Coalition for College Announces New Chief Executive Officer

Stacey Kostell, Nationally Recognized Leader in College Admissions, Will Assume Role on March 2

PROVIDENCE, R.I., February 4, 2020 — The board of directors for the Coalition for College, a diverse group of public and private colleges and universities across the U.S. working to improve the college application and admissions process and promote access to higher education, has named Stacey Kostell as the new chief executive officer of the organization. A national leader in higher education, Kostell has worked in college admissions and enrollment management at major universities across the country, including in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, and, most recently, Vermont. As a first-generation college student and member of the Coalition’s board since 2017, she is passionate about the organization’s mission to make college a reality for all students, particularly those who have been historically underserved. With more than two decades of experience, Kostell has demonstrated her commitment to expanding access to higher education, increasing affordability, and ensuring student success. She will start her new role on March 2.

“We are very excited to welcome Stacey as the CEO of the Coalition,” says Kedra Ishop, vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Michigan and chair of the Coalition’s board of directors. “She brings more than 20 years of service in higher education, particularly at public institutions, and a commitment to access and success. Additionally, her administrative and professional experiences position her well to lead a dynamic and innovative membership organization that is united in its efforts in the service of students.”

Kostell will join the Coalition’s leadership team from the University of Vermont (UVM), where she served as vice president for enrollment management since September 2014. During her tenure, she identified and implemented innovative and coordinated enrollment strategies related to undergraduate admissions, financial aid, registration, retention, international education, and communications. Her success, which included increasing the quality and selectivity of the university’s first-year class and increasing transfer and international student enrollment, was built upon engaging the entire university and enhancing collaboration with campus partners across colleges, academic departments, and student support offices.

“I am honored to serve as the CEO for the Coalition and to continue building on the many achievements from the organization’s first five years,” says Kostell. “I believe our strength is in our membership—more than 150 colleges and universities dedicated to improving access and success—and I’m excited to lead our members on new initiatives and strategies aimed at making higher education attainable for all students.”

While at UVM, Kostell introduced the Catamount Commitment Program, which provides low-income Vermont residents with free tuition and fees, a faculty mentor, and monthly gatherings designed to help students succeed in college and beyond. Prior to her time at UVM, she served as the associate vice provost for enrollment management and director of admissions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she significantly increased enrollment of students of color.

Kostell was selected as the Coalition’s CEO after a national search for a visionary leader who would spearhead the continued development and growth of the organization, which has grown in the past five years from 26 to more than 150 member institutions, aided more than 950,000 students in applying to college, and raised more than $1.4 million in support of getting more students to and through college.

“Our board charged the search committee to identify a candidate with national recognition, vision to lead a growing and complex organization and commitment to student access and success in college,” says Lee Melvin, vice provost for enrollment management at the University at Buffalo and chair of the search committee. “Stacey’s background and employment history uniquely position her to assume the leadership of our organization.”

Kostell is a frequent national speaker on admissions and recruitment, enrollment management, and student success. She has served the higher education community in various professional association leadership roles, including the College Board’s Enrollment Leaders Group and EAB’s Student Success Collaborative Innovation Council. Kostell holds an undergraduate degree from Indiana State University and a graduate degree from Ball State University.

For additional information contact Kristine Maloney at


The Coalition for College was founded in 2015 by a group of dedicated leaders in higher education aiming to improve the college application process, particularly for those students from historically under-represented groups. The Coalition provides students with free, online college-planning tools, including digital storage, informative articles, and valuable resources, to help them learn about, prepare for, and apply to college. To be a member of the Coalition, colleges and universities must have a six-year graduation rate of at least 60 percent, including success with low-income and under-represented students. Members must also offer responsible financial aid or low-cost in-state tuition, and graduate their students who borrow with low debt. For more information about the Coalition for College, including a complete list of members, visit


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