Webinar: College Applications

>>Alright, well it is 10 o’clock a.m. We’re going to go ahead and get started. I hope all of you can see my screen. It’s 10 o’clock this morning, and good morning educators. I hope everyone had a
wonderful long weekend. Thank you so much for
joining us this morning for our September webinar, College Applications: Time To Apply. We’re kicking off the start of
the 2018 to 2019 school year. And it’s really hard to believe
it is September already. We know the class of 2019 has
already started the process of applying to colleges. So we wanted to provide
Texas OnCourse users with some highlights from
our learning modules, as well as experts in the
field of college applications. So for all of those those
of you joining the webinar, you will receive a link
to access the recording. And we will also be posting all of our webinars on our website. We’re going to go ahead and get started with some general tips and
tools to keep you engaged so you can see everything
we’re talking about and hear our guest speakers. We know it’s a really busy
time of year here in September, in the fall, we certainly value your time and we’re really happy you could join us, we definitely hope it’s valuable for you. We’re going to go ahead
and start with just a really short orientation of Zoom, which has our webinar platform. So if you can see my screen that says participation and interaction,
and you can hear me speaking, you’re off to a great start. You are able to register and login, and you can see that in
here the webinar so far. Here are a few tools
to change your settings and make sure you can actively participate during the webinar. This is what the Zoom screen
looks like first of all, and this is how you
log on and get started. This is going to be your audio settings. So where you test your speaker to make sure that you can hear others. And then right here is a
raise your hand feature, so you can raise your hand
and also lower your hand. You can also click in the chat box. If for some reason during
the course of the webinar. I don’t see your hand raised or lowered, or I do not see your
chat, later on, I promise I will get to it before we
close out of the webinar. So we will answer all your questions. This is another box where
you can add your questions and send them in. And input them here and
we will all see them. And then this is how you can see your size up here in the top right corner where you can exit full screen or make it smaller if you’d like. So I just want to quickly highlight that we have over 85 users
joining us this morning from across the state of Texas. And everyone is interested in discussing college applications, which is great news that
everyone is working on this with students and
parents across the state. Thank you all in advance
for submitting questions in advance. We’ve received the questions
from our registered users and our guest speakers today
plan to answer some of those as well as provide updates
on the Common Application and Apply Texas. So just to kind of get us
started on a little bit of background in some numbers for those of you on the webinar. Before we start talking
about applications, we kind of want to talk
about who is using OnCourse. So as many of you know, when
we began over 2,500 counselors and advisors across the state
helped us build our resources. So then fast forward to today. And we have over 9,000 educators using Texas OnCourse resources, 2,552 schools, which is
actually not on here, and then also 857
districts across the state. So that is over 65% of
districts in the state of Texas that are using our resources, which we’re really excited about. And as we look ahead, we’re definitely hoping to serve over 10,000 educators over the next school
year and years to come. And overall, really help
over 2 million middle school and high school students
plan for what is next and after high school. So I want to quickly go
over just a quick agenda and give most of our time to the content and our guest speakers. We’re going to do some
quick introductions, I’ll introduce myself, and we’ll have our
guests and OnCourse staff introduce themselves. We have a quick overview of
Apply Texas in Common App. We realize that those
of you on the webinar are really familiar with these resources. And so we’re going to have
some highlights to those. And then we have the Texas OnCourse team that’s going to go over and
spotlight some resources that we have in our Learning
Academy in our modules. And then we’ll start with
the Common App updates and flow into the apply Texas updates. And then when we wrap
up, we’d like to tell you a little bit about the webinars
that we’re going to have for the rest of the school year and then have time for
question answer and wrapping up any other things we may have missed. I just want to quickly introduce myself. My name is Laura Gueguen, I’m Senior Partnerships
Coordinator here at Texas OnCourse. My background is as a
counselor in a K-12 setting. And most of my experiences
college and career advising in the state of Texas
and our high schools. And I’ve worked in a
couple of other states as a counselor as well. Currently a Texas OnCourse
I help our schools, specifically middle schools, implement some of our
middle school resources like Middle Galaxy, Map My Grad, and our middle school curriculum guide. Jaslyn? Jaslyn, I’m not hearing from Jaslyn. Let me check something
really quick on our audio. My apologies. Okay, we cannot hear Jaslyn. Let me see if I can go
in and change something. Meredith can we hear you?>>I think so. Can you hear me?>>Yes, we can. Well, we’ll go ahead
and go back to Jaslyn. I’m so sorry about that.>>No worries. So, yes good morning everyone. Happy to be joining you today. I am Meredith Lombardi. I am the Associate Director
for Outreach and Education at the Common Application. I have been here for I have been here for around three years, where I work to help bring resources to the counseling community. So like Laura, I formerly
was a counselor myself, I was a counselor in DC as
well as in the state of Georgia and I currently oversee
the Common Application’s Outreach Advisory Committee, which is made up of a group of secondary school counselor
