Category Archives: College Admission

College Counselor Compiles Summer Reading List

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Looking for summer reading suggestions for yourself or the students you serve?

NACAC member Brennan Barnard has released his annual compilation of book recommendations.

The full list — featuring titles suggested by college admission deans and counselors — appears on The Washington Post website. Some selections are related to education, while other titles are simply good reads.

Continue reading College Counselor Compiles Summer Reading List

Expert Insight: College Admission and the Class of 2017

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In a few short months, this year’s crop of high school grads will head to college.

How did the Class of 2017 decide where to matriculate?

NACAC’s immediate past president, Phil Trout, recently offered some insight based on his experience working with seniors at Minnetonka High School (MN).

Here are three takeaways from his interview with EAB:

Continue reading Expert Insight: College Admission and the Class of 2017

Good or Bad, Meme Groups Now Play a Larger Role in College Admission

Gone are the days where students had to wait until freshman orientation to connect with one another. Now students have connected online before they ever arrive on campus.

The latest of these online forums are Facebook meme groups and nearly every major college in America has one.

Students use the groups to bond, chat, and connect through a shared sense of humor showcased through a series of student-created memes specific to each college.

As the groups have grown, they’ve become about more than just connection. They’ve also begun to play a role in the admission process, Mic reported recently.

Continue reading Good or Bad, Meme Groups Now Play a Larger Role in College Admission

Share Advice For First-Gen Students

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What should first-generation college students know before they head to campus?

A new social media campaign organized by Better Make Room is encouraging college counselors and others to share their wisdom on Twitter.

Contribute your own tips by using #AdviceForFirstGen and #BetterMakeRoom in your tweets.

Tips already submitted include:

  • Find a mentor.
  • Don’t forget to renew your FAFSA every year.
  • When stressed, stop and smell the roses.

Continue reading Share Advice For First-Gen Students

Rethinking the Transcript: High Schools Join New Consortium

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A group of private schools wants to remove letter grades from the college admission process.

Instead, members of the newly formed Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) would submit reports to universities outlining how well students demonstrate mastery of key academic concepts. Other qualities, such as creativity and persistence, could also be highlighted on the new transcript.

The model is inspired in part by competency-based education, a method where students progress through the curriculum based on their demonstration of knowledge and skills, rather than seat time. Consortium leaders say each member will have the freedom to determine which “performance areas” will be included on their school’s transcript.

NACAC research shows that grades matter most in college admission. But many counselors say the resulting pressure to attain perfect marks undermines student learning and development. Continue reading Rethinking the Transcript: High Schools Join New Consortium

Between the Lines: What a College List Does Not Tell You

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Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in May 2015. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

It has become customary for many schools to publish a list of college decisions each May. The Ellis School, where I work, is no exception. Our students are so bright and involved and — with 30 students accepted to more than 80 colleges and counting — every girl has excellent options.

But after more than 13 years in the college admission field, I have come to understand that, no matter how impressive, a college list alone does not convey what is truly important and meaningful about a young person’s college admission story. What matters most are the truths they discover about themselves during the process.

Continue reading Between the Lines: What a College List Does Not Tell You

Study: Interest in International Transfer Pathways Growing Among Community Colleges

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Community colleges are an integral facet of the US higher education system. Serving nearly 6.3 million students, these public, two-year institutions offer a variety of courses and degree programs at a third of the price charged by four-year colleges. Because most community colleges have transfer agreements with baccalaureate-granting institutions, many students who seek a bachelor’s degree initially matriculate at a community college to take advantage of its cost-saving benefits. In fact, data from the National Student Clearinghouse show that 49 percent of students who completed a degree at a four-year university in 2015-16 had previously enrolled in a community college during the last 10 years.

Community colleges have typically established transfer agreements with local and regional institutions. These include “2+2” pathway programs, which guarantee admission for students at the partner four-year college if specific academic requirements are met, and articulation agreements that delineate how specific coursework will transfer between programs.

Results from a recent survey of 140 community colleges conducted by NACAC and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) indicate a growing number of these colleges are also interested in pursuing transfer partnerships with universities abroad.

Continue reading Study: Interest in International Transfer Pathways Growing Among Community Colleges

Hobsons Launches Counselor Community

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Editor’s note: While the Admitted blog regularly reports on NACAC’s own research, products, and services, or those available from non-profit sources, we occasionally feature posts that focus on the work of our partners and sponsors in the private sector.

You’ve worked in the admission office for three years, and now you must take over a new territory. You don’t know the schools, you’re not familiar with the high school counselors — oh, and you need to figure out your travel schedule in just a week or so. How do you know where to visit? What’s the makeup of the student body at the schools on your visit list?

Or — you’re a high school counselor with students who have some fairly detailed questions about College A. You want to email or call the admission officer who works with schools in your area, but you don’t know who that is. How long will it take to find that information on the college’s website?

You can find the answers to these questions and many more in the new Hobsons Counselor Community.

Continue reading Hobsons Launches Counselor Community

Rethinking the Campus Visit

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Campus visits often play an influential role in a student’s enrollment decision, but one clinical psychologist is questioning whether teens rely too heavily on their initial impressions when selecting a college.

“If we are making a decision we haven’t made before (such as where to go to college) then our present selves must rely on imagination, instead of experience,” Erica Reischer writes in a recent New York Times op-ed. “…Visiting the campus — to take a tour, meet students, get the lay of the land — seems like a prerequisite to making a good decision. But visiting a college is not the same as being a student there, and this distinction matters a lot, because of the many ways in which our imagination misleads us.”

Continue reading Rethinking the Campus Visit

New Survey Measures Public Perceptions of Higher Ed

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A new national poll paints a troubling picture of how the public views college access.

In a survey of 1,600 US adults, more than half of all respondents disagreed with the notion that all Americans have a decent chance of getting into a good college.

The finding is part of a larger report released this morning by New America examining public perceptions and knowledge of higher education and economic mobility.

Continue reading New Survey Measures Public Perceptions of Higher Ed