The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success -- a group of more than 80 colleges planning a new application platform -- was announced last week and quickly ran into considerable criticism. On Wednesday, in response to some of that criticism, the coalition sent a letter to high school counselors announcing that the launch of a key feature was being pushed back from January to April. The reason for the shift, the letter said, was "to allow for more time to engage and answer questions and for counselors to be closer to finishing their work with the current senior class." That feature was originally called a portfolio, a name that was dropped in favor of "virtual college locker." The locker will be a tool for high school students, starting in ninth grade, to save work they have done in any medium, as well as records of meaningful experiences they have. Many high school counselors have complained that the new locker will be complicated to produce and thus will favor wealthier students, who will receive more help.
Further, the letter reiterated and elaborated on past statements pledging to work with counselors as the new system is developed, and to make sure the new system helps low-income students.
Several critics of the new system said via email Wednesday night that they were pleased with the move to push back the launch of the locker, and with the promises to continue to consult with others, but that their larger concerns were unchanged.
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