The college admission process can be a confusing mess of transcripts, financial aid forms and SAT scores, but the advent of the Internet brings the possibility of a one-stop enrollment for students, reports eSchool News.
"It's unbelievable. You don't know where to start or what to do. It's trial and error, at the mercy of everybody telling me what to do," said Carol Wright, a mother of a prospective student in Georgia.
Georgia has launched gacollege411.org, which streamlines the admission process. The site is modeled after a similar site in North Carolina and has already signed on 100,000 students and families in 18 months.
Thirty-five states have similar sites. The sites include information on every private and public college and the programs offered.
The site includes free preparation classes for the SAT college-entrance exam, a class planner for students entering high school, applications to more than 100 colleges, virtual campus tours, and information on getting one of the state's full-ride, lottery-funded scholarships.
Although the sites are expensive to build and maintain, the benefit of providing easier access is paying off. North Carolina's cfnc.org, has helped increase enrollment rate from 57 percent to 68 percent of high school graduates.
"What we were trying to do is level the playing field," said Bobby Kanoy, senior associate vice president for academic and student affairs with the University of North Carolina system. "We had to get that information in the hands of students and parents who otherwise wouldn't have thought about going to college."