It’s officially International Education Week (#IEW2018), a joint initiative of the US Department of State and the US Department of Education that celebrates the benefits of international education worldwide.
At NACAC, we are celebrating this week (Nov. 12-16) by featuring stories from our members about the impact of international education, why they chose to work in international education, and what international education means to them.
How do colleges build a freshman class? NACAC’s annual State of College Admission report — released on Thursday — offers students, parents, and others a peek at the various factors weighed when reviewing applications.
Now in its 15th year, the report continues to emphasize the importance of academic performance in the admission process. Altogether, colleges on average accept nearly two-thirds of first-time freshmen, with students’ grades and the academic rigor of their course loads weighing more heavily in decisions to admit than standardized test scores, high school class rank, or demonstrated interest in attending.
But other factors also play a role. For example, 22 percent of colleges rated the high school a student attended as at least moderately important in admission decisions for first-time freshmen. And roughly half of all colleges attributed some level of influence to alumni relations when accessing the applications of such students.
Like many other segments of society, small towns in the United States are changing.
Today, roughly one out of every five residents in rural America identifies as Latino. Between 2000 and 2009 alone, rural schools saw a 150 percent increase in enrollment of Latino students, according to a recent report from the Center for Public Education (CPE).
“As rural areas become increasingly diverse, it becomes more important to examine how this trend may change student needs,” according to report author Megan Lavalley, a CPE research analyst.
The intensity of the current political climate has led to increased activism among students at more than half (52 percent) of all secondary schools across the US, according to survey data from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
The finding is one of several included in a new NACAC research brief that explores the effects of today’s political rhetoric on college-bound students and examines how the political climate is affecting the college admission process. The association surveyed school counselors and college admission officers on the subject earlier this year.
Although levels of activism varied across schools, with 27 percent of respondents reporting that the political environment had no effect on the students they served, a full 52 percent of school counselors reported increased political engagement.
In the words of one respondent: “They’re woke and they’re angry! And they’re registered to vote!”
Building a freshman class has never been an easy proposition.
But attracting and retaining students today requires admission professionals and their university colleagues to possess a different set of skills than in the past.
“At the most basic level, the students of today and tomorrow are not the students of yesterday or yesteryear,” author Karen Gross writes in Breakaway Learners. “…Many of today’s students are the first in their families to attend college, let alone graduate; many are immigrants; many are low income. Many have experienced trauma or toxic stress.”
The book — now available in paperback and electronic format — will be the subject of our next #NACACreads discussion. The hour-long Twitter chat will kick off at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 12.