USC’s Collegeology Games Turns College-Application Process Into Facebook Game

By David Cohen 

Applying to colleges and seeking financial aid is no game, but a Facebook game from the Collegeology Games project — a collaboration of the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education’s Pullias Center for Higher Education and the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Game Innovation Lab — is aimed at guiding high-school students in the U.S. through the long process.

Mission: Admission, which launched Monday, incorporates the college-admissions process into game play, allowing students to select avatars and take them through meetings with college advisors, choosing what types of schools to apply to (four-year, community, technical), scheduling activities (community service, sports), applying for scholarships and financial aid, and seeking recommendation letters.

Collegeology Games Director of Research and USC Rossier School Assistant Research Professor Zoe Corwin said:

We developed Mission: Admission because for many students — especially first-generation and low-income students — applying to college can be a daunting and overwhelming process. We wanted to figure out a way to make both the college-application and financial-aid process more accessible, inspiring, and fun.

USC Game Innovation Lab Director Tracy Fullerton added:

With the high ratio of students to college counselors in many schools, game-based learning allows more young people to learn about college earlier than ever before. We are encouraging freshman to play the game because it’s never too early to start thinking about college.

Readers: Would you have used a tool like Mission: Admission if it were available to you when you were in high school and looking at colleges?