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Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 04/18/2012

Admissions 101: Will new tool help low-income students tackle admissions?

(Scott Eells - BLOOMBERG)
Lloyd Thacker is a former college counselor who has become a one-man movement for reform of the admissions process. He hates the U.S. News and other college rankings, although is kind to people like me who support the rankings but can see their flaws. He has created the Education Conservancy, a nonprofit organization promoting change, with the help of several friendly university admission deans and other good souls.

Now he has somehow persuaded the College Board, whom I thought would be wary of someone as radical as Thacker, to join with the Conservancy in creating “Big Future,” a new Web tool for students, particularly low-income students, who find the admissions process daunting. Here is the link to the announcement, which has a link to the site.

What do you think of it? It is pretty simple, which of course is the point. Small steps are necessary to help kids who don’t have much support. I think it is a good start toward what the tool is trying to do, although it does not seem to take us very far in Thacker’s overall quest to rid the process of lists and gaming and doing things that make colleges look good but don’t do much for learning. Am I missing some great innovation here, or some great flaw?

By  |  02:30 PM ET, 04/18/2012

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