community based organizations and independent educational consultants who help give us feedback
as we work on making the Common App a more pleasurable
experience for students as they go through the
college application process. So thank you for having me today.>>Great thank you for
joining us Meredith. Claudette?>>Yes, good morning. My name is Claudette Jenks, I’m the director of
College Access and Success for the Texas Higher
Education Coordinating Board. I’ve had a number of years, about, I just celebrating my
20th year in state service but I’ve had 15 years of high school, in high school, higher ed,
and nonprofit entities. I manage here at the Coordinating Board, I manage a portfolio of
a statewide initiatives including the Apply Texas program, Advice Texas, Generation
Texas, and the Reach Higher, the state Reach Higher initiative, as well as some other things, but that’s what I do here now. Thank you.>>Great, thank you Claudette. Tim?>>Hello everyone, I’m Tim Brace. I am a Senior IT Manager,
in the Office of Admissions at the University of Texas at Austin. I currently am the manager
for the Apply Texas team and have been with them
for about seven years. Prior to that I worked in the
Office of Graduate Studies as a software developer
and also is the IT manager there and in the office of admissions. Also during that time, I was also on the school board for
the Hayes Consolidated ISD.>>Great, thank you, Tim.>>Laura, this is Allison here, if you’d like I can
take over screen sharing while you work on Jaslyn’s audio.>>Sure, sure. Go right ahead.>>And apologies everyone to bring in a different voice. But this is Allison Rislow
from Texas OnCourse. And, we’re just trying to
get Jaslyn set up as a, as a panelist so that you
can hear her lovely voice. So Laura is going to be
troubleshooting that for us. While we’re waiting,
I also want to mention since it apparently
seems to be a great day for technical issues. Our website is also
currently down at the moment due to a Microsoft kind
of system wide outage. That said, you are still available, or you are still able to access
the Texas OnCourse Academy, which is where we are pulling
a lot of this information from and you can access the Academy at dashboard.TexasOnCourse.org. at dashboard.TexasOnCourse.org. And hopefully Microsoft is hard at work to get their azure as are back online so our website can be back up. And it looks like Jaslyn should
be promoted to panelist now so we should be able to hear
her so I’ll turn it over.>>Hey, this is Jaslyn Green. Good morning, sorry about that. My audio is a little weird. I am our Assistant Director
for our content and resources team at Texas OnCourse,
background in advising students, working really closely
with high school counselors in both the Richardson in the Dallas area and super excited to have
you join us this morning. So one of our goals here
at Texas OnCourse is really just to make sure that the
content we include in the academy is practical so that you
can quickly implement any information that we’re sharing. I’m going to give you a minute
to review the dialogue here on the screen for the Common
Application FERPA waiver. So as you all know the
FERPA law is very complex and often confusing for students. And so the purpose of
this student conversation is really to highlight a situation where the student made a mistake by opting not to waive their rights to
review recommendation letters submitted on their behalf. The most important point
here is just understand that you as a counselor and
advisor could definitely encounter a similar situation, and that Common App does allow students to change their FERPA decision
if no recommendation letters, school forms or other documents have been submitted on their behalf. Here’s another example
over student conversation, this one is related to the
scholarship application with the apply Texas again, I’ll give you another
minute to just briefly read the dialogue here on screen. This student conversation is focused on assisting a student with
their scholarship application within the Apply Texas application system. Basically, keeping track of deadlines we know during college application season can be really overwhelming
for students and families and making it really
easy to miss a deadline. So the purpose behind this conversation is really just to showcase
the common situation where a student submitted
their college application through the Apply Texas
system and they did not complete the scholarship application. As you all know, that
scholarships are a great debt free way for students to pay for their college education. So this is why it’s really important to help students understand that schools like the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, University of
Houston, Texas State, and others all have a scholarship application that students will be asked to submit during their Apply Texas application. Next slide. This is an example of the link that students are asked to click on within their admissions application in order to apply for scholarships. As you can see, it’s very
easy for students to overlook. The second, can you go back one? The second image here that
you see is of a student’s apply Texas account dashboard. And so students actually have the option to submit their application without submitting the
scholarship application. Here you see it says inactive. This is why it’s really
important to follow up with students on their application status. And you as counselors do a great job at just asking some of
those probing questions about whether or not
they’ve actually completed the university scholarship
application by the deadline. And for our resource spot light. One of the most important
steps that we all know in applying to college
is really to ensure that the follow up with the
university or college is really happening so that
students aren’t missing any necessary documentation. This case here we would like to highlight one of the infographics
that we have included in four of the college
application modules, specifically. If you could, next slide, thank you. The college application
