Category Archives: Access

Summer Camp Helps Special Needs Students Prepare for College

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Adjusting to campus life can be tough for any student.

But for teens with Asperger’s syndrome and high-functioning individuals with autism, making the transition to college can be especially challenging.

The University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire is attempting to help such students succeed by preparing them for the stressors they will face as undergrads. The university, a NACAC member institution, holds a week-long residential summer camp to help high school juniors and seniors get ready for college. 2018 marks the 10th year it has offered the camp.

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Survey: Majority of LGBTQ Youth Face Negative School Environments

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The majority of LGBTQ youth experience negative and even hostile school environments, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign.

The advocacy group surveyed roughly 12,000 students between the ages of 13 and 17 who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, and found that 70 percent had been bullied at school because of their sexual orientation.

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Georgia State Lauded for Student Success Initiative

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Georgia State University has reinvented itself.

“By focusing on retaining low-income students, rather than just enrolling them, the college raised its graduation rate to 54 percent from 32 percent in 2003,” according to a recent New York Times article. “And for the last five years, it has awarded more bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans…than any other nonprofit college or university in the country.”

Officials from the university — a NACAC member institution — say data analysis and targeted supports have helped boost student success. Advisers monitor the daily progress of the school’s 40,000 undergrads and act quickly to provide assistance at the first sign that a student is struggling.

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Study: Students of Color Disproportionately Affected by Inequitable College Spending

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Students of color are facing yet another barrier to college access and success.

A recent study from the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that two-year and four-year public colleges spend about $1,000 less per year on students of color than on white students. Collectively, this means public colleges are spending about $5 billion less per year on these students than on their white counterparts.

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Michelle Obama Celebrates College Signing Day in Philadelphia

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Getting into college is just the beginning, former First Lady Michelle Obama told a group of Philadelphia students Wednesday.

The next step? Having the courage to make connections and ask for help.

“Some of you may be the first or only people from your family or your community to even take this step — and that might feel a little scary,” Obama told the teens, who were gathered to celebrate College Signing Day. “…But when you hit those roadblocks, when you have trouble in that class, when you feel like you’re falling behind — you have to ask for help.”

No one, she said, gets through college on their own.

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Survey: Community Colleges Seek to Increase Transfer Options

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Three-quarters of community college presidents report that their institutions are adding new programs or other options to make it easier for students to transfer to four-year universities, according to a new report from Inside Higher Ed and Gallup.

The additions are an attempt to recruit more students and better serve those already enrolled at two-year institutions, survey data from community college presidents shows.

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#NACACreads: Join Our Next Chat

There’s a reason it’s a classic.

Parents, educators, and others have turned to Beverly Daniel Tatum’s bestselling book for over two decades to better understand the dynamics of race in America. Those conversations continue to be critically important today, so on June 11 #NACACreads will discuss the new edition of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

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#NACACreads: Using Text Messages to Nudge College-Bound Students

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Looking for ways to increase access and success in higher ed?

Using new technologies to provide personalized support and timely information can help students get to and through college, author Benjamin Castleman noted during a Wednesday #NACACreads Twitter chat.

“We know that students face complex and consequential decisions all along the road to and through college,” Castleman tweeted during a discussion of his book, The 160-Character Solution: How Text Messaging and Other Behavioral Strategies Can Improve Education. “These choices range from HS juniors/seniors choosing which of the thousands of colleges in the country are a good fit for their (postsecondary) goals, to advanced college students (identifying) financial resources they can access to get through the last mile of college.”

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Counselor: Financial Aid Process Burdens Low-Income Students

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

Getting into college is only half the battle for teens living in poverty.

To prove eligibility for financial aid, many colleges ask low-income students to submit a mountain of paperwork — going beyond what is required of their middle- and upper-income peers, NACAC member Joshua Steckel wrote in a 2016 opinion column published by The Boston Globe.

The process is burdensome, he noted. Worst of all, it can discourage talented students from accessing the financial support they need to attend college.

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