All posts by Ashley Dobson

Professional Considerations: Admission Counselors Respond to Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey has left a lot of unknowns in its wake.

If and when students get to return to their schools, the schools will likely look significantly different: structural damage, fans to help dry out the building, missing book collections. And beyond the physical, the emotional impacts of this disaster could haunt them for years to come.

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Hurricane Harvey: Counselors Share Their Stories

Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana for the greater part of last week. The scale of the storm and flooding is unprecedented, impacting millions across 53 counties in Texas and parts of Southwest Louisiana.

Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas with winds of 130 mph on Aug. 22. The storm then moved toward the Houston metro area and lingered for several days, dumping nearly 52 inches of rain before hitting the coastal cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur with 26 inches of rain in 24 hours as it looked toward a second landfall in Louisiana.

While much of the focus has been on the homes that were lost, the storm has also flooded and destroyed schools, and has impacted more than 1 million students in 244 public and charter school districts in Texas alone, according to USA Today.

NACAC spoke with counselors in the impacted areas to learn about their experiences and find out how Harvey will impact their school and students in the weeks ahead.

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5 Social Media Tips for #nacac17

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NACAC’s 73rd National Conference in Boston kicks off in just a few days and there are so many ways to get involved. As the social media manager for NACAC I might be biased, but I think that getting involved with the conference on social media is one of best ways to connect with your colleagues and ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action.

But what are the best ways to do that? Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your national conference social media experience.

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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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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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Supporting All Students: First-Gen Student-Turned-Prof Offers Tips

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David Hernández is an assistant professor of Latino/a studies at Mount Holyoke College. But before joining academia, he was a first-generation university student.

Having experienced university life from two perspectives, Hernández recently reflected on what would have helped make college more accessible to him the first time around.

He wrote a personal essay featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education that shares his experience as an 18-year-old and asks, “What could today’s universities and colleges do differently for a student like me?”

Continue reading Supporting All Students: First-Gen Student-Turned-Prof Offers Tips

Private Colleges Propose Tuition Reduction Strategy

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What if America’s private colleges could stop their annual increases in tuition or even drop their prices down?

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) has an idea it says would do just that.

NAICU has recommended that Congress give private, nonprofit colleges a temporary anti-trust exemption for the purposes of promoting affordability.

Current laws ban discussion about prices and discounts — including student aid — among competitors in any industry. NAICU says that this has led to a vicious cycle of ongoing tuition inflation and has forced private colleges to offer larger and larger discounts on the sticker price to stay competitive.

They believe that if schools could talk to one another, they could end this cycle and start targeting financial aid to the students who need it most. The thinking is that if everyone made the decision to collectively lower tuition, then no college would feel like it “lost” because it wasn’t offering the huge discounts that are currently available to counter price inflation.

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Apply to 100 Colleges? What 1 Student Wishes She Had Known About the Admission Process

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A freshman college student in Tennessee isn’t experiencing buyer’s remorse over her college choice. But she has some issues with the way she was told to shop for one.

“I was also told by counselors to apply to 100 colleges. I was never told why that number was chosen, but my peers were told the same,” Anisah Karim, now a psychology student at the University of Memphis, wrote in Chalkbeat.

“We were often pulled out of class to complete these applications, which took away from instructional time — about an hour per day. My high school also ran on an infraction system, and not turning in college applications and other documents led to disciplinary actions.”

Continue reading Apply to 100 Colleges? What 1 Student Wishes She Had Known About the Admission Process

Study: Economic Factors Influence College Graduation Rates

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Money talks. It’s an old adage, but it rings true even when it comes to college graduation rates.

A new study from Oregon State University found that both the socioeconomic status of a college’s student body and the school’s own revenue and expenditures are significant predictors in whether first-time students will complete their degree and graduate within six years.

Researchers focused solely on four-year broad access institutions, which are colleges and universities that accept 80 percent or more of their applicants.

“For those students, resources really matter, in a way that is different from the population as a whole,” Gloria Crisp, the study’s lead author, said. “That finding is consistent with the persistent inequities in college completion rates for these underserved populations.”

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Member View: How to Appeal to International Students Despite the Political Climate

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NACAC Member Milyon Trulove believes that his school has found the magic recipe for recruiting international students in the current political climate.

Trulove’s school, Reed College (OR), relies on international students to make up 8 to 9 percent of each incoming class and rumblings from guidance counselors at international high schools and internal projections following the 2016 election had the school worried.

In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Trulove, Reed’s vice president and dean of admission and financial aid, shared the strategy that brought the college a record number of international students for the upcoming school year.

Continue reading Member View: How to Appeal to International Students Despite the Political Climate