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.
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.
Transfer students are an important part of the University of Central Florida.
In fact, in recent years, the institution has welcomed more transfer students in its incoming class than first-year freshmen — and in the process has created what some consider a national model of excellence while increasing access for underrepresented students.
“We’ve always been concerned with the success of every student, but as our numbers started to increase with transfer students, we really started to focus heavily on how we could work with our transfer population to make them as successful as possible,” said Jennifer Sumner, a UCF administrator.
Nearly half of America’s school districts are located in rural areas, yet the unique needs of these students are too often overlooked in the college search and selection process.
While family income, parental educational attainment, and prior academic achievement all play a role in limiting college access, systemic constraints also come into play – resulting in lower rates of college attendance for rural students when compared to their urban and suburban peers.
One such barrier? Poverty due to the loss of economic opportunities.
What policies and practices are most effective when it comes to race-conscious admission? And how do recent lawsuits — including the ongoing Harvard case — affect the ability of colleges to promote diversity?
An Oct. 24 webinar hosted by the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) will address those questions and more. The two-hour program is aimed at university counsel who advise institutions, but is also open to admission professionals and others who are involved in student enrollment and retention. The webinar is presented in cooperation with NACAC.
The statistics are stark when it comes to college access and success for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
On some reservations, the college-going rate for high school grads is as low as 18 percent, according to data from the American Indian College Fund. And US Census Bureau data shows that only 14 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives hold college degrees.
Yet when given support and curriculum that affirms their culture, Native students excel, Carrie Billy, president and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), told attendees Thursday at NACAC’s 74th National Conference in Salt Lake City.
“A lot of our students don’t know who they are,” she said. “They’ve been through the K-12 system — a lot of them on reservations — and still haven’t learned their culture and their identity.”
Heading off to college can be an anxiety-ridden process for all teens, but first-generation and low-income students experience “a whole different level of stress,” NACAC member Andrew Moe wrote in a recent op-ed for the Hechinger Report.
As a result, such students are far more likely than their peers to “melt” — a term used to describe the phenomenon of students who enroll in college but fail to show up in the fall.
“They think there aren’t any other students on campus who are the first people in their families to go to college. But there are,” wrote Moe, associate dean of admissions and director of access at Swarthmore College (PA). “And it’s our job as educators to ensure that first-generation students don’t feel alone, and that they have the necessary support during this tough transition—from high school applicant to college graduate.”
Common App’s announcement is a shift in policy. The question has been asked since 2006. Common App last reviewed the policy in March 2017 and decided to keep the question.
“Our focus is always on serving the needs of members, students, and counselors. We believe this change provides members with the greatest flexibility and is most responsive to the evolving landscape around this issue. As the conversation around criminal history continues, we will keep monitoring it to ensure we support the needs of our membership,” Common App President and CEO Jenny Rickard wrote in the announcement of the new policy.