with the goal of improving the college admission application process for all students.

“The University of Maryland is committed to making college attainable and affordable for all students,” said 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, a Collaboration Space, and an 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.

The Coalition application enhances UMD’s holistic approach to the admissions process, considering 26 unique factors. This process considers all aspects of each applicant’s qualifications and offers admission to the most competitive applicants in order to build a vibrant class of first-year students.

The University of Maryland joined the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success in 2015 with the goal of recasting the college admission process from something that is transactional and limited in time into a more engaged, ongoing and educationally reaffirming experience. The Coalition represents more than 90 American higher education institutions that share a commitment to providing students with the best possible college experience, beginning with the college application process. Coalition schools provide substantial support to lower-resourced and underrepresented students, offer responsible student financial aid support, and demonstrate a commitment to student graduation.

For more information, visit http://coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/.


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