The Girl Scouts have introduced their first badge dedicated to college exploration.
The College Knowledge Badge — launched in July —is for scouts in grades 11 and 12.
“By showing girls how to research the admission process, financial aid, and other key factors, our College Knowledge Badge meets a specific need and addresses the life skills girls have told us they’re interested in—and that many don’t find support for outside of Girl Scouts,” according to a recent post on the organization’s blog.
Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in December 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.
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.
Do you work with students who feel pressured by their families to add out-of-reach schools to their college lists?
NACAC member Beth Slattery has some insight that may be helpful to share with parents. Her advice? Ask moms and dads to consider what their suggestions signal to students.
“I don’t believe parents are intentionally trying to send the message that they are disappointed in their child when they suggest out-of-reach colleges. Most of them believe they are expressing confidence in their child’s ability, but that isn’t how the child hears it,” Slattery wrote in a recent post published on the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS) Admit All blog. “The student hears that the parent is disappointed in the colleges that they can get into. The student hears that the parent wishes they were the kind of applicant who had a shot at that type of school.”
Many students with disabilities can graduate from high school and go on to college, yet an investigation by The Hechinger Report reveals that a disproportionate number of young people on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) suffer from low expectations when it comes to postsecondary planning.
“Interviews with more than 100 parents, students, advocates, and experts across the country painted a picture of a special education landscape where transition planning and services are largely neglected,” reporters Sarah Butrymowicz and Jackie Mader wrote in an article published late last year. “Students with disabilities who could pursue higher education or meaningful employment are instead living at home and working low-wage jobs.”
Others are unemployed or pushed into professions that don’t match their interests.
We all know the cycle. Unpredictable admission yields put pressure on earlier communication and a push to apply earlier and earlier. This drives up anxiety for students concerned about checking all the boxes ASAP, causing a greater focus on the Big Four—rigorous classes, leadership, athletics, and community service. More academic rigor means that it is harder to miss class, so fewer students attend on-site high school admission sessions. With less student contact, more stealth candidates are in play and yields are unpredictable. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love trends. This was a trend that scared me. Seeing fewer and fewer students attending the college admission representative visits increased my concern about this critical part of the college admission process. What if this wasn’t just happening at my school, but at schools across the country? Would admission directors make a cost-benefit argument that the high school visit was a dinosaur? Would they stop coming?