A group of so-called “elite” colleges and universities called the Coalition For Access, Affordability and Success has just announced they are unveiling a website next April where students as young as fourteen can begin preparing materials for their college application (essays, etc.).
You can read more about it at New Site Allows High School Freshmen to Start College Application (NBC News) and Elite colleges now want students to start their applications when they’re 14 (Vox).
Assuming the materials that students prepare for the site would be usable for other colleges, too, I think this could be very useful for ninth-graders. Combined with getting former students who are presently attending college, actually creating application materials like essays would make it more “real” and, in effect, the site might have the effect of being an “authentic audience” for their writing.
Of course, this also assumes that the site is going to be navigable and realistic for ninth-graders to use.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing what it looks like next April.
I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career.