Category Archives: College Admission

Now Available: New Podcast Episode

The latest episode of College Admissions Decoded is now available! Listen on NACAC’s website or Apple Podcasts.

“Avoiding the Parent Trap: A Common-Sense Approach to College Admission,” features NACAC members sharing tips for parents on how to be effective and supportive throughout the admission process.

Tune in and share with the students and families you serve!

Continue reading Now Available: New Podcast Episode

3 Ways to Help Vet Succeed

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Editor’s note:  This post was originally published on Admitted in May 2017. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series. 

More than 5 million post-9/11 service members are projected to transition out of the military by 2020.

Many will seek out higher education. But while veterans can bring tremendous value to the nation’s college campuses, their path to a degree is often more complex than that of a traditional undergrad.

Continue reading 3 Ways to Help Vet Succeed

High School Performance Matters Most in College Admission Decisions

New survey data from NACAC shows that a student’s high school record remains the primary consideration of colleges when reviewing applications.

The finding, included in the association’s recently released 2019 State of College Admission report, has been consistent over the past three decades.

Specifically, the top four factors in freshmen college admission decisions are: (1) grades in all high school courses; (2) grades in college prep courses; (3) strength of a student’s high school curriculum; and (4) admission test scores (ACT/SAT). Meanwhile, only 1 percent of colleges indicated that a student’s alumni connections or ability to pay had considerable influence during the application review process.

Continue reading High School Performance Matters Most in College Admission Decisions

Chronic Illness and the College Search

Applying to schools and preparing for the college transition can be tough for any student. But for students dealing with a chronic illness, the process has added challenges.

The key to tackling those challenges? Planning ahead.

Teen Vogue recently published a list of advice to help students dealing with chronic illness clear those hurdles before heading off to college.

Continue reading Chronic Illness and the College Search

New Maps Show Student-to-Counselor Ratios by District

National discussions about school counselors and college access often focus on state-level trends, but new data compiled by NACAC  illustrates how that approach can mask significant equity gaps within states.

A new series of maps, which draw on data from the 2015-16 academic year,  examines how student-to-counselor ratios differ by school district.

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#NACAC19: Beyond Operation Varsity Blues

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Operation Varsity Blues uncovered a complex bribing and cheating scandal within the world of selective college admission.

Although no admission professionals were implicated in the wrongdoing, the scandal’s visibility prompted many discussions among those in the field—conversations that continued last week at NACAC’s 75th National Conference in Louisville.

A panel of nine NACAC members explored the long-term implications for the admission profession and responded to some of the big questions raised in the wake of scandal. The wide-reaching discussion was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education and was one of the conference’s most well-attended sessions.

Continue reading #NACAC19: Beyond Operation Varsity Blues

#NACAC19: Goal-Setting Can Help Counter Stress for College-Bound Students

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Gen Z students from across the globe are increasingly internalizing the same harmful messages when it comes to college admission, school counselor Dominie Wilhite told attendees Friday at NACAC’s 75th National Conference in Louisville.

To an even greater extent than past generations, today’s young people believe grades, test scores, and application materials must be perfect to achieve their college dreams, noted Wilhite, who serves students at Ghidotti Early College High School (CA).

“There can be a sense that it’s really hard to succeed,” Wilhite said during a panel discussion focused on mental health and wellness in the college admission process.

Continue reading #NACAC19: Goal-Setting Can Help Counter Stress for College-Bound Students

Admission Survey: Debt Concerns Are Keeping Potential Applicants Away

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The majority of admission leaders believe their institutions are losing potential applicants due to concerns about student debt, according to a recent Inside Higher Ed report.

For the third consecutive year, more than 80 percent of admission directors believe a fear of debt is preventing students from applying to their respective institutions, survey results show. The concern is greatest among officials at private universities, with 91 percent of respondents citing debt worries as a barrier in the application process.

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Admission Officers Pen Open Letter to Students, Parents

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A group of 24 college admission professionals published an open letter this week in Inside Higher Ed.

Their audience: Students and parents.

Their message: A pledge to provide each student “with the opportunity to realize the very best in themselves, in others, and in the world they will help shape” amid a college admission process that can seem overwhelming.

Continue reading Admission Officers Pen Open Letter to Students, Parents

#NACACreads: Colleges Must Change to Better Serve Low-Income Students

In his book, The Privileged Poor, author Tony Jack shares a surprising statistic.

At highly selective colleges, one half of black students and one third of lower income Latino students are the alumni of boarding, day, and preparatory high schools.

Offering admission to such students is “easy” and “a safer bet” for universities, Jack noted Tuesday during a #NACACreads Twitter chat. After all, students who attend college prep high schools generally arrive on campus already having developed the skills and social capital needed to navigate the “hidden curriculum” of higher education.

But Jack challenged chat participants to diversify their recruitment strategies and invest in on-campus efforts that ensure all students have the knowledge and support needed to make the most of their college years.

Continue reading #NACACreads: Colleges Must Change to Better Serve Low-Income Students