Most Selective Colleges Do Not Enroll Equitably

While recent protests and national unease have shed a light on many aspects of systemic racism in the United States, there has been less scrutiny of how racism specifically limits educational opportunities at selective institutions for underrepresented minorities.

According to a new report from the Education Trust, access for Black and Latino students at the nation’s 101 most selective public colleges and universities has shown very little progress since 2000, and the overwhelming majority of the nation’s most selective public colleges are still inaccessible for these undergraduates.

The report examines how access to higher education has changed for Black and Latino students and whether these institutions are serving an undergraduate student body that represents the racial and ethnic diversity of their particular state’s population.

“Improving access for Black and Latino students at the 101 colleges and universities included in this report is a matter of will,” the report said. “With larger endowments and more funding, these institutions have the resources to do so, but their leaders must make a conscious commitment to increasing access. Policymakers can also help institutions become more accessible.”

Read the full report: ‘Segregation Forever’?: The Continued Underrepresentation of Black and Latino Undergraduates at the Nation’s 101 Most Selective Public Colleges and Universities.

Research Associate, Cameron Hair welcomes additional comments and story ideas at chair@nacacnet.org.

Amid COVID-19 Crisis, Blended Learning Offers Benefits

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Although federal officials are urging colleges and K-12 schools to re-open for the fall, many institutions plan to continue virtual instruction or adopt a hybrid model that blends in-person and online learning.

And while much of the news surrounding the coronavirus is somber, some education experts think the expansion of more flexible learning options could be a good thing, particularly for postsecondary education.

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FAFSA Applications Decline Amid Pandemic

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School closures and the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus propelled a decrease in FAFSA applications nationally, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data.

As of mid-June, 70,000 fewer students had filed for federal aid compared to the same time period in 2019. The decline represents a 3.7 percent drop overall.

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Report: 1.7 Million Students in Schools with Police, No Counselors

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Editor’s note:  This post was originally published on Admitted in March 2019. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

High student-to-counselor ratios are a persistent problem in the United States, but what about schools that have no counselor at all?

Using the most recent federal data, the ACLU compared the number of police in schools to the number of counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers on campus.

Their analysis found that 1.7 million students are in schools with a police presence but no counselors. Another 14 million students are in schools with police but no counselor, nurse, psychologist, or social worker.

Continue reading Report: 1.7 Million Students in Schools with Police, No Counselors

The More Things Change…

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The French journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once quipped, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” Loosely translated, the more things change, the more they remain the same. This year was filled with unprecedented change…how many times have we heard or used that expression? Ironically, for the world of college counseling in North America, it wasn’t a year of unprecedented change…it was a mere four months. In a mere four months, my school went from 100 percent residential to 100 percent online. Our numeric grading system went on hiatus and pass/fail became the norm. We witnessed placid juniors morph into angst-ridden young adults lacking self-efficacy and wanting the confines standardized tests provided. And yet, senioritis remained relentless. Some things never change.

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Thinking about a Gap Year? Consider the Research!

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With the coronavirus pandemic raising doubts about the feasibility of in-person classes next year, a growing number of high school grads are considering taking a gap year.

But what should families know about this option? Education reporter Elissa Nadworny recently shared some important insights with National Public Radio listeners.

“Research has shown that those who do a gap year—so that’s (a) specific time away with a clear enrollment plan—they do really well when they get to college. They tend to be whiter and wealthier and have highly educated parents,” Nadworny said in a segment that aired earlier this month. “At the same time, we know that for many students, when they simply delay enrollment or they put off college to work to save money, the longer they wait, the harder it is to get a degree. And that’s especially true for low-income students.”

Continue reading Thinking about a Gap Year? Consider the Research!

Essay: Community College Students Hit Hard by Pandemic

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Colleges continued to offer online coursework this spring amid the coronavirus pandemic, but one educator says the “new normal” unfairly disadvantaged her students at MiraCosta College.

The two-year school is part of the California Community College District, and sociology instructor Kat Soto-Gomez said shifting learning online – particularly during a time of economic turmoil – hastened student attrition.

Her Ed Surge essay highlights the challenges low-income students face during the coronavirus pandemic. As one student told her after falling behind on his coursework: “I didn’t realize I would be deemed an ‘essential worker’ working at The Home Depot.”

Continue reading Essay: Community College Students Hit Hard by Pandemic

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