Rossier News

CHEPA & Game Innovation lab pioneer college knowledge game

By Merrill Balassone Published on

$1 Million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant is added to previous funding

college counseling game, CHEPA, USC Rossier

Researchers at USC’s Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis and the University’s Game Innovation Lab will soon debut a new card game that seeks to link underserved high schoolers with college-going knowledge.

Application Crunch will be available through online purveyors including in September. USC gave away 1,000 free copies of the first edition of the game to college counselors in high-need schools across the country, and the USC Rossier School’s Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation has been testing and tracking results.

“We’re trying to reduce the mystery in the college application process,” said USC University Professor William G. Tierney, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis.

We know we need more people to become college educated. And we know there are people in high school today who could go to college but don’t know how to do it.
William G. Tierney

The suite of games—called Collegeology—seeks to increase college-going rates among underserved students who may be the first in their families thinking about going to college. They may also lack meaningful college guidance as students in overcrowded high schools, Tierney said.

The Collegeology project began with internal support from the provost’s office of the University of Southern California and grants from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert and TG Foundations. In recent months, the project received $1.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

In July, the project got another big boost: A $1 million grant from the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation to kick off the development of two additional games aimed at helping students hone their college knowledge. One will be aimed at middle schoolers with the second focused on educating students in high school and beyond about financial literacy and college choice.

In January, Application Crunch will be available to an even larger audience as an online game on the social networking site

USC Rossier Futures Magazine - STEM issue


This article was featured in the Summer / Fall 2011 issue of Rossier's Futures in Urban Ed magazine.

Click here to see more articles from that issue and click here to download a PDF of the magazine.

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