All posts by Mary Stegmeir

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Imagine Grant Funds Awareness Campaign

An estimated one out of every 14 children under age 18 has experienced the death of a parent or sibling, but the unique needs of grieving students are often overlooked in the college admission process.

Pamela Roth Appleton, associate director of college counseling at Phillips Exeter Academy (NH), is working to change that. Using funds from a NACAC Imagine Grant, Appleton has launched an awareness campaign designed to educate admission counseling professionals about the effects of childhood grief and the challenges affected students may face in the transition to college. Along with Christina Breen, a fellow Exeter educator, Appleton recently produced a four-page brochure. The publication highlights potential pain points in the admission process and includes best practices and further resources.

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High School Performance Matters Most in College Admission Decisions

New survey data from NACAC shows that a student’s high school record remains the primary consideration of colleges when reviewing applications.

The finding, included in the association’s recently released 2019 State of College Admission report, has been consistent over the past three decades.

Specifically, the top four factors in freshmen college admission decisions are: (1) grades in all high school courses; (2) grades in college prep courses; (3) strength of a student’s high school curriculum; and (4) admission test scores (ACT/SAT). Meanwhile, only 1 percent of colleges indicated that a student’s alumni connections or ability to pay had considerable influence during the application review process.

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Study: In-Class Use of Cell Phones, Laptops Lowers Test Scores


Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Admitted in August 2018. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

In the age of laptops, tablets, and smartphones, we’ve mastered the art of multitasking — right?

Unfortunately, a new study suggests otherwise and includes some sobering findings for students.

According to research published in Educational Psychology, students who use electronic devices during class lectures have a harder time recalling what they learned in the long-term.

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New Podcast Episode Now Available

The fourth episode of NACAC’s College Admissions Decoded podcast is now available!

Tune in to hear NACAC Board Director Jacques Steinberg and Rafael Figueroa, dean of college guidance at Albuquerque Academy (NM), discuss what educators and college admission professionals can do to help to help all students and their families explore postsecondary options.

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Avoiding FAFSA Mistakes


From not getting an FSA ID before filling out the FAFSA to forgetting to sign the form — it’s easy to make missteps when applying for federal financial aid.

But the US Department of Education wants to help students avoid the most common mistakes.

Officials published a blog post this month outlining 11 common FAFSA errors, and the article offers plenty of helpful information to guide students and families as they complete the form.

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#NACACreads: Discuss Student Mental Health and Well-Being

Nurturing student success takes many different forms.

During our next #NACACreads Twitter chat, we’ll explore how willpower, coping skills, self-care strategies, and more can help students cultivate authentic happiness and make the most out of their journey to and through college.

Read When Likes Aren’t Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness and join us Dec. 11 for an important discussion on student mental health and well-being with author Tim Bono.

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