FAFSA Update: Data Imported From DRT Will Be Masked

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The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will be available to FAFSA filers this fall, but the tax information it imports will remain masked — even to students and parents.

According to a recent Federal Student Aid memo, the change will enhance security and privacy. But many financial aid professionals are worried the tool’s new constraints will discourage families and students from using it to import their tax information when applying for federal aid.

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#NACACreads: Upcoming Book Discussion Will Explore Student Mental Health

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions are on the rise among youth at many competitive schools in the US and abroad.

Yet when kids struggle academically or emotionally, we often put the onus on them to change.

Join us Oct. 24 to explore the adjustments educators can make to help students prepare for college in more healthy and balanced ways. An hour-long #NACACreads discussion of At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools will kick off on Twitter at 9 p.m. (ET) featuring special guest and author David L. Gleason.

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Program Spotlight: NACAC Fairs Introduce Young Women to STEM Fields

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Women’s Equality Day, which will be celebrated Saturday, commemorates the day the 19th Amendment was certified to the Constitution in 1920.

The amendment granted women the right to vote, but the observance of Women’s Equality Day is not just about celebrating how far we’ve come. It’s about recognizing continuing efforts toward full equality of the genders.

American women are still underrepresented in many professions, including the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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A Reminder: The Work We Do Changes Lives

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Editor’s note: This column was first shared on the NACAC Exchange.

All of you see it every year.

A senior who graduated in May stops in before they head off to college. The smile is bright, but the eyes betray them; they are scared.

It’s easy for me to reassure them because, as old as I am, I remember how transformational the first week of college was. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I grew up in a town of 13,000 in Illinois. I really had no idea what to expect. I was pretty scared.

It started in my second class. My professor said something, and I laughed out loud. He asked me what was so funny, and I told him that I had never ever thought about what he had just mentioned. He gave me a sly grin and became a lifelong mentor.

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Report: Community College Paves the Way to Four-Year Degrees

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The bachelor’s degree pipeline is growing stronger for community college graduates.

A new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that of community college graduates who hold no previous degrees or certificates, 41 percent earn a bachelor’s degree within the next six years.

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Students: Start Searching Now for On-Campus Jobs

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Planning to work during the school year to help pay for college?

Incoming freshmen should start searching now to increase their odds of landing a great campus job, according to a post on Homeroom — the official blog of the US Department of Education.

“If you’re interested in working part-time while in school, it’s best to start checking out those opportunities early, even before you get to campus or start classes,” notes blog author Susan Thares, who works with the department’s office of Federal Student Aid.

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Navigating the Tide of Stress this Fall

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Each August, I get hit by a tsunami of anxiety and stress. Though it happens year after year, I’m still startled when I look up and see it above me, overshadowing the peaceful laziness of summer that came before.

Call it a professional hazard: Students and parents cannot help but look toward college with apprehension, and their apprehension arrives in force (in my office) in August. Whether stemming from the unbelievable cost of college, or the incredible odds against getting into a dream school, these fears are grounded in the realities of today’s college admission world.

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