follow up here infographic is basically helping to
advise students in sessions on what documentation do I need to submit after I’ve completed these various college application systems. And so for the first piece
here at the top of the screen, it’s just letting you know
that all Apply Texas Coalition, Common App, and the Universal College App requires students to
submit their test scores after they’ve submitted their application as well as their official
high school transcript, which you all are aware of. For the first step one is focused on early decision agreements. And that the three applications
that you see here on screen Coalition, Common App, and
the Universal College App all have an early decision agreement that students can actually
complete within the system. The second step here you see number two application fee waivers. Apply Texas and the
Universal College Application does not offer an electronic submission for the application fee waivers. So it’s really important to just ensure that you’re following up
with them to figure out what’s the most preferred
method with the university. Maybe it’s mail maybe it’s fax, but the students are
confirming that with the institution that they’re applying to. The last tip on screen is just
that recommendation letters from Apply Texas system, there is not an electronic
submission option and so they will need to have
a recommenders mail those out. The other application
systems to allow recommenders to submit them electronically
on the student’s behalf. So this is an example
of a great infographic that can be used in advising sessions with students and families. Next slide please. And, each of the models in
Texas OnCourse Academy we’ve generated a number of resources, including both infographics
and also handouts. And so these are ones
that you could print out and hang in your office
or hand out to students. You can definitely find
these resources throughout each of the modules. But we have also included these resources that we’re discussing for
the modules available today on our Pinterest account. So this is a snapshot
of the Pinterest boards that we have for both the
Apply Texas module resources and the Common Application resources, which can be found at
Pinterest.com/TexasOnCourse. And sorry, there’s a
little lag with the slides. Again, technology today is
not been the greatest for us. So please bear with us. And here, go back, here is another snapshot
of our Pinterest boards for both the Coalition Application and also the universal application, again, a great way for you guys
to just have quick access to the resources that are
related to the modules that basically focused
on college application. So feel free to definitely
visit our Pinterest so that you can download those resources to just use those immediately
with students and families. And now I’m going to turn
it over to Meredith Lombardi to provide updates on
the Common Application.>>So really quickly, this is Laura. Meredith, I don’t mean to interrupt you. But we’re going to try to get back to me sharing my screen here if we can. And hopefully that will be
a little bit less of a lag. Okay, can you see the Common
Application slide, Meredith?>>I sure do.>>Okay, great, go ahead.>>Alright, so I know I just have a few minutes to share
highlights with you all to kind of get you ready
to go for the 2018-2019 application year. So I hope in the next few minutes I’ll be able to give some highlights. And then certainly, we’ll
be happy to take questions later on, so can go to the next slide. So just a reminder, the Common Application is a not for profit
membership organization. This is our mission statement on the left talking about our pursuit of
access, equity, and integrity, in the college admission process. For those of you who don’t know, the Common Application
actually began in 1975. So we have been around for over 40 years. It started with 15 member institutions that has now grown as you
can see here, for this year, we have 829 member institutions, it originally was private institutions that were in the membership
and that opened up in the year 2000 to public institutions. So in our membership, about
20% are public institutions. So you see 172 for this year, we are in 49 of the states, plus the District of
Columbia, and Puerto Rico, North Dakota remains the one
state that does not currently does not have a Common
App Member Institution. In the state of Texas,
there are 13 institutions that are members of the Common App. We also are abroad. So students who use the Common Application to apply to apply college
or not just seeing opportunities to study in the US, they also will see 60
International member organization, or institutions in 19
countries outside of the US. And then the minority
serving institutions. Here, you’ll see we have
47, that includes HBCUs, Hispanic serving institutions, and predominantly black institutions, certainly, to get a full
list of the membership and see who is a member,
you can go to CommonApp.org, and explore colleges. We also have the great map
if you’re familiar with that. And the new 2018-2018
map will get mailed out at the end of September. In terms of new members, so each year, there are institutions
that join the common app, this year we are welcoming
60 new member institutions, half of which, actually
a little over half, 31 are public institutions. So we’re very happy about
sharing that information, and about again, increasing
access for students. The the list of schools here
are the public institutions that have joined, but to get the full list of who is currently, who
has joined for this year, we maintain a blog that you can access when you go to CommonApp.org, at the bottom of the page
there’s a little place that says what’s happening. That’s our blog. And back in April we listed,
we put out a blog post of the new members and that blog post still has the full list of all the 60 new member institutions. So one, you know, big thing
to make people aware of is that the essay prompts didn’t change. We do do a review every other year to see how our member
institutions are feeling about the essay prompts, so, as well as students and counselors. So a survey goes out, we
