All posts by Mary Stegmeir

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

FAFSA Website Now Mobile-Friendly

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A mobile-friendly version of the FAFSA website went live this week, the first step in a months-long process aimed at making it possible for students to apply for financial aid using their smartphones.

A beta version of a companion app — myStudentAid — is planned for next month, with the complete version available Oct. 1.

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#NACACreads: Join Us for a Discussion of ‘The Self-Driven Child’

For years, we’ve hammered home the importance of good grades, solid writing skills, and extracurricular activities to college-bound students.

But a new book, The Self-Driven Child, makes a compelling case that something less tangible — a sense of control over their lives — may ultimately determine the long-term success and happiness of today’s teens.

And that key component is missing for far too many young people, leaving them feeling “powerless and overwhelmed,” write co-authors William Stixrud and Ned Johnson. As a result, students on both ends of the achievement spectrum often leave high school unprepared to chart their own path in life.

Discuss the implications and share your own insights during a #NACACreads chat on Sept. 12. The hour-long discussion will kick off on Twitter at 9 p.m. ET.

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School Districts Can Help Students Adopt New Attitudes About Admission Process

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

School districts may be able to boost college-going rates by changing the way they introduce students to the application process, according to a recent piece published by the Harvard Business Review.

Too often, the conversation is focused on ensuring students submit an application to at least one college, writes researcher Lindsay Page. But when teens apply to a range of institutions “they are more likely to get accepted to an institution that is a good fit,” she notes.

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$125K Prize Launched to Promote College and Vocational Success

Does your organization help low-income youth access and complete college or vocational degrees?

You may be eligible for financial support to help you reach more students.

The Evergreen National Education Prize—launched by The Greenwald Family Foundation in conjunction with the Nudge4 Solutions Lab at the University of Virginia—will award $125,000 to an organization that can demonstrate evidence of increasing college or vocational success for low-income students and that has a plan to scale its program’s impact.

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‘Verification Melt’ Keeps Students from College Dreams

A little over half of all students who were eligible for the Pell Grant were selected for verification in 2015-16.

The procedure, which requires students to submit additional paperwork to prove their income, inserts an extra step into the financial aid process. And in an op-ed published by The Hill this week, Justin Draeger—president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators—voiced concerns that verification keeps some students from attending college.

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Low-Income Families Play a Powerful Role in the Success of Their Students

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Financial assistance is crucial to the academic success of low-income college students, but according to new research, family support may be even more influential.

A study published recently in Research in Higher Education showed that students with a strong familial cheering section did better at navigating college life and classes.

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Application Stress? Recent Grads Wish They Had Worried Less

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What’s one thing this year’s high school grads would do differently if they had the chance to go back in time?

According to a new survey from Seventeen magazine and the College Board, a whopping 68 percent of students said they wish they had spent less time worrying during the college application process.

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Realistic College Lists: Helping Parents See the Light

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Do you work with students who feel pressured by their families to add out-of-reach schools to their college lists?

NACAC member Beth Slattery has some insight that may be helpful to share with parents. Her advice? Ask moms and dads to consider what their suggestions signal to students.

“I don’t believe parents are intentionally trying to send the message that they are disappointed in their child when they suggest out-of-reach colleges. Most of them believe they are expressing confidence in their child’s ability, but that isn’t how the child hears it,” Slattery wrote in a recent post published on the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS) Admit All blog. “The student hears that the parent is disappointed in the colleges that they can get into. The student hears that the parent wishes they were the kind of applicant who had a shot at that type of school.”

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