Category Archives: College Admission

Study: Are Today’s Teens Afraid to Grow Up?

Dating and obtaining a driver’s license have long been American rites of passage, but a new study suggests that today’s teens seem less interested in meeting those milestones than prior generations.

A study published this week in the journal Child Development showed a sharp decline over the past decade in the percentage of adolescents who date or drive. The share of teens who have tried alcohol or held a paying job has also decreased.

And while some of the data may suggest that teens are making healthier choices, the overall trend of delaying adulthood may speak to the increased pressures today’s kids face, according to a Washington Post article examining the new findings.

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A Reminder: The Work We Do Changes Lives

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Editor’s note: This column was first shared on the NACAC Exchange.

All of you see it every year.

A senior who graduated in May stops in before they head off to college. The smile is bright, but the eyes betray them; they are scared.

It’s easy for me to reassure them because, as old as I am, I remember how transformational the first week of college was. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I grew up in a town of 13,000 in Illinois. I really had no idea what to expect. I was pretty scared.

It started in my second class. My professor said something, and I laughed out loud. He asked me what was so funny, and I told him that I had never ever thought about what he had just mentioned. He gave me a sly grin and became a lifelong mentor.

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Navigating the Tide of Stress this Fall

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Each August, I get hit by a tsunami of anxiety and stress. Though it happens year after year, I’m still startled when I look up and see it above me, overshadowing the peaceful laziness of summer that came before.

Call it a professional hazard: Students and parents cannot help but look toward college with apprehension, and their apprehension arrives in force (in my office) in August. Whether stemming from the unbelievable cost of college, or the incredible odds against getting into a dream school, these fears are grounded in the realities of today’s college admission world.

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Campus Differences Matter in the College Search

Courtesy of Barbara T. Conner

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

After visiting a few college campuses, most people begin to think that they are all alike — and in some ways they are right. Most colleges offer students a variety of factors that seem similar: rigorous academics, varied social activities, and meaningful ways to connect with the community.

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4 Ways College Counselors Can Increase Access for Underrepresented Students

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Diversity on campus strengthens our colleges and our country.

Yet a large number of qualified students from low-income and minority populations are still underrepresented in American higher education due to inadequate access to college advising resources.

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College Coaches Use Social Media to Vet Recruits

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

Hoping to play sports in college? Make sure your social media accounts send the right message to recruiters.

“Right or wrong, most college coaches will assume that how you act on social media will be how you act on campus,” according to a recent USA Today column by Fred Bastie. “For that reason, your actions and behavior on social media in high school are critical if you expect to play in college.”

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Apply to 100 Colleges? What 1 Student Wishes She Had Known About the Admission Process

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A freshman college student in Tennessee isn’t experiencing buyer’s remorse over her college choice. But she has some issues with the way she was told to shop for one.

“I was also told by counselors to apply to 100 colleges. I was never told why that number was chosen, but my peers were told the same,” Anisah Karim, now a psychology student at the University of Memphis, wrote in Chalkbeat.

“We were often pulled out of class to complete these applications, which took away from instructional time — about an hour per day. My high school also ran on an infraction system, and not turning in college applications and other documents led to disciplinary actions.”

Continue reading Apply to 100 Colleges? What 1 Student Wishes She Had Known About the Admission Process

Free ACT/SAT Exams Boost College Enrollment Rates

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College enrollment rates increase when high schools cover the cost of college entrance exams, new research suggests.

The finding — published by Education Finance and Policy — is based on a study of six classes of high school juniors who attended Michigan schools from 2003-04 to 2007-08. The state has required teens to take a college entrance exam since 2007.

“Overall, the policy increased the probability that students would enroll in college by about 2 percent,” according to an Education Week article about the new research. “Students at schools with higher poverty rates increased their college enrollment rates by 6 percent, and those students who had a low to middling probability of taking the ACT before the policy took effect saw their rates improve by 5 percent afterward.”

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Campus Visit Tips for Moms and Dads

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Prospective students should take the lead during campus visits, but if parents are tagging along they also have a role to play.

An extra set of eyes and ears can prove invaluable, W. Kent Barnds, executive vice president of Augustana College (IL), wrote in a recent Huffington Post column.

And perhaps more importantly, moms and dads can help prepare their student to make the most out of the visit.

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Lessons Learned: Reflections and Advice from a Regional Admission Counselor

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After 14 years working in the admission office for my alma mater, I had it good. I coordinated the campus visit team, supervised tour guides, worked with transfer students, and held many “other duties as assigned.” In short, I knew what I was doing.

Then two years ago, I was offered an exciting new role that turned my career on its head: I became Gettysburg College’s first West Coast regional counselor.

In the past 24 months I have learned about the challenges of a three-hour time difference, work-life balance, and the importance of communication with the office. I’ve also reflected on how counselors — and campus-based leaders — can work together to make the most out of regional positions.

Here are my tips for counselors and admission leaders who are considering making the jump.

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