gather feedback, and last year, so for 17-18, we did have
some new essay prompts. So there were five essay
prompts that then became seven. Intellectual curiosity was a
new essay prompts for 17-18, as well as bringing back
topic of your choice. And this is the breakdown
that we saw in the in the first year application
for the general themes of what students were were picking. We’re very happy to see that students are finding a place where
they can tell their story and that it is not all
bucketed into one place. So we will continue to review the prompts. And we like to make sure to
get that information out early. Because we know that students
can start working on their on their personal statements earlier than when the application launches. So every year, the application
launches on August One, but with account rollover, students can create their account anytime. And the information including
the essay rolls over from year to year. So we actually announced the
essay prompts back in January, knowing that there would be some students particular in their junior year who would be able to get a head start on exploring the application and potentially picking
their their essay prompts. Another big update for 2018-2019 is in the courses and grades section. So again, courses and grades was released in this past year, 17-18, it’s the ability for a member institution to collect self reported
academic records from, from a student. So last year, we had six institutions that use courses and grades, while we, which meant none of the
other member institutions, there were 772 last year, wanted that, that information or we’re
going to download it. However, we found that
students were still filling out that that part of the application when they never needed to, so just unnecessary time for them, where they could have been
using that time elsewhere. So this year in the in the
courses and grades section, which you can see a little screenshot, it’s on the Common App
tab, the seventh section, there is now a message that pops up that basically says you
have not added a school to your list that requires
courses and grades. Therefore, you do not even
need to access this section. And in fact, the student will
not be able to access this unless they add a school to their list that requires courses and grades. If you go to the next slide, I’ll show you. So this is the list of schools that are using courses and grades. And can you go back one, one
slide, I’ll just show you. So the students in the application, they see here a link that
says this is the list and it goes to an FAQ
on our applicant support website, which I’ll share
the link with you later on. So you can find this FAQ yourself. But now if you go back
to the list of schools, so last year, there were
six institutions using it, this year we have 31
institutions using it. We saw a large number of
public institutions who are, who opted in for this year
to use the self reported academic record as well as
a number of institutions in the UK. So that’s where we’re
seeing a large number. Another feature for you to be aware of. So last year, again,
we introduced the idea of the advisor role and
that was where students who are working with
someone other than their school counselor that we
would be able to provide that advisor visibility to
track a student’s progress with completing the application. So I’m combining it
here so that you can see in the application students
have the ability to invite one counselor and
then up to three advisors. So counselors and advisors
can both track progress. And you can see it again
in this screenshot, they’ll see the seven
sections of the application, so profile, family, education, testing, activities, writing, courses and grades, they’ll see for their roster of students whether or not the student
has completed that section, they can the students or
the counselors and advisors can look at college level
detail for each students. So that little red List
icon, by clicking on that the counselors and advisors can see the full list of colleges
on a student’s list and where they are with
completing the recommendation part of that application with completing any writing supplements,
whether or not an application has been submitted. So they’ll see all of that, also the column all the
way far to the right where you see the blue eye icon, students have the ability
to share a PDF preview of their in progress application. Now that there’s two parts to. First, here where you
see on the main section that is the, all of the
answers to questions on the Common App Tab. So all common information
that would get sent to any college. When a counselor or advisor
clicks on the college list, they will also see
additional blue icons there where they can then look
at the specific responses to answers that are specific to colleges. So they can see it in
two different places. If a counselor or
advisor ever sees the eye where it’s not colored,
that means that the student has not turned on application preview. So they’re sharing their progress and how they’ve filled
out their their parts of the application, you
can actually go and see how they have responded to the question. So if you ever have that,
and perhaps a mistake and you can have a conversation with a student to turn
on application preview which they do within
their own application, we want the students to
have the control to say who they’re inviting. In terms of defining who an advisor is, we don’t do that, we leave
that up to the students. So an advisor can be a community based organization counselor it
could be a college counselor at their their high school, it can be a parent that
they want to give access to, it can be a peer, it can be a teacher, it’s really just who is providing
support for that student. The last bullet so when a
student invites a counselor the counselor is providing
and submitting school forms and a transcript on
behalf of that student. So that information,
the contact information for the counselor is
shared with the colleges. The advisor is just a private relationship between the students and the advisor. So the advisor contact information is not shared with colleges. Last year we had 43,000
