Category Archives: Access

ICYMI: NACAC Responds to Immigration Order

NACAC President Nancy Beane sent the following message to members today:

Dear Colleagues,

This past Friday’s executive order restricting immigration has shaken the admission profession and the institutions we serve. The policy is fundamentally opposed to NACAC’s values, and we have begun strategizing with colleagues in the higher education community and others to discover ways to help ease the anxiety students, families, and professionals are experiencing.
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Minnesota Seeks to Curb Summer Melt with Text Messages

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education has teamed up with a group of teens to promote Summer Nudging — a program that uses text messages to help high schoolers successfully navigate the transition to college.

Students from the High School for Recording Arts — a charter school located in St. Paul, Minnesota — recently created a music video to promote the free service.

Teens who sign up receive weekly text messages reminding them when key deadlines are approaching.

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Textbook Costs are ‘Heavy Burden’ for Students


Scraping up enough money to purchase textbooks weighs heavily on the minds of many college students, according to staffers at New America.

The Washington, DC-based think tank convened students and parents this fall for a series of focus groups. The gatherings offered participants the opportunity to share their opinions about higher education and student success.

“Students and parents alike had a lot to say about the cost of tuition and the institutions themselves, and offered policy ideas they believed could alleviate some of the things that weren’t working,” New America staff members Ernest Ezeugo and Manuela Ekowo wrote in a recent blog post. “But when students were asked what they thought the most problematic aspects of college were, it was the cost of textbooks that most animated the room.”

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Interest in Science Careers Varies by Race, Ethnicity


Black and Hispanic teens are less likely than their peers to express interest in a job in the sciences.

A recent Pew Research Center analysis of data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed a racial and ethnic gap among students seeking such careers.

Among Asian and white high school seniors, 59 and 45 percent, respectively, say they would like a job that involves science.

By comparison, only 40 percent of Hispanics and 39 percent of blacks indicated they wanted a science-related career.

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Tips to Boost FAFSA Participation


Looking for ways to boost FAFSA completion rates in your school district?

Erin Bibo, deputy chief of college & career programs with DC Public Schools, shared success strategies in a recent column published by Homeroom — the official blog of the US Department of Education.

“Financial aid plays a huge factor in students’ college-going decisions and success,” Bibo wrote. “For a large urban district like DC Public Schools, where 77 percent of our students qualify for free and reduced price lunch, getting graduating seniors to complete their FAFSAs on time isn’t an optional task, it’s a necessary one.”

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Researcher: US High Schools Must Invest in College Counselors


Editor’s Note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in December 2015.

US high schools must devote more time to college counseling if they want to “see the fruit of other investments,” according to one education researcher.

In a 2015 column, New America staffer Abigail Swisher makes the case that students need both rigorous curriculum and personalized guidance to achieve their postsecondary plans.

“If we want to recreate the American high school as a place where all students have the resources for success in college and career, we need to reinvent the role of counselors,” Swisher writes, citing data from NACAC and other education associations. “This could mean reducing the caseload or number of responsibilities each counselor has, or it might mean moving to an entirely different model of support.”

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Michelle Obama Cites NACAC Data in White House Remarks

First Lady Michelle Obama used NACAC data Friday to help shine a spotlight on the importance of school counselors.

The comments were woven into Obama’s remarks honoring 2017 School Counselor of the Year Terri Tchorzynski.

“A recent study showed that students who met with a school counselor to talk about financial aid or college were three times more likely to attend college and they were nearly seven times more likely to apply for financial aid,” Obama said, referencing a NACAC report released last month. “Our school counselors are truly among the heroes of the Reach Higher story.”

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States Bolster School Counseling Programs


A growing number of states are using government and philanthropic funds to bring more counselors into public schools.

The trend is outlined in a recent Education Week article by reporter Catherine Gewertz.

“The counseling initiatives are far from the biggest-ticket items in states’ budgets,” she writes. “But they’re a significant sign of a renewed commitment to school counseling, which took particularly heavy hits in layoffs driven by the Great Recession eight years ago.”

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College Board Streamlines Requests for Testing Accommodations

College boy and his fellow students taking a test

A new process will make it easier for students to receive accommodations on College Board exams.

Starting Jan. 1, students who are approved for testing accommodations through an Individualized Education Program or 504 Plan will automatically be cleared to have those same accommodations on College Board tests, including the SAT and Advanced Placement exams.

Officials say the move will reduce approval time and help students receive the support they need to do their best on the tests.

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Panel Discussion Explores Future of Community Colleges


How has the community college sector evolved in recent years? What are the challenges such institutions will face in the future? These were just some of the questions addressed during a recent Urban Institute panel discussion — “Community Colleges since the Great Recession.”

The panel, comprised of Urban Institute researchers as well as various community college stakeholders, discussed a number of issues including college financing and Pell grants, indicators for measuring institutional success, and efforts to increase ties between colleges and employers.

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