Category Archives: Access

States Bolster School Counseling Programs

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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

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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

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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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New Alliance Formed to Address College Access

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A group of 30 selective colleges has launched a new alliance aimed at expanding access to postsecondary education.

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) — whose founding members include several Ivy League and public flagship universities — seeks to bring a total of 50,000 low- and moderate-income students to universities with graduation rates of least 70 percent by 2025.

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Report: Counselors Positively Impact College Access

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Students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are significantly more likely to attend college and apply for federal financial aid, according to a new study released today by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

The findings, culled from nationally representative data, are the first to demonstrate that school counselors have a positive impact on student outcomes that is both quantifiable and statistically significant.

NACAC’s latest research report — How Can High School Counseling Shape Students’ Postsecondary Attendance? — shows that 12th graders who talked about their future plans with a school counselor were:

  • 6.8 times more likely to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • 3.2 times more likely to attend college.
  • Two times more likely to attend a bachelor’s degree program.

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Report: Demographic Changes Ahead for Higher Ed

wicheAfter steady growth over the last three decades, the overall number of US high school graduates is leveling off.

However, trends vary by geographic region, according to a new report from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). States in the South and West are poised for growth, while those in the Midwest and Northeast continue to see declines.

In addition, the racial and ethnic makeup of students is becoming more diverse, data show.

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NACAC at ASHE: College Promise Programs

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Earlier this month, NACAC research associate Tara Nicola attended the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) to present NACAC work as well as stay abreast of the latest research in the field. This is the first in a series of posts highlighting exciting research relevant to admission and high school counseling professionals.

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School Districts Can Help Students Adopt New Attitudes About Admission Process

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School districts may be able to boost college-going rates by changing the way they introduce students to the application process, according to a recent piece published by the Harvard Business Review.

Too often, the conversation is focused on ensuring students submit an application to at least one college, writes researcher Lindsay Page. But when teens apply to a range of institutions “they are more likely to get accepted to an institution that is a good fit,” she notes.

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New Report Highlights Access and Inclusion Strategies

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Low-income and minority students continue to face barriers to higher education and the resulting gaps have contributed to diminished social mobility in the US, data show.

A new report — Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education — highlights strategies institutions can use to help reverse that trend. The 89-page publication uses federal statistics to demonstrate the scale of the problem and highlights strategies colleges and universities can use to help more underrepresented students get to (and through) college.

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ICYMI: NACAC Affirms Longstanding Values Following Presidential Election

NACAC CEO Joyce Smith sent the following message to members last week:

Dear Colleagues,

I have seen a number of accounts about anxiety in our schools, colleges, and communities following the election, and I’ve heard from many of you who are asking about NACAC’s response.

As the dust settles from one of the most contentious presidential races in our history, concerns have emerged about the future of programs and initiatives that promote equal access to higher education, as well as the safety and security of the students we serve.

Continue reading ICYMI: NACAC Affirms Longstanding Values Following Presidential Election