Mar 23, 2007

Springfield Area High Schools Becoming Connected

Comprehensive, Web-Based Solution for College Planning, Admissions and Financial Aid Proliferates Southwest Missouri

Boston, Mass- March 23, 2007- Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College are leading the initiative to provide Connect! - a comprehensive web solution for college planning, admissions and financial aid – to ALL high school students throughout Southwest Missouri. Part of a nationwide mission, ten institutions of higher education and nearly seventy five high schools in the state have created a secure online network to improve college access, by simplifying the “going to college” process for everyone involved. The latest high schools in the Springfield area to join the Connect! network include Springfield Catholic HS, Greenwood Lab, Branson, Hollister, Seymour, Marshfield, Lebanon, Clever, Ozark, Republic, Exeter, Verona, Bradleyville, Ash Grove, Conway, Crane, Mansfield, Miller and Pleasant Hope.

According to Timothy M. Dilg, College and Career Advisor at Springfield Catholic High School, "Connect! has taken the college admissions process into the 21st century and beyond! Its user-friendly, web-based interface allows academic advisors to make the college admission process more personalized, while also simplifying the process for students and parents. From FAFSA forms, to transcripts, Connect! does it all. Advisors everywhere will do themselves and their students a great service by enrolling in Connect!"

In addition to the step-by-step college planning tools, with Connect! high school students in Missouri are, for the first time, connected to higher education through a secure, online platform. This allows counselors to seamlessly send electronic documents to Ozarks Technical Community College and Missouri State University, as well as other college partners in Missouri including Truman State University, Northwest Missouri State University, and other community college partners in Missouri including Kansas City Metropolitan Community Colleges, Moberly Area Community College and St. Charles Community College.

For colleges and universities, in addition to the paperless network that Connect! is creating in Missouri, additional key benefits of using Connect! include:

- Savings between $14-$25 in processing expenses per application
- Receiving a True Electronic Transcript™ with actual data points that are sent directly into a college/university SIS system to be stored, viewed, or printed
- 95% savings in application related labor
- Automated GPA recalculation
- Tracking student retention from Connect! data

Based on current high school implementations in Missouri, Missouri colleges and universities will save $4.5 million dollars this year. “We are committed to working with Missouri State University and Ozarks technical Community College and their partner high schools to improve this process for all involved, and are thrilled that such forward-thinking institutions have decided to partner with us to improve access for college bound students,” said ConnectEdu President Craig Powell.

The unprecedented growth of Connect! in Missouri is particularly momentous for Powell, ConnectEdu President and Founder. Powell is a native of Maryville, MO and a 1995 graduate of Maryville High School. Powell’s own experiences with the college planning process led him to establish ConnectEdu back in 2002. The former Maryville wrestler is now committed to providing students and parents the tools they need to make informed college planning and financial aid decisions.

ConnectEdu currently has five full time staff members working with both high school and college partners in the state of Missouri.

About ConnectEdu, Inc.:

In 2002, President & Founder Craig Powell established ConnectEdu to simplify the college admissions and financial aid process for all involved. Believing that students must be at the core of a solution, the ConnectEdu team began development of Connect!– a web solution that benchmarks every 9th -12th grade student against a comprehensive college plan, virtually connects high schools to higher education institutions directly, and provides the tools for everyone involved in the admissions and financial aid process to do their work. Students are empowered, parents are engaged and counselors are enabled with modern technology that enhances college counseling and allows them to return to the core of their mission – assisting students in making one of the most important decisions in their lives. Today, Connect! is the industry leading national going-to-college portal.


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