Apr 5, 2007

Towson University First in Maryland to Partner with ConnectEdu

Partnerships Brings Connect!, a Web-Based Solution for College Planning and Admissions, to Maryland

Boston, Mass- April 5, 2007- ConnectEdu, the nation’s leading provider of innovative college planning, admissions and financial aid solutions, announced its partnership with Towson University, the second largest public university in Maryland, to deploy the Connect! online portal. As the first institution of higher education in the state to introduce Connect!, Towson University will lead the initiative to support Maryland high school students, parents and guidance counselors in the college planning and application process, while modernizing admissions.

Towson University joins a national network of high schools, community colleges, colleges and universities that have embraced the unique web-based service to simplify the “going to college” process for everyone engaged in student success. Designed with customized online tools for each user channel, Connect! provides one centralized platform that, for the first time, systematically connects secondary education to higher education through secure web technology.

“Towson University is pleased to become the first university in the state to partner with ConnectEdu,” said Louise Shulack, Director of Admissions. “After evaluating all the options available to us, we chose Connect!, not only because it is one of the most efficient and cost-effective solutions, but because ConnectEdu shares our mission to help students. Like ConnectEdu, we encourage all young people to pursue higher education and by providing Connect! to all high schools in Maryland, we hope to create meaningful opportunities for a new generation of college-bound students.”

Towson University is positioned to be the first in Maryland to electronically receive application materials, including transcripts and recommendation letters, using XML data exchange. With Connect!’s True Electronic Transcripts™, Towson will have the ability to receive official student transcripts as true data points securely delivered from the high school student information system directly into Towson’s student information system. The electronic exchange eliminates paper and data re-entry, automatically matches applicant files, provides instant receipt verification and allows for GPA recalculation and other automated data functions customized for Towson’s admissions office. By reducing administrative tasks, Connect! provides admissions officers more time to spend with prospects and applicants to build better relationships and, ultimately, facilitates more timely admissions decisions.

Towson University will also modernize their admissions practices with the addition of Connect!’s secure electronic recruitment tools. By joining Connect!’s national network, Towson University will be invited to interact with hundreds of thousands of Connect! users, in Maryland and nationwide, actively engaged in the “going-to-college” process. With criteria that includes location, academic performance, extracurricular involvement and reported interests, the search tools allow admissions officers to introduce themselves to students who best map to Towson’s retention data. On a permission-only basis, admissions officers will now be able to build relationships with prospective high school students who would most likely be successful at Towson University based on targeted data at a depth previously unavailable.

Towson University joins a national campaign to provide high schools the Connect! platform at no charge to students, parents or guidance counselors. ConnectEdu will be working with Towson University to begin connecting high schools in Maryland to build a regional network. Additional progressive colleges committed to this initiative include University of Connecticut, Rutgers University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Missouri State University, Old Dominion University and Truman State University. By sponsoring the implementation of Connect! in all Maryland high schools and encouraging all Maryland colleges and universities to connect, Towson University demonstrates its commitment to democratizing college admissions and creating greater access to higher education through new technology.

“ConnectEdu is focused on students.” said Craig Powell, President of ConnectEdu. “We created Connect! to empower students as they consider their college options. In one on-line location, we provide the most comprehensive planning tools as well as information on financing an education. Our goal is to make sure everyone supporting the student has access to the most reliable information; can easily communicate with each other; and will ultimately guide the student in making one of the most important decisions in their life. Our partnership with Towson University represents a major step towards changing the way families in Maryland approach college admissions.”

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.

About Towson University
Founded in 1866, Towson University (www.towson.edu) is recognized among the nation's best regional public universities, offering more than 100 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, and applied professional fields. With nearly 19,000 students, Towson University is the second-largest public university in Maryland. As a metropolitan university, Towson combines research-based learning with practical application. Our many interdisciplinary partnerships with public and private organizations throughout Maryland provide opportunities for research, internships and jobs.


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