Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Think Greener Admissions On
Earth Day

April 22, 2008- As we approached Earth Day, we recently conducted a survey of our Connect! students to gather their thoughts on college admissions and the impact this process is having on the environment. We were surprised to learn that 65% of our students – made up of the greenest generation of our time - had not thought about the impact that all of the paper they receive and send in the admissions process is having on the environment. But, they were astonished when we told them!

We've been approaching high schools and colleges about Connect! for several years now with the benefits of eliminating the paper and moving the admissions process into the 21st Century. Save time! Save money! And, now, Save the environment!

It's no secret, students are driving green initiatives on almost every topic under the sun. They recycle. They conserve. They truly strive for sustainable living. And protecting the environment is a major concern of theirs. But now they are able to marry two of their chief interests – their college options and the environment. Students in the Connect! National Network are using Connect!, not only because it streamlines curriculum, college and career planning, but because it eliminates paper, therefore helping the environment. And they are asking colleges and high schools to join them in this effort.

High schools, like Maynard High School in Massachusetts, are bringing Connect! to their students as an eco-friendly solution. High schools are leading the charge and asking colleges to join the network so admission offices can receive transcripts electronically, high schools can stop printing paper and recruiters can meet students who want to meet them, without bursting their mailboxes with unwanted mail. And colleges are responding!

Knowing that 90% of our students are concerned about protecting the environment, and 55% want to apply to a college that practices greener admissions, we are in the process of making enhancements to Connect! to create a “greener”, more “eco-friendly” version, if you will.

For example, our students will be able to evaluate a college's green admissions practices with our GREENER ADMISSION rating system. Each of the 4,200 college profiles in Connect! will feature ratings of each college’s carbon footprint as it relates to their admission processes and the sending/receipt of paper documents vs. electronic transmissions and meeting students through electronic enrollment marketing. Colleges in our network are noted and receive additional recognition and rating benefits based on their level of electronic integration.

Plus, students who want to tell college administrators they should join the network can do so through Connect!, empowering our students to invite their high schools and colleges into a greener, more eco-friendly world of college admissions. It’s a win, win, win … for our students, for our colleges, and for our environment!

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