Tuition at Ivy League universities may be on the rise — but a new app makes getting there much more affordable.

Ivy Authority, which was co-founded by 2010 College graduate Michael Tate, allows students from around the globe to ask questions regarding the college application process and receive answers from Ivy graduates

Tate wanted to create a low-cost resource for students who would otherwise not have access to college application advice. Although some wealthy college applicants hire private counselors for thousands of dollars, many students do not pay for outside personal assistance during the application process.

“We had classmates who had expensive tutors, expensive consultants,” Tate said. “About a year ago I said to some of my friends, ‘why don’t we create something at a very low cost that can expand opportunity to anyone, whether they went to a top boarding school, or whether they went to a public school in the middle of Iowa.’ And now for the first time ever, it exists.”

For many students who go to public high schools, getting quality advice about the college application process can be a struggle. Many lower-income students rely on internet resources such as collegeboard.com, which matches a student’s credentials to a college that may be a good fit for them.

The app, which is available for download in the Apple Store, charges its users $2.99 per question.

Rachel Tosney, a rising College junior from Rancho Palos Verdes, California, said she had a college application counselor who helped her through the process, but that Ivy Authority would have been helpful.

“I probably would have used this app,” Tosney said. “It would have been great to talk to more people who had recently been accepted to schools I was applying to.”

However, Elena Schiavone, a rising College sophomore from Piscataway, New Jersey, relied more on advice from her brother, a recent Harvard alum. “If this app had been available, I probably would not have used it. I had my brother to answer questions for free.”

The Ivy Authority app, which launched on May 25 of this year, is available for students around the world. “With the iPhone, you can access us from pretty much any country that you can access the App Store,” Tate said. “In addition we are working on a new edition as well as an Android version.”

“This app, unlike some apps out there, is targeting not just the 1 percent, it’s targeting the 99 percent — it’s targeting 100 percent of everyone in the world,” Tate added.

Ivy Authority will answer questions for anyone seeking college application advice, including those who are not seeking acceptance to an Ivy-level school.

“In some ways this company has a social mission,” Tate said. “This app is a tool for promoting greater equality and opportunity. We don’t think it should matter who you were born to or who you were born as. Everyone should have equal access to top college prep advice.”

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.