College application process “clear as mud”

In response, many businesses in the public and private sector alike have met these demands, allowing consumers access to information about everything from ingredients to sustainability and processing.

In the midst of this global demand for transparency, higher education has somehow moved in the opposite direction. The path students must navigate to find their ideal university is as clear as mud.

Concourse Global has built a system that challenges the current university application paradigm.

The process of applying to university has become increasingly convoluted, and in an attempt to create more access, institutions have instead built new systems and rules that overcomplicate an already arduous process. Requirements change regularly, and university websites contain increasing reams of impenetrable information. In searching for answers, students are left with more questions:

Are you test optional or test blind? Will my SAT score help me or hurt me? If I haven’t taken IB Physics, can I apply for engineering in Germany? Can I apply EDII if I haven’t heard back from a school I’ve applied EDI? What’s a Tariff point?

Counsellors that seek to help students navigate the university search and application process find these alphabet soup questions a part of their daily conversations.

Instead of focusing on finding the right university, the right program, and the right path, counsellors and students spend the majority of their time deciphering the rules, guessing which institutions might be willing to offer admission, and navigating the application process. Counsellors are heroes that attempt to guide students through this process, but in many cases, they have less visibility than their own students, hampering their ability to help.

Rather than attempt to fix a broken system, Concourse instead offers an alternative. On Concourse, students do not apply to universities, universities apply to them. Concourse’s mission is to provide students with access to their greatest number of well matched university options through a simplified, transparent process.

On Concourse, students build a profile that includes their grades, interests, and what they’re looking for in a university. Universities that are an academic, financial, and preferential match for the student review an anonymous version of the student’s profile, and send them a pre-emptive offer of admission. Students only hear from universities offering them admission, and interact with the offers that they’re interested in. It’s that simple.

“On Concourse, students aren’t waiting, wondering, and worrying if they have what it takes”

While universities can approach Concourse similarly to a traditional application platform, for students the process is a game changer.

“The process I use to review student profiles in Concourse is basically the same as our typical holistic review process; I am looking at the student’s grades, rigour of their curriculum, interests and activities, their expected program of study, etcetera…[but] from the student’s perspective, I believe it’s quite different,” says Reon Sines-Sheaff, director of international admissions at the College of Wooster.

On Concourse, students aren’t waiting, wondering, and worrying if they have what it takes to “get in.” Instead, they are hand selected by universities for proactive admission allowing them to spend their time asking questions and actually interacting with university officials.

The benefits to students are obvious. They are able to maximise their university options without completing a multitude of applications and essays. Since launching this flipped admissions model in 2020, Concourse has brought 17,000 offers of admission and nearly $600 million USD in scholarships. On the other side of this process, universities are able to match with students in nearly 100 countries that are well suited for their programs.

The mainstream university application system is murky, but Concourse offers a transparent, student-centric process that works for students, counsellors, and universities alike.


About the author: 

This is a sponsored post from Joe Morrison, the founder of Concourse, an edtech company reinventing college admissions to create more access to higher education. A longtime technology entrepreneur, Morrison previously developed computer music software, founded Canadian technology startup e-smith, inc., and built financial trading platforms on Wall Street. After shifting fields to education, Morrison served as managing director at Grok Global Services, a leading provider of strategic consulting and in-country marketing services for universities.


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