Lessons Learned: Reflections and Advice from a Regional Admission Counselor

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Editor’s note:  This post was originally published on Admitted in July 2017. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series

After 14 years working in the admission office for my alma mater, I had it good. I coordinated the campus visit team, supervised tour guides, worked with transfer students, and held many “other duties as assigned.” In short, I knew what I was doing.

Then two years ago, I was offered an exciting new role that turned my career on its head: I became Gettysburg College’s first West Coast regional counselor.

In the past 24 months I have learned about the challenges of a three-hour time difference, work-life balance, and the importance of communication with the office. I’ve also reflected on how counselors — and campus-based leaders — can work together to make the most out of regional positions.

Here are my tips for counselors and admission leaders who are considering making the jump.

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Colleges Get Creative to Fill Revenue Gaps

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Declining enrollments are leading some colleges to look for new ways to boost revenue.

The Indicator, a podcast produced by NPR’s Planet Money team, recently shared a few of the more innovative approaches.

Did you know:

  • Forty-eight colleges have licensed their schools’ logos for use on caskets.
  • At least one university rents out its dorms on Airbnb during the summer months.
  • Collectively, US colleges and universities have added 41,446 new degree or certificate programs since 2012 — a strategy experts say is at least in part due to a desire to increase revenues.

Continue reading Colleges Get Creative to Fill Revenue Gaps

Op-Ed: Taking a Gap Year Builds Resilience

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An academic in Australia has one major piece of advice for students before they head to university: Take a gap year.

“School might have prepared students intellectually for a tertiary education, but there is lots school can’t prepare you for — and that’s how to deal with real people in the real world,” Jenna Price, who works at the University of Technology in Sydney, wrote in The Sydney Morning-Herald.

Though a gap year alone won’t turn a C-student into an A-student, she said there is a significant difference in the overall performance of students who’ve taken a break from formal education.

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Parents: Before You Yell at Your Child’s School Counselor

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Editor’s note: A version of post was first published on Counselors’ Corner.

You’ve worked so hard to schedule, prepare, and nudge your high school senior to apply to college on time. You shared that small thrill when they hit “submit” with time to spare, and you thought you were all set.

Until they got the e-mail.

“Our records indicate your application is incomplete. Unless we receive a copy of your high school transcript in the next five days, we will be unable to process your application.”

At this point, you’ve decided this is personal, so even though it’s 7 at night, you pick up the phone and leave The Mother of All Voice Mails for your school counselor.

Boy, did you just blow it. Here’s why:

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Students: Take the Pledge to Apply to College

Pledging to apply to college now comes with a bigger perk than simply reaching your higher education goals.

November is National College Application Month and Better Make Room wants students to pledge to get those applications turned in.

In exchange, they’ve arranged for a wide range of celebrities to do laundry for those who pledge.

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#NACACreads: Read an Excerpt from ‘Breakaway Learners’

The students we serve are changing.

Are you?

Karen Gross, who spent eight years as president of Southern Vermont College, poses that question in Breakaway Learners — a book we’ll discuss during our next #NACACreads chat.

“Many of today’s students are the first in their families to attend college, let alone graduate; many are immigrants; many are low income,” writes Gross, who will join us for an hour-long Twitter discussion on Dec. 12. “Many have experienced trauma or toxic stress.”

Continue reading #NACACreads: Read an Excerpt from ‘Breakaway Learners’

FAFSA State Deadlines are Approaching

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Need financial aid for the 2019-20 academic year?

The US Department of Education is reminding students to remain cognizant of deadlines when completing the FAFSA.

While the form is primarily used to award federal financial aid, many states also use the FAFSA to assess eligibility for their aid programs — and some of those deadlines are on the horizon.

Continue reading FAFSA State Deadlines are Approaching

Report: New International Student Enrollments Continue to Decline

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The number of international students studying at US colleges and universities hit an all-time high of 1.09 million during the 2017-18 academic year.

But data captured in the most recent Open Doors report from the Institute of International Educational Exchange (IIE) shows that new international student enrollments continued to fall— a trend first observed three years ago.

Continue reading Report: New International Student Enrollments Continue to Decline