Dec 20, 2006

University of Michigan Begins Paperless Admissions

University of Michigan Is First University To Receive “True” Electronic Transcripts

Ann Arbor, MI - December 20, 2006 – The University of Michigan has begun receiving applicant transcripts electronically directly from high school student information management systems, into their own student information management system. Utilizing ConnectEdu’s college planning and admissions portal – Connect! – the University of Michigan is receiving actual electronic transcripts as opposed to .PDF, paper or imaged transcripts, thus eliminating reliance upon manual document processing, GPA recalculation or receipt notification procedures. The partnership between the University of Michigan and ConnectEdu marks the first time that direct integration between high school and college student information systems has been accomplished.

“This is an exciting day for students applying to college.” said Chris Lucier , Director of Recruitment and Operations for the University of Michigan. “At the same time when there are so many reports about the increased complexity of the admissions process and the associated student anxiety, this eases the student’s application process and improves our efficiency. Unlike those systems that simply send a .pdf of the transcript into our imaging system, true electronic transcripts provide us actual workable data points which improve our ability to quickly process applications, and analyze our admissions and retention practices.” Over time, ConnectEdu’s ability to deliver us true electronic transcripts will significantly reduce our paper and imaging burden. In the end, our goal is to make the college admissions process easier, which we hope will improve access to college for all students.”

According to a recent time study conducted by ConnectEdu with several college admission staffs, college admission offices spend on average anywhere from forty-one minutes, using an EDI data exchange process, to 1 hour and fourteen minutes, using a paper or .PDF data exchange process, to create individual student admission files. Using the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council standards, today’s breakthrough in the delivery of student documents via a web services platform takes the total time spent processing the admission file down to approximately 3 minutes and 20 seconds per student application. According to ConnectEdu’s study today’s announcement could save community colleges, and colleges and universities between $13.69 - $25.38 per applicant.

With 2.5M students applying to an average of 6 colleges each year, ConnectEdu projects that there is $205-308M lost each year processing college applications nationwide due to inefficiencies in the process. This doesn’t take into account the additional time and increased anxiety that results from lost application materials or miscommunication between parents, students, high schools and admission offices.

“We are excited by this important breakthrough in college and community college admissions. In 2002 we set out to modernize the college planning and admissions process. Our goal was to make this process more manageable and integrated for all involved – counselors, students, parents and admission officers – and, today, we took a giant leap toward reaching this goal.” said Craig Powell, President & Founder of ConnectEdu. “It’s our belief that everyone involved with the college admissions process today deserves a better solution than what the marketplace has historically delivered. We are bent on taking the revenue we save college admission offices and re-investing it into improving the process for students, therefore we are making Connect! available to high schools, students and parents for free. With partners like the University of Michigan, the University of Connecticut, Missouri State University and others, we are working hard to make this a better process for everyone!”

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Dec 18, 2006

Northwest Missouri State Connects with Missouri Schools

Northwest Missouri State University Partners with ConnectEdu to Deploy

NMSU links to community colleges and high schools across Missouri
and the nation to exchange college application and transcript data electronically

Boston, Mass. – December 18, 2006 – ConnectEdu, a national provider of education planning solutions, today announced its partnership with Northwest Missouri State University to deploy the Connect!® online portal, which will support students and their counselors in the college planning and application process, while streamlining admissions for one of the state’s leading universities.

Northwest Missouri State University is the second, four-year institution in Missouri to adopt the web-based service, which provides a secure, gated community of users that streamlines student interactions and relationship building, as well as processes student transcripts and letters of recommendation electronically. With Connect!, Northwest Missouri State University will be able to manage the application process online and also meet and communicate with new students electronically.

“Northwest Missouri State University is committed to being on the cutting edge of providing our applicants with the best college planning and application process that we can possibly offer,” said Bev Shenkel, Dean, Enrollment Management Northwest Missouri State. “With the Connect! platform linked to our high school and community college partners, we will have additional capacity to effectively guide students, provide a meaningful benefit to their counselors or advisors and demonstrate a more efficient admission process for all involved.”

In addition, community colleges in Missouri including Ozarks Technical Community College, Kansas City Metropolitan Community Colleges, Moberly Area Community College and St. Charles Community College are providing Connect! to their students to electronically manage their seamless transfer to the four-year institutions in the state. Northwest Missouri State is encouraging the other state universities and high schools to adopt Connect! and join the statewide paperless initiative. Already fifty Missouri high schools are using Connect! to manage the entire “going to college” process from guided searches to online applications to exploring financial aid options.

Missouri high schools that are using Connect!® include Kickapoo, Central, Springfield Catholic, Ozark, Willard, Republic, Marshfield, Branson and other area high schools.
Similarly, schools throughout Missouri will be connected to participating schools outside the state, including the University of Connecticut, University of Michigan, Michigan State University and other progressive institutions.

In addition to improving the admissions process, Connect!® provides students, their parents, counselors and college advisors with process management tools to complete their individual college planning tasks as well as linking them into a collaborative online community for resource and information sharing. Students are provided with interactive college search and comparison tools to evaluate and interact with colleges based on their academic, personal and financial needs or interests. Students can also use Connect!® to complete and track process related steps such as submitting transcripts and letters of recommendation to colleges as well as completing federal financial aid and scholarship forms for submittal to the federal government and colleges.

Guidance counselors and community college advisors use Connect!® to monitor the progress of their students. Counselors/advisors are provided with an interactive, student-management “dashboard” featuring full reporting and querying capabilities to keep students on track with steps, deadlines and tasks. In addition, the portal enables parents to have a window into their child’s progress and allows them to provide input throughout the steps of college planning.

“ConnectEdu is focused on providing students, parents, counselors and advisors with the technology solutions they need to facilitate the administrative aspects of the college planning process allowing them to spend more time interacting and guiding students toward informed college decisions,” said Craig Powell, president of ConnectEdu. “We are committed to working with Northwest Missouri State and its partner high schools and community colleges to improve this process for all involved, and are thrilled that such a forward-thinking institution has decided to partner with us to improve access for college bound students.”

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