Magazine article Newsweek

www.Apply-Here.Com

Magazine article Newsweek

www.Apply-Here.Com

Article excerpt

More and more students are hunting for college online; schools don't always see this as progress

It's crunch time for julie shama. Like thousands of high-school seniors, she faces college-application deadlines in the next month. Julie's counselor at Brookline High, outside Boston, and her $300-a-session private college-application adviser are helpful. But they can't match the resources of the Internet. One evening recently, Julie was browsing through the College Board's Web site. She plugged in possible majors (fashion, journalism), a region (New England) and clicked on "continue." Up popped Emerson College, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She e-mailed all three. Then she called up the Web site for the University of Wisconsin at Madison because friends had told her it was cool. She liked what she saw so much that she filled out an online application. "Pretty damn convenient," Julie says. "I don't have to get up and look in a book or anything. It's all in the palm of my hand."

Used to be that universities had students in the palm of their hands. Now, with millions of teenagers jacked into the Web, traditional print "view books," college-fair booths and campus visits (other than virtual) could soon go the way of the inkwell. The new gates of academe are Web sites that sell themselves as one-stop college shops. There are about a dozen online this fall, ranging from veterans like Kaplan (owned by Newsweek's parent company, The Washington Post Company), to upstarts like CollegeEdge. But many admissions officers say they fear that these sites are invading their turf, and they're fighting back by souping up their own Web sites. At stake, admissions officers say, is control--control of their schools' images, their enrollments and lots of money. "There's so much happening so fast," says Joyce Smith, head of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. …

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