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October 8, 2008

New Tool Unveiled for Inquisitive College Hopefuls

When students create a list of target schools they are considering applying to in the upcoming months, they will be able to use a new tool in the process. CollegeSpeak is a website developed by Educational Conservancy that assists students in finding the best-fit college based on their personality and not just rankings.

The site is funded by donations and contributions from multiple sources, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton , in hopes that it will be free to all students. Yale Dean of Admissions Jeff Brenzel hopes "colleges can and will collaborate in the construction of a non-commercial alternative to rigid and artificial rankings schemes."

It is widely acknowledged that the current rankings process is one that is often questioned and at times controversial. Senior Consultant Cindy Sullivan notes in a recent article regarding CollegeSpeak in the Daily Pennsylvanian: "When students rely too heavily on rankings, they miss out on other, sometimes more appropriate, opportunities."

The site replicates the advice of a student counselor or adviser for those students who may not have as much access as they or their parents desire. What is important to remember is that college selection should not be made by rankings alone or solely based on the results of CollegeSpeak. Students are encouraged to look at the site as an additional resource in their college selection process, not as the only one.

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