All posts by Mary Stegmeir

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

Maryland Outlaws Scholarship Displacement at Public Colleges

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A new law prohibits scholarship displacement at Maryland’s public colleges and universities.

The state is the first in the nation to pass legislation limiting the practice, which can spur financial aid reductions for students who are awarded private scholarships.

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Chicago to Make Postsecondary Plans a Graduation Requirement

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Students in Chicago will soon need more than passing grades to graduate from high school.

Starting in 2020, seniors won’t receive a diploma until they can show they’ve secured a job, been accepted to college, enrolled in an apprentice program, enlisted in the military, or have made other plans for their future.

“We are going to help kids have a plan, because they’re going to need it to succeed,” Chicago Major Rahm Emanuel told The Washington Post. “You cannot have kids think that 12th grade is done.”

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Up Next To Offer Partnership Opportunities

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Looking for a new way to help your students navigate the college admission process?

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Better Make Room initiative is getting ready to launch Up Next 2.0, an updated version of its text messaging service for college-bound students.

The program, introduced last summer, reminds students to complete important tasks, such as signing up for a college admission test or filing their FAFSA.

Nearly 100,000 people registered for Up Next text messages in 2016-17. Better Make Room is preparing to expand the program’s reach in 2017-18 and will offer customized messages via partnerships with high schools, colleges, community organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies.

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Check Out NACAC’s Directory of Member Blogs

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NACAC members have a lot to say.

Keep tabs on the latest developments using the association’s new directory of member blogs.

Searching for news and commentary about the profession? Check out the page’s “For Professionals” section. Want articles about the college admission process to share with teens and their parents? You’ll find a wide array of options under the “For Students and Families” heading.

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Study: Sleep Patterns Affect Academic Performance

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Late night study sessions may seem like a good idea to students looking to boost their grades, but new research suggests sticking with a consistent sleep schedule may be a better long-term strategy.

The study, published earlier this month by Scientific Reports, found that college students who did not go to bed and wake up at similar times each day were more likely to have lower GPAs.

Irregular sleep patterns upend students’ natural body clocks and can leave them feeling jet-lagged, a condition that ultimately undermines their performance in the classroom, Dr. Charles Czeisler, one of the study’s authors, told CNN.

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Admission Officers Share Advice They Give Their Own College-Bound Kids

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Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in March 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

The college search and application process continues this summer for rising seniors.

In a 2016 New York Times article, nine college admission officers offered a unique perspective on what lies ahead.

As parents themselves, the interviewees shared the advice they offer to their own college-bound children.

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Report: New Technologies Could Help Improve Financial Aid Process

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Financial concerns cause nearly 3 million students to drop out of college each year.

Researchers at Tyton Partners believe a student-centered approach to financial aid could help reduce those numbers. In a recent report, the Boston-based advising firm chronicled the challenges posed by the current system and examined potential solutions through a survey of more than 1,800 higher ed administrators.

Their take? Targeted communication could help improve the process for both students and colleges.

“According to administrators, the biggest challenges preventing students from accessing aid are lack of student engagement, lack of awareness, and insufficient financial aid,” the report notes. “All three of these issues are addressable through improved communication between the institution and the student.”

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Report: Women Hold Two-Thirds of All Student Debt

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Women hold more student debt and take longer than men to pay it off, according to a recent report from the American Association of University Women.

“It’s encouraging that women are enrolling in college more than ever before, but at the same time they are taking on larger amounts of debt to pay for their dreams,” AAUW researcher Kevin Miller said in a press release. “Because of factors like the gender pay gap, debt that could be manageable ends up becoming unmanageable, particularly for women.”

Women now earn 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded by US colleges, but hold almost two-thirds of the country’s $1.3 trillion student debt.

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Survey: Gen Z Students Focused on Tech Jobs

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Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in January 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

The next crop of college students is more likely than past generations to seek careers in the tech field, according to a report by Barnes & Noble College.

The finding is illuminating, particularly when paired with supporting national survey data that suggests today’s middle and high school students view college — and careers — in a markedly different manner than millennials.

“More than 40 percent of Gen Z respondents seek careers that suit their specific interests, and tend to envision careers in technology, such as computer science and video game development,” according to report.

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