individuals take advantage of the advisor role and we
hope to see that continue. All right, just a quick, you know, we these are
very high level highlights, every year we do a number
of webinars ourselves to make sure that people are
prepared for the coming year. So in June, we did out what’s coming, what’s new with the common app webinar, we did a follow up in August. We also did a webinar in July to talk about our new
transfer application. So this past year we’ve done a lot of work to support transfer students
on their educational journeys and we launched
a brand new transfer app. So just knowing that all of our webinars can be found on our YouTube channel, you also if you don’t
currently have a Common App account as a student I highly
encourage you to do that just so you can explore
the application yourself, you just go to CommonApp.org, click apply, and it will ask you
whether you are student, education professional,
or parent, or other adult. So by clicking education professional you will create a practice account. Common App website has
a lot of great resources before you even get to
the application process. We have a monthly newsletter
that you can sign up for right on the website by going to counselors and recommenders. Common App Ready, I saw
that there were some links out to comment up
ready in Texas OnCourse, which is great. Those are just PDFs and
PowerPoints and video tutorials, we’re on social media. So if you want to be up to date, following us on Facebook
and Twitter and Instagram is a great way to stay connected. And then a reminder that we, our support is available 24/7/365. So we have chat, we have schedule-a-call, students and recommenders
can email us directly. And we have a lot of self
help FAQs out on App support and rec support. So that’s just a quick highlight. Happy to again, answer questions
later when they come up. And I will now I’m going
to turn it over to Tim to give some updates on Apply Texas.>>Hi. So just a couple of general things about Apply Texas. We have about 130 schools, we serve all of the public institutions of higher education in the state, both two year and four year. By legislation, they have to participate. And so the point there is that any student the state of
Texas who should be able to apply to any other,
to any public institution in the state and be able
to copy that application to another public
institution in the state, we have about 15 private schools
who participate by choice. we have about 15 private schools
who participate by choice. Some of, we have almost
all of the large ones, the best known ones, and then
some, we have some others, but there are some private schools that also don’t participate. We first opened in fall of 1998, um, we have nine different application types, which include a graduate application, an international graduate application and a two year, application
for two year schools. So close to half of our
schools are two year schools. And we also have a counselor
suite where the counselors, the high schools can go
in and follow the progress of their students it’s and
see what which applications they have filled out and
whether they’ve submitted them and what page or on if
they haven’t submitted them and whether they have filled out a FAFSA for Federal Student Aid. Next slide, please. Uh, before I before I do that, I would just like to
offer a couple of comments of clarification on what was said before, as Jaslyn mentioned, we do have schools that use a scholarship app. And not all schools use
the scholarship app. So that needs that’s important
for counselors to know that it will appear for some
students and not for others, depending on where they’re applying. Also, I know that at UT Austin, which used to use the scholarship
app is no longer using it for the new cycle, they’ve
taken those questions and folded them into custom questions for the application itself, which means that application
is a little longer, but those students for UT
Austin won’t be using the, won’t have to do a
separate scholarship app. So just in case you,
those of you who’ve been working with students to UT Austin through Apply Texas before, you might wonder why that app
is not there anymore for that. And the other thing is, you mentioned in a previous
slide about transcripts being outside of Apply Texas, which is true for 90% of the students. But we do have the
capability for some students to order transcripts
within the application only if the high school and the college agree to share transcripts that way. So you might have some students that from your high school if
they’re if your high school is participating in this. If it’s not, then none of your students will have this option. If it is you may have some students that will see this and
then the same student might apply to a different school and come ask you why
didn’t I see that option? That’s because the the
institutional of higher education is not participating in
that in that particular early transcript request. And I can I’ll explain that better if anybody has a question about that. Okay. Updates for this year,
one of the big ones, which I know all the,
the large applications and many institutions are dealing with, which is the General Data
Protection Regulation, we have complied with it as has I’m sure the Common App and the
Coalition App and all others, what your students will, will, will face will be that when they, if they are already have
a profile in Apply Texas and Apply Texas keeps
its profiles for years. So if someone was here two
years ago to do an app, and now they do a, to do a two year app and now they come back to before your app, they can log into the same profile. But if they have already had a profile before the end of May of this year, they will need to go to their profile and acknowledge the privacy policy which has been rewritten
to be clearer and to be very specific as to what
information we save, and process and send
and who we send it to. And how we do that. If they are new to apply Texas, then they will not, they will, it’ll just be part of their
