University | 4:37 pm | September 18, 2013 | By Amy Wang

Quinlan backs Delaware efforts to expand college access

This morning, officials of the state of Delaware announced a new initiative to improve college access for high school students in the state — an effort that is backed not only by College Board and Delaware universities, but also by a group of the country’s most selective schools, which was represented today by Dean of Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan.

Quinlan’s group, made up of all the Ivy League schools, MIT and Stanford, will support Delaware’s effort to ensure that high school students statewide are better equipped for the college application process. Delaware’s project was originally sparked by a study conducted by Harvard professor Christopher Avery and Stanford professor Caroline Hoxby, which found that very few high-achieving low-income students attended selective universities.

According to a press release, College Board — the organization that administers the SAT and Advanced Placement tests, among others — will start sending resources this month to students who “demonstrate the potential to succeed in college, but who may be at risk of either discounting the best schools for which they may qualify or of not applying to college at all.”

The project will reach out to more than 4,000 high school seniors in the state with tailored materials, including information about how to research colleges and the importance of applying to a variety of schools. Additionally, those who qualify will also receive college application fee-waivers, which — though currently available to low-income students — are relatively unused, because students are unaware of how to request them.

Earlier this year, Hoxby and Avery’s study found that in Delaware, 27 percent of students that the SAT marks as “college-ready” do not enroll in college.

The announcement of the new initiative was made this morning in a Delaware high school library, at which Quinlan, Governor Jack Markell, Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and College Board President David Coleman were present.

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