Study: Sleep Patterns Affect Academic Performance

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Late night study sessions may seem like a good idea to students looking to boost their grades, but new research suggests sticking with a consistent sleep schedule may be a better long-term strategy.

The study, published earlier this month by Scientific Reports, found that college students who did not go to bed and wake up at similar times each day were more likely to have lower GPAs.

Irregular sleep patterns upend students’ natural body clocks and can leave them feeling jet-lagged, a condition that ultimately undermines their performance in the classroom, Dr. Charles Czeisler, one of the study’s authors, told CNN.

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Admission Officers Share Advice They Give Their Own College-Bound Kids

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Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in March 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

The college search and application process continues this summer for rising seniors.

In a 2016 New York Times article, nine college admission officers offered a unique perspective on what lies ahead.

As parents themselves, the interviewees shared the advice they offer to their own college-bound children.

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Report: New Technologies Could Help Improve Financial Aid Process

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Financial concerns cause nearly 3 million students to drop out of college each year.

Researchers at Tyton Partners believe a student-centered approach to financial aid could help reduce those numbers. In a recent report, the Boston-based advising firm chronicled the challenges posed by the current system and examined potential solutions through a survey of more than 1,800 higher ed administrators.

Their take? Targeted communication could help improve the process for both students and colleges.

“According to administrators, the biggest challenges preventing students from accessing aid are lack of student engagement, lack of awareness, and insufficient financial aid,” the report notes. “All three of these issues are addressable through improved communication between the institution and the student.”

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Report: Women Hold Two-Thirds of All Student Debt

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Women hold more student debt and take longer than men to pay it off, according to a recent report from the American Association of University Women.

“It’s encouraging that women are enrolling in college more than ever before, but at the same time they are taking on larger amounts of debt to pay for their dreams,” AAUW researcher Kevin Miller said in a press release. “Because of factors like the gender pay gap, debt that could be manageable ends up becoming unmanageable, particularly for women.”

Women now earn 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded by US colleges, but hold almost two-thirds of the country’s $1.3 trillion student debt.

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A Closer Look at Reverse Transfer and International Students

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Nine percent of all international students in the US, or 95,000, were enrolled at community colleges in 2015-16, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report.

National data on the proportion of international students that start at community colleges upon initial entry to the US, versus those who start at a four-year college and then transfer to a community college, is currently unavailable. However, it’s clear from preliminary research that similar to domestic transfer students, international students reverse transfer from four-year colleges to community colleges, concurrently enroll in both, and swirl back and forth between the two.

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Survey: Gen Z Students Focused on Tech Jobs

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Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in January 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

The next crop of college students is more likely than past generations to seek careers in the tech field, according to a report by Barnes & Noble College.

The finding is illuminating, particularly when paired with supporting national survey data that suggests today’s middle and high school students view college — and careers — in a markedly different manner than millennials.

“More than 40 percent of Gen Z respondents seek careers that suit their specific interests, and tend to envision careers in technology, such as computer science and video game development,” according to report.

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College Counselor Compiles Summer Reading List

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Looking for summer reading suggestions for yourself or the students you serve?

NACAC member Brennan Barnard has released his annual compilation of book recommendations.

The full list — featuring titles suggested by college admission deans and counselors — appears on The Washington Post website. Some selections are related to education, while other titles are simply good reads.

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Expert Insight: College Admission and the Class of 2017

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In a few short months, this year’s crop of high school grads will head to college.

How did the Class of 2017 decide where to matriculate?

NACAC’s immediate past president, Phil Trout, recently offered some insight based on his experience working with seniors at Minnetonka High School (MN).

Here are three takeaways from his interview with EAB:

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#NACACreads: For-Profit Colleges Examined in ‘Lower Ed’

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How do students interpret the value of for-profit colleges?

You may be surprised. Tressie McMillan Cottom — author of Lower Ed — certainly was.

While the high cost of attending for-profit schools automatically triggers concerns about debt and default for many college counselors, price is often viewed in an entirely different light by students.

“I was stunned to learn that students used high price to indicate institutional quality,” she tweeted during a Monday #NACACreads discussion of her book. “That alone subverts almost everything we know!”

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Daily updates on NACAC and the world of college admission counseling. For more information about NACAC, visit nacacnet.org.