All posts by Ashley Dobson

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.

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For Many Families, College Search Now Includes Questions about Campus Politics

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It’s hard to avoid conversations about politics these days. This new reality has trickled down to the college admission process where counselors on both sides of the desk are now commonly asked to field tricky questions about political reputations and perceived leanings of a college campus.

Inside Higher Ed recently reported on a group of counselors at the annual meeting of the Higher Education Consultants Association who said that parents were rejecting their children’s college choices based on the schools’ politics.

But while parents might be hesitant about the political climate on campus, it seems to be something students want out of their college experience. UCLA’s 50th annual CIRP Freshman Survey, which surveyed 141,189 full-time, first-year students from around the US, found that student interest in political and civic activity had reached its highest level in the history of the survey.

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New Louisiana Law Prohibits Criminal History Questions on College Apps

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Louisiana became the first US state to ban the box on college admission applications in June.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 688 into law on June 16, The Louisiana Weekly reported. The new law prohibits all public postsecondary education institutions in the state from asking about a prospective student’s criminal history during the admission process. In other words, the state banned the check box that asks applicants whether they have ever been convicted of a crime.

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Good or Bad, Meme Groups Now Play a Larger Role in College Admission

Gone are the days where students had to wait until freshman orientation to connect with one another. Now students have connected online before they ever arrive on campus.

The latest of these online forums are Facebook meme groups and nearly every major college in America has one.

Students use the groups to bond, chat, and connect through a shared sense of humor showcased through a series of student-created memes specific to each college.

As the groups have grown, they’ve become about more than just connection. They’ve also begun to play a role in the admission process, Mic reported recently.

Continue reading Good or Bad, Meme Groups Now Play a Larger Role in College Admission