Acceptly Applies Gamification & Intelligence to the College Application Process
Even if it’s been decades since you lived through the college application process, you likely still can remember the stress of what classes to take, what extra curricular activities to participate in, when to start the application process, how to approach people to write letters of recommendation, and of course, how to create the perfect essay and personal statement. Parents and students should rejoice with the advent of college application support tools like Acceptly.
Acceptly provides step-by-step challenges to guide students through the process. The guidance isn’t just about completing college applications and meeting deadlines (though the calendar is a wonderful resource). Acceptly also includes broader preparation guidance in terms of courses to take, activities to consider, how to think about which colleges to apply to, tracking down financial aid, writing thank-you notes, and even how to inform a school when you’re turning them down.
I signed-up, started the process and am proud to report that I have already accumulated 130 points, completed seven challenges, and acquired three badges! I’ll admit that I did not broadcast that information to my Facebook friends, but I could have. Besides bragging rights, these updates are a way to keep the college application process on the radar of busy high school students. Think of the power if a student's friends are all working on applications at the same time. There is benefit in sharing the pain and the strategies for dealing with that pain.
I did wonder about the gamification angle. I asked Kathryn Favaro, Acceptly community director, how we can help students avoid seeing the number of applications or acceptance letters as another set of badges or points to acquire. Students already are ratcheting-up the number of applications — increasing the strain on them, their application budgets, and the schools who have to manage increasing numbers of applications. I wondered that if we get students into game mode as part of the application process, how can we keep it from carrying over to the end result?Continued on the next page