Career-Counseling and the Common Application

When I came upon this article in my news feed, “Common App Integrates With Three Career-counseling Platforms” I thought; that’s big news. Had I stopped to consider that career counseling software companies have been sharing space on the Common App website, ten in fact, the brevity of the announcement would not have surprised me. It was news to me that there are already 10 different platforms by which students and counselors can interact with the Common App site. I knew that Naviance schools had access to convenient uploads but not about the others. The three new platforms that will bring the number to 13 are MajorClarity Inc., XAP Corporation and Kuder Inc.

The stated purpose of these collaborations is to make life easier for those who support our students. In reality, it will encourage the districts who use these three software products to maximize their use of the Common App, it will secure a foothold for these three companies by remaining the software of choice for the districts using them and it will assure that Common App continues to grow in popularity as it caters to a wider client base. There is really nothing wrong with increasing your profits while making life easier for students and counselors, is there? The answer to that question could depend on where you are in relation to the executives who manage the Common App.

This wide array of user platforms does much more than just deliver vital statistics. They offer personality and interests quizzes, college search tools and space to produce and store other application materials. These third-party software platforms will need to be added to the student profile before they can take advantage of them. I followed the link that explains how to connect the career counseling platform to the Common App site. It appeared to be straight-forward and easy to use. Anyone preparing to go away to college should have no trouble linking their accounts.

These and other modifications that are made annually to college admissions paperwork are typically designed to make it easier for the student to complete applications. The unintended consequence of making the process so easy is a growing number of students applying to 20 or more colleges. This trend only serves to fan the flames of the reported difficulty and stress of getting accepted into a college. Maybe families will take a more conservative approach to college admissions as we emerge from the COVID crisis; and maybe not. We can only hope…

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