setting up their profile, which is will be called the account the first time they do that they will have to check that button. And if they don’t check
it they cannot continue because we do not have
permission to store their data. And we’re treating everyone the same. We’re not trying to figure out whether this new European
Union law applies to these people or not,
we’re just treating everybody the same. And so everyone will have to
acknowledge the privacy policy before they can go in and
start any applications. Next slide, please. We are in the middle of a big move. We are moving our infrastructure from a mainframe system at the
University of Texas at Austin to Amazon Web Services, this
will take at least another year we we expect more of us support, we will it will just the change in itself will allow for a significant enhancements, including responsive design,
which we currently don’t have, even though we have six to
8% of our hits on our site are in mobile on mobile devices, we will have better research
warehouse capabilities on earlier data, we should be able to make
significant usability improvements and possibly change the way we
deliver files to our schools, these will be, some of these
will be part of the move, and some will be allowed by the fact that we are moving forward, if you’re a counselor for your students, hopefully there will be little effect except that we will have responsive design once we’re over there. And I think that there will
be some usability improvements that will be part of the move itself. Next please. A couple of changes within the app itself, we have a preferred name field that has been edited by
graphical information page. We would, this is intended for people who do not use, do not go by their legal first name. So maybe they prefer to be
called by their middle name or they have a nickname that
they prefer to be called by. This is different from other names, there are,
there are other name fields where we’re asking for things like if you use a different name on the SAT than from the name you’re
using an Apply Texas please give us that so
that we can match up the SAT, so that your institution can match up the SAT scores and the Apply Texas applications. This is different. This is simply a name
that’s essentially any name, if you have if you prefer
to be called by name that’s not your legal first name, we’re asking for that there. If you prefer to be
called by your first name, you don’t need to put in anything. Next. And I think I’m going to
ask Claudette to come in and talk about this one. This was a question that was
asked by a request from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Claudette?>>Thank you Tim. So I’m just going to give a little
history about this question. This question was recommended to be added by the foster care and group that was made up of
state nonprofit entities that included the Texas
Health and Human Services, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Children’s Commission and our agency was involved as well as institutions
of higher education and other groups. Research has showed that
over about 80% of youth in foster care report
wanting to go to college, however, only two the
9% who attend college actually received a bachelor’s degree. So they found that this
was an important issue and wanting to find an area where they can identify foster care youth. The intent on the question really is to better
identify these students to be able to provide them
resources that assist them in the pursuit of their higher education. Just so you know, by law, each of the institutions
of higher education must appoint at least one employee to serve as a liaison for these students that were formally and the conservatorship of the Texas Department of
Family and Protective Services. Within this law there
are a number of things that these liaisons do,
including providing information to foster care alumni
regarding support services. They also inform these students about other resources
available at the institution and they provide any
other relevant information to assist these students. This specific request to add the question to the application was sent to the Apply Texas Advisory Committee, which is made up of two year, four year, and technical on private institutions that Tim talked about. The committee approved
adding this question to the application in February for this upcoming cycle
the 1920 application cycle. So it is a required
question on the application. And students who would
like additional information are provided a link to
the College of College For All Texans website, there they can find additional
information on foster care and the list of foster care liaison that are at each of the institutions. The question is also intended
to help identify students so when they get on the
campus, the campus liaison, they’re able to connect to
them once they’re enrolled in the institution. The Apply Texas Advisory Committee often receives a lot of different requests. Requests like these to make changes to really improve the application. These requests typically
come from our institutions of higher education
since they are the ones that pay into the system itself. However, last year rules were amended to add high school
counselor representation so that the apply Texas
committee can receive feedback about the apply Texas application
and the counselor suite. Although we cannot make all the changes that are actually, that
actually come to us or to the Advisory Committee, the committee and the Apply
Texas staff prioritizes what can be done, and then the
changes are made accordingly. So for your information, the committee generally meets
three to four times a year here at the Coordinating
Board in Austin, Texas, the meetings are posted
to our agency website, along with the notifications
of the meeting dates along with all our other
Coordinating Board meetings. The meeting is also posted
to the Texas register. So you all know when
those meeting dates are. But if you like to receive a notification, you can always email me directly, and I’m sure we can share
that information with you. The meetings are broadcasted and recorded for later viewing, they typically
