All posts by Mary Stegmeir

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

#NACACreads: Read an Excerpt from ‘Breakaway Learners’

The students we serve are changing.

Are you?

Karen Gross, who spent eight years as president of Southern Vermont College, poses that question in Breakaway Learners — a book we’ll discuss during our next #NACACreads chat.

“Many of today’s students are the first in their families to attend college, let alone graduate; many are immigrants; many are low income,” writes Gross, who will join us for an hour-long Twitter discussion on Dec. 12. “Many have experienced trauma or toxic stress.”

Continue reading #NACACreads: Read an Excerpt from ‘Breakaway Learners’

FAFSA State Deadlines are Approaching

iStock

Need financial aid for the 2019-20 academic year?

The US Department of Education is reminding students to remain cognizant of deadlines when completing the FAFSA.

While the form is primarily used to award federal financial aid, many states also use the FAFSA to assess eligibility for their aid programs — and some of those deadlines are on the horizon.

Continue reading FAFSA State Deadlines are Approaching

Report: New International Student Enrollments Continue to Decline

iStock

The number of international students studying at US colleges and universities hit an all-time high of 1.09 million during the 2017-18 academic year.

But data captured in the most recent Open Doors report from the Institute of International Educational Exchange (IIE) shows that new international student enrollments continued to fall— a trend first observed three years ago.

Continue reading Report: New International Student Enrollments Continue to Decline

Tips to Help Parents Tackle the FAFSA

iStock

In many homes, filling out the FAFSA is a family affair.

Although students are always encouraged to take the lead when it comes to applying to colleges, they are often required to work in conjunction with their parents or guardians to provide information about their family’s income and other factors when seeking financial aid.

With that in mind, the US Department of Education recently published a blog post with tips to help families navigate the FAFSA process.

Continue reading Tips to Help Parents Tackle the FAFSA

ICYMI: NACAC Releases Annual State of College Admission Report

How do colleges build a freshman class? NACAC’s  annual State of College Admission report — released on Thursday — offers students, parents, and others a peek at the various factors weighed when reviewing applications.

Now in its 15th year, the report continues to emphasize the importance of academic performance in the admission process. Altogether, colleges on average accept nearly two-thirds of first-time freshmen, with students’ grades and the academic rigor of their course loads weighing more heavily in decisions to admit than standardized test scores, high school class rank, or demonstrated interest in attending.

But other factors also play a role. For example, 22 percent of colleges rated the high school a student attended as at least moderately important in admission decisions for first-time freshmen. And roughly half of all colleges attributed some level of influence to alumni relations when accessing the applications of such students.

Continue reading ICYMI: NACAC Releases Annual State of College Admission Report

New Report Highlights Changes to Rural Education

Like many other segments of society, small towns in the United States are changing.

Today, roughly one out of every five residents in rural America identifies as Latino. Between 2000 and 2009 alone, rural schools saw a 150 percent increase in enrollment of Latino students, according to a recent report from the Center for Public Education (CPE).

“As rural areas become increasingly diverse, it becomes more important to examine how this trend may change student needs,” according to report author Megan Lavalley, a CPE research analyst.

Continue reading New Report Highlights Changes to Rural Education

NACAC Survey Shows Student Activism is on the Rise

iStock

The intensity of the current political climate has led to increased activism among students at more than half (52 percent) of all secondary schools across the US, according to survey data from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

The finding is one of several included in a new NACAC research brief that explores the effects of today’s political rhetoric on college-bound students and examines how the political climate is affecting the college admission process. The association surveyed school counselors and college admission officers on the subject earlier this year.

Although levels of activism varied across schools, with 27 percent of respondents reporting that the political environment had no effect on the students they served, a full 52 percent of school counselors reported increased political engagement.

In the words of one respondent: “They’re woke and they’re angry! And they’re registered to vote!”

Continue reading NACAC Survey Shows Student Activism is on the Rise

#NACACreads: Join Us for a Discussion of ‘Breakaway Learners’

Building a freshman class has never been an easy proposition.

But attracting and retaining students today requires admission professionals and their university colleagues to possess a different set of skills than in the past.

“At the most basic level, the students of today and tomorrow are not the students of yesterday or yesteryear,” author Karen Gross writes in Breakaway Learners. “…Many of today’s students are the first in their families to attend college, let alone graduate; many are immigrants; many are low income. Many have experienced trauma or toxic stress.”

The book — now available in paperback and electronic format — will be the subject of our next #NACACreads discussion. The hour-long Twitter chat will kick off at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 12.

Continue reading #NACACreads: Join Us for a Discussion of ‘Breakaway Learners’