On September 1, Cappex will be launching a new college application designed to enhance and build on the college- and scholarship-matching services already featured on their popular social networking site.
Although offering an online application similar to those currently provided by the Common App and the Universal College Application as well as by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success starting this summer, the Cappex Application expects to distinguish itself by being free to all users and not requiring writing samples beyond a single essay or personal statement.
“We want to ensure the broadest possible access to college and the admission process by eliminating significant barriers to completing applications,” explained Alex Stepien, president of Cappex. “Our biggest advantage and what sets us apart from other applications is the availability of a single, uniform application that’s free across the board for all students.”
Capitalizing on a student audience estimated to be in the millions and partnerships with about 600 colleges and universities, Cappex expects to carve out the share of the application market that seeks simplicity. And building on its social network, Cappex hopes to meet students where they live — on the internet.
For colleges, Cappex has been a strong marketing partner and the application is seen as an extension of that relationship. But it’s a tricky road to navigate.
While hoping to increase numbers by offering a relatively easy-to-complete application, colleges may find Cappex applicants lack strong commitment to their institutions. As applications increase, “yield” (percent of admitted students matriculating) could very well decrease. In fact, critics of the new application consider it little more than another “snap app” appealing to colleges desperate to push up numbers.
For students weighing the advantages of various application products, the Cappex Application could be a simple and inexpensive way to apply to multiple schools. But it could also be a source of confusion as Cappex walks a fine line between providing admissions-related services and advertising in an industry that doesn’t always put the student first.
For counselors, the Cappex Application might prove to be one more complication in the already complex and sometimes burdensome process of providing documents to colleges including transcripts, school reports and recommendations. Without the Naviance connection, the Cappex Application may be dismissed in favor of overlapping Common App members.
While the jury is still out on the need for yet another college application, Cappex is moving forward with its plans including a format that will likely look pretty similar to the others, but will not include writing supplements, portfolios, or a slew of college-specific essays and short answer questions.
In addition to completing a single, uniform application, students will be required to write only one essay and will have the option of providing a second.
The prompts for 2016–17 will be:
- Required Essay: Tell us a story about yourself that is key to understanding who you are. This could be a moment when you changed, grew, or made a difference or an everyday moment that reveals something people count on you for (600 words or less)
- Optional Essay: The goal of this application is to reflect your unique interests, experiences, capabilities, and pursuits. To this end, is there anything else that you’d like to express?
For more information on Cappex or to join their mailing list, visit the Cappex website. In the meantime, watch for more information on the September 1 launch of the Cappex Application in the coming weeks.
This is the second in a two-part series.