Category Archives: Access

Most Selective Colleges Do Not Enroll Equitably

While recent protests and national unease have shed a light on many aspects of systemic racism in the United States, there has been less scrutiny of how racism specifically limits educational opportunities at selective institutions for underrepresented minorities.

According to a new report from the Education Trust, access for Black and Latino students at the nation’s 101 most selective public colleges and universities has shown very little progress since 2000, and the overwhelming majority of the nation’s most selective public colleges are still inaccessible for these undergraduates.

The report examines how access to higher education has changed for Black and Latino students and whether these institutions are serving an undergraduate student body that represents the racial and ethnic diversity of their particular state’s population.

“Improving access for Black and Latino students at the 101 colleges and universities included in this report is a matter of will,” the report said. “With larger endowments and more funding, these institutions have the resources to do so, but their leaders must make a conscious commitment to increasing access. Policymakers can also help institutions become more accessible.”

Read the full report: ‘Segregation Forever’?: The Continued Underrepresentation of Black and Latino Undergraduates at the Nation’s 101 Most Selective Public Colleges and Universities.

Research Associate, Cameron Hair welcomes additional comments and story ideas at

FAFSA Applications Decline Amid Pandemic


School closures and the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus propelled a decrease in FAFSA applications nationally, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data.

As of mid-June, 70,000 fewer students had filed for federal aid compared to the same time period in 2019. The decline represents a 3.7 percent drop overall.

Continue reading FAFSA Applications Decline Amid Pandemic

Colleges Find Creative Ways to Celebrate Pride Month

Pride parades planned across the country this month were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, but colleges are finding creative ways to celebrate.

LGBTQ-themed Netflix watch parties, online drag shows, and shoebox parade floats are among activities organized to keep students engaged and supported.

“There are a lot of people who are going to be coming here — either physically or online — in the fall, and they need to know there is an active community here for them, that there is support,” Frances Johnson, coordinator of the LGBTQ+ Pride Center at Texas A&M University, told Diverse. “Going to college is scary enough, but when you’re queer or from small (town) Texas or from come of these smaller areas, (college) may be your opportunity to come out…It’s about that representation and visibility.”

Continue reading Colleges Find Creative Ways to Celebrate Pride Month

Study: Students Exposed to Police Violence are Less Likely to Graduate from High School, Enroll in College

New research confirms what many school counselors have witnessed firsthand: Black and Hispanic students who live near police killings experience significant negative impacts to their educational and emotional well-being.

Those findings are included in a working paper published this week by Desmond Ang, an assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School (MA).

Continue reading Study: Students Exposed to Police Violence are Less Likely to Graduate from High School, Enroll in College

Study: Black Students Face Racist Actions 5 Times a Day

New research shines a spotlight on the extent to which Black teens experience racism and explores how those experiences impact mental health.

A small study of 101 students from Washington, DC, found that Black teens, on average, encounter racism and discrimination five times a day. Students who faced the most severe incidents of racism were more likely to experience depression.

The study, led by Devin English of Rutgers University (NJ), was published in the January-February issue of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

Science News for Students examined the findings and interviewed English for a recent article aimed at helping all teens recognize and address racism. In easy-to-understand language, the article explains why the onslaught of discrimination faced by Black students is so damaging and offers white students advice for becoming antiracist.

Continue reading Study: Black Students Face Racist Actions 5 Times a Day

Higher Ed: Pandemic’s Effects Will Be Felt for Years to Come


Disruptions caused by the coronavirus will likely lengthen the time students take to earn a college degree, education experts say. And the effects will be felt most acutely by low-income and first-generation students.

“This could add a year or two easily to a student’s time to degree,” Kristen Renn, an education professor at Michigan State University, told The Hechinger Report.

Continue reading Higher Ed: Pandemic’s Effects Will Be Felt for Years to Come

New from NACAC: Enrollment Deposit Waiver Form

Does the enrollment deposit present an insurmountable barrier to college attendance for the students you serve?

A new form from NACAC can help them signal their need for support.

Similar to NACAC’s application fee waiver, the enrollment deposit waiver is used by students to request a fee waiver or deferral. A supplemental document outlines additional ways students can advocate to get the support they need.

Continue reading New from NACAC: Enrollment Deposit Waiver Form

Thoughts from a Former College Admission Officer in the COVID-19 Era

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by The Education Trust. See the original article.

Amid increased anxiety over a global pandemic, parents and students alike are frantically adjusting to the new reality of school shutdowns, online learning, cancellation of standardized tests, library closings, the postponement of extracurricular activities, and limited travel. Meanwhile, there is a group of students that is eagerly awaiting college admission for fall 2020. How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact the college-going decisions of students, and how should colleges adjust admission criteria accordingly?

In a previous Ed Trust blog, I argued that institutions should, as the Supreme Court currently allows, use race as a factor in college admission, since the measures that most colleges use in their admission criteria (strength of curriculum, standardized test scores, grade point average, and non-academic factors) disadvantage students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality is that these same students will likely be disadvantaged by the factors that colleges and universities value in admission.

Continue reading Thoughts from a Former College Admission Officer in the COVID-19 Era

Register for Our College Signing Day Webinar


Decision Day is fast approaching. May 1 is the deadline for students to accept an offer of admission at many institutions.

And once again, Reach Higher is encouraging schools and communities to host College Signing Day events in recognition of their students’ hard work.

To help counselors and college advisers prepare, NACAC is partnering with Reach Higher and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) to offer a College Signing Day webinar.

Continue reading Register for Our College Signing Day Webinar