All posts by Mary Stegmeir

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

Student View: Changes Needed to Support College Applicants with Disabilities

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Colleges must do more to provide and improve accommodations for students with disabilities, grad student Valerie Piro wrote in a recent essay published by Inside Higher Ed.

Piro, who uses a wheelchair and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, highlighted the challenges she faced when touring colleges as a high school student.

At one university, she had to use a makeshift wooden ramp to navigate a short flight of stairs. At another school, her prospective residence hall was located at the bottom of a steep hill and the college’s dorm rooms were much too small to accommodate her physical therapy equipment.

“Physical space and a well-functioning infrastructure on a campus cannot be overlooked, especially when one has a disability,” wrote Piro, who is paralyzed from the chest down. “What better way to tell a wheelchair user that they don’t belong at a college or university than by strewing the campus with stairs, broken help buttons, and pitiful excuses for ramps?”

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‘Math Identity’ Prepares Students for STEM Majors

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Looking for ways to encourage more of your students to pursue majors in science, technology, engineering, or math?

Efforts need to go beyond college-prep coursework, according to a paper published in 2015.

Students who succeed in developing an identity as a “math person” are more likely than their peers to go on to study STEM subjects in college, data show.

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Students: Share Your College Essay with The New York Times

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Is your college application essay about money, work, social class, or another related topic?

If so, The New York Times wants to hear from you.

“No topic is too weighty and no stunt too flighty or approach too light for our taste, as long as the essay has at least something to do with money,” the paper notes in its call for submissions. “In the past people have written about their own jobs or their parents’ work (or lack thereof), what it’s like to be poor, what it’s like to be rich and what it’s like to work at McDonald’s.”

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Ferguson Celebrates 30 Years with NACAC

NACAC’s Gregory Ferguson stopped by the Philadelphia National College Fair in November 2015. Ferguson celebrated 30 years with NACAC last month. (Chuck Fazio Photography)

NACAC’s Gregory Ferguson applied to the association three times before being hired in 1987 as assistant director of National College Fairs (NCF).

What kept him coming back? Unwavering support for the program’s mission.

“I really firmly believe: For any student who wants to go to college, there is an institution out there for them,” said Ferguson, who celebrated his 30th year with NACAC last month. Under his leadership, the NCF program has grown steadily and gained a national reputation for quality.

Ferguson, who now serves as the program’s executive director, recently sat down with Admitted to talk about his contributions to NACAC, the future of the NCF program, and what inspires his work.

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#NACACreads: Students Need Good Info about Gap Year

gaptogreatartCounselors who take time to discuss gap year options provide a great service to college-bound students and their families, says author Andrea Wien.

Higher education is an expensive endeavor, and the grades and connections students make as freshmen can set the course for the rest of their college career.

That’s why teens who are burned out from high school — or just not developmentally ready for college — may benefit from taking a gap year to work, travel, or explore an area of interest, Wien said Wednesday during a #NACACreads Twitter discussion of her book, Gap to Great.

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Survey: Students (Not Parents) Should Drive College Admission Process

Parents, take note: Admission officers can tell when you pretend to be your child on the phone.

And butting in to answer questions directed at your son or daughter during a campus visit does more harm than good, a recent survey of more than 350 US admission officers shows.

Overall, 75 percent of survey respondents said that parents should only be “somewhat involved” in the college admission process.

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Survey: Cost Influences College Choice

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A new study confirms what many admission professionals already know —students are cost-conscious when selecting a college.

Nearly 19 percent of students who turned down the chance to attend their top-choice school in 2016 did so because of the cost of attendance, according to new data from Royall & Company, a firm that assists colleges with enrollment management and fundraising.

“I think enrollment leaders and the public in general have had a suspicion that cost factors were driving a lot of enrollment decisions,” Royall’s Managing Director Peter Farrell told Inside Higher Ed. “This verifies it in an empirical way.”

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EducationUSA Seeks Recruitment Videos from US Colleges

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Looking for a new way to reach prospective international students?

EducationUSA — a US Department of State network with more than 400 international student advising centers in over 170 countries — is inviting US colleges and universities to submit recruitment videos.

Videos should be about one minute in length and will be added to EducationUSA’s YouTube channel.

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