Campus Technology

OSU Develops College Application Online Toolkit

Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., recently announced that it has launched an online toolkit to help students around the world complete the college application process. The resource, AXS Companion, launched on Sept. 1 and is available free of charge, according to a university news release.

AXS Companion was developed in a partnership between the university and the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). It features videos that guide students through the Common Application, used by more than 1,000 higher education institutions in all 50 states and in 20 countries, the news release reports.

“This tool provides critical assistance for underserved and first-generation students navigating the process of applying to college,” said Oregon State University provost and executive vice president Ed Feser. “The collaborative development of this tool also speaks to Oregon State’s commitment to providing access to a college education not only for learners in Oregon, but throughout the nation and world.”

More than a million students every year use the Common Application to apply to colleges, connect with college counseling resources and explore options for financial aid and scholarships. In 2021, about 700,000 students created accounts on the Common Application platform but never completed an application, according to the OSU news release.

“Applying to college, once a simple rite of passage for high-school students, has become more stressful,” said Jon Boeckenstedt, OSU vice provost of enrollment management. “Anyone involved in college admissions even a short period knows that the best way to increase access to college is to knock down barriers the system can put between students and a university degree.”

College Consortium founder and IECA member Marilyn O’Toole said that she recognized the need to simplify the college application process and provide support and resources to students. “Our goal has been to create change by increasing access and clarity for students as they navigate the Common App, particularly students in the under-resourced communities,” she said. “Our IECA team provided resources and guidance similar to what we offer our students.”

The AXS Companion features more than 50 modules breaking down various sections of the Common Application, including topics like supplemental essays, financial aid and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) waivers.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].