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Website streamlines application process for Iowa regent schools

BY ALLIE BISCUPSKI | JUNE 29, 2015 5:00 AM

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Starting in July, high-school students will be able to apply to Iowa’s three public universities with just one click.

The state Board of Regents have developed a portal, débuting July 1, that will allow students to send applications to Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa on a single website. 

The portal is open to high-school students enrolling for the fall 2016 semester or later.

Regent Chief Academic Officer Diana Gonzalez said the portal will help streamline the application process.

“The portal will provide a one-stop shop for new U.S. high-school graduates who are interested in applying to more than one regent university,” she said in a press release. 

“The portal will ease the process for students because they won’t need to answer all the common questions more than once,” she said.

Grace Young, a senior at Iowa City West High, said though she has applied to the UI, she thinks the statewide application process will save time.

“I think that anything universities can do to cut down on the amount of time students spend entering the same data on numerous applications will help us out,” she said.

UI sophomore Yannik Encarnacao said he thinks the draw of in-state tuition will influence Iowa high-school students’ decision to use the portal.

“Just living in Iowa with in-state tuition, you want to apply to as many Iowa colleges as you can, just in case,” he said. “Money-wise, they just make sense; if there had been one for Iowa, I definitely would have used it.”

States such as Texas and California have implemented a system similar for their high school students. 

“There was a common [application] for other colleges that just pulled them all together so it just made sense,” Encarnacao said.

According to regents’ web documents, the web portal is expected to cost as much as $290,000 to create and implement in its first year. The annual ongoing costs are estimated to be $100,000.

Young said she likes the idea of the portal but thinks it should offer more features.

“If the application also served as a scholarship application, I could see that being helpful for many,” she said. “They might not be seriously considering [one of the public universities], but once they see the cost, it could make a huge difference in their final decision.”

Young thinks the portal is a good start, but the number of schools included should expand.

“To me, the portal seems like a mini common app just specified to Iowa, and I would love to see a system in which there was a universal application for all universities,” she said.

Encarnacao said he appreciates the advances the regents make in regards to technology’s effect on the college-application process.

“The American college system is changing a lot,” he said. “With so many more people going to college every year, and its becoming a more natural thing to do, I think they’re going to have to find a way to streamline everything.”


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