Future Admissions Tools and Models Initiative

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The College Board is pleased to share early research and updates from the Future Admissions Tools and Models Initiative. The documents we are sharing are works in progress, and we hope they, as well as the more complete reports that follow, will engage your interest, spur your own thinking, and lead to ideas for future areas of focus and work. If you would like to get involved in this work, please email us at futureadmissions@collegeboard.org.

About the Initiative

Building on a history of partnering with higher education thought leaders, the College Board has launched a new initiative to study and improve the practice of admission, with a special focus on holistic and individualized review, in order to expand student access and success.

Developed and structured as a partnership with member institutions, the Future Admissions Tools and Models Initiative brings together practitioners from a wide range of colleges and universities, along with expert researchers, to identify, extend, and scale innovative and promising practices through the development of research-based frameworks and tools. The Initiative’s objectives are to:

  • Explore, document, and share recent trends and emerging needs in how colleges admit students.
  • Identify and develop new sources of information and practical tools.
  • Promote a systematic, research-based approach to admission practice that will help colleges meet their goals in an effective, efficient, and transparent manner.

Research and Project Updates

As a first phase of the Future Admissions Tools and Models Initiative, the College Board has been partnering with practitioners and researchers on four applied research projects. These projects are in a preliminary phase and the documents below give a progress update:

  • Introduction provides a high level overview of the Initiative, our framework, and the preliminary documents.
  • Exploring a New Framework for Sorting Applicants provides an initial outline of a new conceptual segmentation model, supported by an empirically based methodology that can help colleges seeking to enhance or adopt individualized review. A research study examining the model will be published as results are finalized.
  • Data-Driven Models to Understand Environmental Context provides a preliminary description of the role of environmental context in the admission process and gives an overview of a new pilot Environmental Dashboard. A research study examining environmental context will be published as results are finalized. A full discussion of the dashboard pilot will be delivered at the 2016 College Board Forum.
  • Insights into Nonacademic Factors and Practice offers an initial summary of a comprehensive study examining the history and current use of nonacademic factors in admission. The full study includes historical context, a review of the research literature, an analysis of relevant theoretical frameworks, and a set of in-depth case studies of how nonacademic factors are used in practice.
  • Innovative Practices of Interest on Campus is composed of six case studies that detail pioneering admission processes in higher education today. These case studies highlight how and why institutions developed these distinct approaches, provide descriptive information on the practices, and showcase the impact these approaches have had.