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April 30, 2007 :: New Web Site Helps Students Get Ready for College

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At a press conference today, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education officially launched a powerful, free new Web site that will help students, parents and school counselors plan for college.

The Web site, OKcollegestart.org, provides college planning, financial aid resources, campus information, college applications and career exploration.

Chancellor Glen D. Johnson said the Web site was created to make college information more readily available and to appeal to today’s Internet-savvy students.

“Today’s students use the Internet as their primary source of information,” Johnson said. “Now, information about Oklahoma colleges has been gathered into one location online. It will make planning for college easier and more efficient.”

The Web site, which is offered in English and Spanish, includes information about both public and independent Oklahoma colleges and universities. Students can review the college information, bookmark their favorite colleges and build personal portfolios with their grades and applications. Financial aid information also is available, including an online application for the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program. Information is also available in Spanish.

Counselors and parents also can use the Web site to help students. Student can choose to give their counselors access to their student portfolios so they can review grades and applications together.

Officials estimate more than 160,000 students will use OKcollegestart.org within the first three years of operation. Already more than 4,000 students have used a preliminary page of the Web site to apply for Oklahoma’s Promise since its application went online in January 2006.

The State Regents selected Xap Corporation to design and implement OKcollegestart.org after evaluating its success with other state higher education entities.

“OKCollegeStart.org is a collective and concerted effort among the State Regents, many other educational participants in the state, and Xap,” said J. Michael Thompson, CEO of Xap Corporation. “States have seen tremendous improvements in college-going rates using our comprehensive web systems, which have had a profound impact in empowering students and families with opportunity and resources for success.”

Officials said no state funds were used to develop the Web site. The start-up costs of nearly $1 million and the yearly upkeep costs will be paid through federal GEAR UP funds and the Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program.

Students, parents and counselors can find the Web site at OKcollegestart.org.

Download photo from the press conference here.

PHOTO CUTLINE
Susan Brown, Altus High School counselor, and Michael Thompson, Xap CEO, look on as Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, announces the launch of OKcollegestart.org. The Web site is a one-stop-shop for students to prepare for college.