run between 9am and 4pm. So we know that that’s a
long day for most of you. But again, they’re recorded
so you can view them later. Um, one last quick note while I have you, we want to remind you that we are, our agency is kicking off the, our Generation Texas campaign soon. And the Generation Texas campaign
is a statewide initiative to encourage more students
really to complete a college application and their FAFSA within the month of November. So we’ll be sending out
registration surveys to all counselors that we have emails for. And we hope that you
participate this year. As a participant, you can
receive a welcome gift and some stickers for
your high school seniors that say I applied. And so we hope that you’ll be
looking out for that email. But all this really ties to, again, encouraging more students
complete college application. So that’s about all I have. And we’re ready for questions.>>Can I jump in here real quick? Hello?>>Sure Tim, go ahead.>>Yeah, can we go back
to that last slide? That just a clarification of the way this appears in the
application for the student for counselors who will
be helping students, when you first encounter that question 17, you see, you only see the first part, it’s not, it doesn’t default to yes or no. And the, and the student has to answer it. If they answer yes to that part the second part will appear and then you can answer
that one, yes or no. So when they first see it, they’ll only see the first
part with neither yes nor no filled in. If they answer no, they’re done. If they answer yes,
the second part pops up and they can answer that.>>Great, thank you Tim
for pointing that out. Alright, so we’re going to have some time, we have about 10 minutes left and we will have time for questions. I wanted to go ahead and mention the monthly webinar topics that we have. October is obviously PSAT
National Merit test season. In November, we’re going
to talk about financial aid December our webinar will be
successful course planning and endorsements, January, I think we flow
into the scholarship season and sort of digging, taking a deeper dive into financial aid . And then in February, and by the way, these webinars are all
on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 o’clock a.m. And then in February,
we’re going to talk about career pathways when
students are really digging into course, registration and
looking at their schedules for the upcoming school year, March, right before spring break, we’ll talk about test taking
strategies and assessments. In April, we’d like to have some experts and guests discuss
writing samples, essays, and also academic resumes,
which we’re seeing more and more in application profiles. And then in May, we’ll
talk about the TSIA Exam and College Readiness Standards. And then we’ll wrap up
the school year in June and talk about advising students with unique needs and circumstances. And so we have learning modules on all of these different topics. So the next thing we’re going to do is I’m going to exit our PowerPoint slides and open it up for questions and take a look at our chat function. And we will all Texas OnCourse staff, and our guest speakers will stick around and we can talk about
some of our questions and see if anybody would like to add any. But I want to just say a
special things to Meredith from the Common Application, Tim from the University of Texas, and Claudette from the Higher
Education Coordinating Board. Thank you all very much
for your expertise. We really appreciate it. And as well as Jaslyn from
Texas OnCourse, and Allison for troubleshooting with us and letting us know what’s
happening with technology and our website. So one of the questions
we have is where can recommendations letters go for common app? Meredith, can you hear that question?>>Yep, and I am happy to respond. So in the students application they are invited to invite recommenders. So one first thing to be aware of is that some students are
at schools using Naviance and then some schools are, or
some students are at schools that use the Common Application
recommendation system. What happens in their application
is a student indicates what high school they attend. And based on that information our system will tell the student either your high school uses Naviance, so you will get your counselor and teacher to complete their
recommendations through Naviance, or it will say you’re
not a Naviance school, so therefore you can invite
your counselor and teachers through the Common App. So on the my colleges tab in
the student’s application, there is a recommender and FERPA section and they invite and assign
their recommenders there. So counselor and teacher
those differ again based on whether a student
is a Naviance school or not. But then there is also
the there is a category for other recommender. So there are students who may have a coach or an employer or a
community based organization or a principal or someone else. Some schools even asked
for a peer recommendation. And so students can invite
and other recommender, whether they are at a
Naviance school or not, they invite them in their
application in the Common App. That invitation then triggers an email which goes to the recommender. And then that allows that person to create an account through the Common
App recommendation system. So you can’t actually create
a recommendation account or recommender account
until someone first invites to provide a recommendation
on their behalf. Now the Common App recommendation system is a one and done process. So whether a student is
applying to one school or 10 schools, you submit
your recommendation one time and then it gets sent to any school the student is applying to.>>Great, thanks Meredith.>>Sure, sorry, I’m just seeing the follow up, if the recommender
doesn’t have an email, so the student does not have
to put in an email address. If they do not, then the student
will see downloadable forms that they can download. And then they can either print them out and give them to that person or if the person is not
physically near them, they can put them in the
mail and have the person fill them out by paper and
mail directly to the colleges.>>Great, currently we don’t
