Category Archives: College Admission

Occupational Outlook Handbook Helps Students Explore Careers

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

For Gail Grand’s students, the college search process is about more than just picking a campus.

Teens complete an aptitude and interest test and explore careers before ever submitting applications. The strategy is a smart one.

Fewer than four in 10 college students graduate in four years, federal data show. And as tuition rates continue to grow, extra years in school can often mean additional debt.

Tapping into resources like the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) helps teens make wise college choices, said Grand, an independent college counselor based in California’s Westlake Village. It also increases students’ likelihood of graduating on time, she noted.

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Student-to-Counselor Ratios: Watch Our Facebook Live Q&A

The ideal student-to-counselor ratio is 250-to-1, yet the average school counselor currently serves a caseload that is nearly twice that size.

What are the implications for students and for the profession? Experts from NACAC and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) addressed that question today during a Facebook Live Q&A.

“Student outcomes are better with the 250-to-1 ratio,” Jill Cook, ASCA’s assistant director noted during the chat. “Attendance is better, achievement is better, graduation rates (are better).”

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Grants Available to Fund College Signing Day Events


Decision Day is just a few weeks away for hundreds of thousands of college-bound high school seniors.

May 1—also called National College Decision Day—is the deadline for students to accept an offer of admission and make a tuition deposit at many institutions.

And for the fifth year, Reach Higher—in coordination with Better Make Room—is encouraging schools and communities to host College Signing Day events in recognition of their students’ hard work.

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Learn More About Student Activism and the Admission Process

Should student activism influence college admission decisions?

Tune into Admissions Live today at 11 a.m. ET to learn how colleges are responding to student disciplinary actions stemming from political protests.

Host Adam Castro will be joined by NACAC President-Elect Stefanie Niles and Eric Hoover, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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#NACACreads: Join Our Next Discussion

From identifying right-fit schools to securing financial aid and selecting classes — success in higher education is intrinsically linked to a student’s ability to make informed decisions about their future and follow through on their plans.

Discuss new ways to help students navigate this critical process during an April 18 #NACACreads chat with Benjamin Castleman, author of The 160-Character Solution: How Text Messages and Other Behavioral Strategies Can Improve Education.

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Ode to an Admission Rep


My youngest children—twins my wife and I adopted in Kenya during our 14 years there—are just beginning the college search process.

They are now 16, and my daughter and I went on a college tour last week. We visited two large public schools and two small private schools. We got up at 3 a.m. to make a flight, and our first school was a very large public university. It was a great tour, and our rep had gone beyond expectations to make it personal for my daughter. But then, something extraordinary happened.

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How the Eagles Prepared Me for College Counseling


Full disclosure: I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

No, not that kind.

I’m the respectful, stoic kind that wears my green gear with pride, only cursing division rivals under my breath when occasion demands. I cheer or cringe with every down, every week, even from two time zones away. For although Denver is my home, my hometown lies just outside Philly. The Eagles are my home team.

After witnessing an Eagles season filled with inspiring moments, generous athletes, and spirited end zone celebrations, we find ourselves here. Days away from what has eluded us for over half a century. Again.

It was during this most recent season that I recognized the parallels between my life as an Eagles fan and my career. Those same qualities intrinsic to Eagles fandom have, in fact, equipped me for college counseling.

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ACT to Launch Free Test Prep Tool


Free test prep materials will soon be available online for students preparing to take the ACT.

The Iowa-based testing company announced this week that it would launch ACT Academy in the spring. The platform will include video lessons, interactive practice questions, full-length practice tests, and educational games.

Each student will receive a personalized study plan based on their scores from the ACT test, the PreACT, ACT practice tests, or diagnostics completed within the ACT Academy platform.

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