New tool could close racial gap

Daily Editorial Board

The University of Minnesota is part of a coalition of universities poised to release an online tool that will allow high school students to begin compiling materials for their college applications as early as ninth grade, the Minnesota Daily reported last week. Available this summer, administrators hope the online tool will reduce stress associated with the college application process. 
 
We support the creation of this resource and the goal to reduce anxieties surrounding college applications. However, this tool will be most effective if it targets the high school populations who need it most.
 
For students in wealthier schools with supportive adult administrators to guide them through the college admissions process, a tool that helps students compile application components may be redundant. Therefore, the universities participating in the creation of this tool should actively promote it to schools whose students have fewer resources to tackle the formidable task of college applications. These schools’ students may not even consider college to be an option at all. 
 
The tool could also be useful to increase college attendance rates for African-American and Latino students in Minnesota, a state notorious for its educational achievement gap.  This could be especially valuable for the University, which is looking to increase its number of in-state students.
 
This tool has the potential to engage students in the college application process who might otherwise be left out. Once the tool is released, administrators should be sure to promote it to those populations.