college readiness

New tool helps middle school students assess college readiness

NWEA’s College Explorer Tool helps students use their Measures of Academic Progress score look for colleges that meet their learning needs

The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) has developed a new College Explorer tool that enables middle school and early high school-age students to use their Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores to see which colleges and universities they’re on track to enter long before they embark on the application process.

“By helping younger students to see how their academic performance can impact their options when it comes to choosing a college, our hope is that the College Explorer Tool can be a valuable conversation-starter for students, parents, and educators,” said Matt Chapman, CEO of NWEA. “We want to empower students to not only find the college that is right for them, but also to understand what changes they need to make, academically, in order to be admitted at their preferred institution.”

The College Explorer Tool correlates MAP scores to ACT® scores and displays colleges and universities that may be a good fit for a student based on median admission scores. Additionally, the tool provides a quantitative profile of each institution using data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, which includes valuable information on cost of attendance and the average annual cost borne by families at different income levels.

This crucial information shows students and their families how much they would likely need to borrow in order to complete their education at a given college, as well as graduates’ typical earnings.

“NWEA’s assessments are designed to support each student’s academic growth,” said John Cronin, Senior Director of Research at NWEA. “We built this tool to give students, teachers and parents early insight into how that growth can translate into access to higher education. NWEA is dedicated to fostering a college-going culture that enables students to make informed decisions and to choose an educational path that meets their individual needs.”

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Laura Ascione
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