have any more questions, but we have just about five minutes left. So if you all don’t mind,
we can definitely stay and stay quiet and just see if there’s any other questions that
pop up before we close out.>>Laura, we had one question that was sent to us by Jaslyn earlier. I’m not sure how we can answer it. But we’ll do our best. The question we received
was tips on making sure students answer the residency questions on the Apply Texas accurately so they do not inadvertently mark themselves as an
out of state students, particularly the question asking if they have graduated from a Texas High School. And Tim might be able to
help jump in here somewhere. But what we had mentioned is
this these are some things that because there are
some other questions we have around this,
we couldn’t really say here’s how to do it. But questions like these really
bring an alert to our side see if maybe the question
might need to be reworded in a way that helps a student know how to answer that
question particularly, we hadn’t really heard much from the field that this was an issue. But now with this opportunity
to talk to you all, and to engage the high school counselor and other groups to have more feedback, we can get to some of this information. So what we can say is that
if this is a growing problem amongst all of you,
this is can be something that can be submitted to our
apply Texas advisory committee and to review because we
know that this is an issue on their on the side
with a question at least. So we might be able to provide either make a change to the question
to improve the response, or we can add some additional guidance on the Apply Texas website on
how to answer that question. Tim, did I miss anything there?>>No, I think that’s right. I think as you said, if,
certainly a red flag to us, if students are having trouble
getting through any section. The questions themselves can be changed, they’re based on state law. And so 20 years ago,
when we first started, these were encoded into
questions, a set of questions, which became more and more dynamic and changed slightly through time as the laws changed and
as our understanding of how best to ask the question of change. But these, we understand that
these can be a little bit, can be difficult, and we don’t
want people making mistakes. And so if especially
if we find any pattern where there are, where
there are particularly, where there are certain
questions that are running in, that are causing problems
for for multiple students, we’d like to know what that is. And then we can get together between the Apply Texas team and
the Coordinating Board and the advisory committee and
say, how could we word this? Or how can we order these
questions in such a way that would, that would not
be a barrier for the students to be able to get through that section.>>Great, and then I
also see it a question which application out of the
two is most used with colleges?>>I’m sure that Meredith has something to say about that. I think it’s obvious
that with 800 colleges that the Common App serves more schools, I believe, she said they served about 13 in the state of Texas, we serve 130 schools, all
of which are in Texas, but we don’t serve any, Apply Texas doesn’t serve any colleges out of the state at all. We have a number, we have of
some schools that we share, if you’re, if you’re going, if you’re applying to a public four year, when you say colleges, I’m assuming maybe you mean universities that we have all of the public
universities in the state as part of the Apply Texas system. If you were, if a student,
kind of comes down to where a student wants to apply, there are several of
our public universities in the state who also use the Common App or the Coalition App
or have their own app. So it kind of, I would say, you know, to be fair to everybody concerned, it comes down to where
the student wants to apply if they’re going to apply to a Common App Texas public university that also want to apply to one of the other colleges throughout the country
that the Common App serves, then that’s a good way to go. They don’t have to apply, they don’t have to fill out to applications but if they’re going to apply to one of those schools that
uses both the Common App and Apply Texas and they have no intention of any of those of going out of state and they want to copy
that application easily to several other, one or more
public institutions in Texas without having to apply
again, then Apply Texas might be the best way for them. Meredith with that seem like
a fair statement to you?>>Yep, yep, I agree, I think considering your
list is really important. And I think, you know, with Apply Texas having community colleges, that certainly adds a large number and the public institutions
so volume wise, you know, we may, we may actually be very similar, but the schools are just on
our platforms are different. So knowing where you want to apply first.>>Right, I think a lot of the schools we share are private schools, because the private
schools in Texas like TCU, maybe SMU, that those would be the ones that would be more of the question, would be question that the
student and the counselor would need to answer. Whereas where else do you want to apply. Some of those, because
some of those of your 13 or 15, however many was,
if they’re private schools some of them might take Apply Texas and the Common App and some
might only use one of us.>>Yep.>>Perfect, well, that actually puts us right at 11 a.m., so we have had you all as
our experts for a full hour and we have no more questions. So everyone that’s registered, even if you even if you have colleagues that were not able to actively
participate this morning, we will send that link out and we will also post it on our website. We might have some questions
for our registered users about future webinars and future topics. But we hope you will join us
for the rest of the school year and for the rest of our topics. And once again, thank you everyone so much for your
participation this morning.>>Thank you.>>Thank you. Have a great day everyone.>>Thank you everyone.

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