#NACACreads: Students Need Good Info about Gap Year

gaptogreatartCounselors who take time to discuss gap year options provide a great service to college-bound students and their families, says author Andrea Wien.

Higher education is an expensive endeavor, and the grades and connections students make as freshmen can set the course for the rest of their college career.

That’s why teens who are burned out from high school — or just not developmentally ready for college — may benefit from taking a gap year to work, travel, or explore an area of interest, Wien said Wednesday during a #NACACreads Twitter discussion of her book, Gap to Great.

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Campus Tour Tips from a College President

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Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in March 2016. 

Spring break is just around the corner at high schools across the country and many juniors will use the time to check out college campuses.

For one dad, the season brings back fond memories. L. Jay Lemons recently shared tips for making the most out of campus visits.

Lemons, president of Susquehanna University (PA) — a NACAC member institution — knows of what he speaks. In addition to leading a liberal arts institution, in recent years he’s toured dozens of college campuses as a parent.

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Survey: Students (Not Parents) Should Drive College Admission Process

Parents, take note: Admission officers can tell when you pretend to be your child on the phone.

And butting in to answer questions directed at your son or daughter during a campus visit does more harm than good, a recent survey of more than 350 US admission officers shows.

Overall, 75 percent of survey respondents said that parents should only be “somewhat involved” in the college admission process.

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Survey: Cost Influences College Choice

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A new study confirms what many admission professionals already know —students are cost-conscious when selecting a college.

Nearly 19 percent of students who turned down the chance to attend their top-choice school in 2016 did so because of the cost of attendance, according to new data from Royall & Company, a firm that assists colleges with enrollment management and fundraising.

“I think enrollment leaders and the public in general have had a suspicion that cost factors were driving a lot of enrollment decisions,” Royall’s Managing Director Peter Farrell told Inside Higher Ed. “This verifies it in an empirical way.”

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EducationUSA Seeks Recruitment Videos from US Colleges

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Looking for a new way to reach prospective international students?

EducationUSA — a US Department of State network with more than 400 international student advising centers in over 170 countries — is inviting US colleges and universities to submit recruitment videos.

Videos should be about one minute in length and will be added to EducationUSA’s YouTube channel.

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Learn More about Financial Aid Award Letters

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Reviewing and comparing award letters is an important part of the decision-making process for college-bound students.

Learn how to help families understand and interpret financial aid offers next week during a Twitter chat organized by the National College Access Network and the American Council on Education.

The hour-long discussion kicks off at 3 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, March 28. Follow along and ask questions using #AwardLettersChat.

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Data Dive: Addressing Stereotype Threat and the Achievement Gap

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Background: Schools across the nation continue to grapple with the achievement gap, and the literature suggests that academic gaps between white children and their non-white counterparts grow as students make their way through school. Stereotype threat —  the sense of apprehension individuals feel when they are afraid their actions or parts of their identities will confirm a negative stereotype about the group to which they belong — is one factor social scientists believe contributes to the achievement gap.

The Study: A 2016 study by Geoffrey Borman, Jeffrey Grigg, and Paul Hanselman examined how one type of intervention, called self-affirmation, could offset the effects of stereotype threat. Exercises in self-affirmation offer students the chance to affirm their self-worth by thinking, writing, or speaking about the skills, values, or roles they view as important.

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