Category Archives: College Admission

Facebook Live Q&A: College Signing Day 2019

It’s never too early to start getting excited about College Signing Day!

College Signing Day has grown into a movement where counselors and students in all 50 states, including DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, celebrate students and build a college-going culture at their schools.

We’ll be counting down to May 1 with Eric Waldo, executive director of Reach Higher, at noon ET on March 13. We’re chatting about plans for celebrating College Signing Day and the 5th anniversary of Reach Higher.

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NACAC Members Offer Advice on Appealing a College Rejection


A rejection from your dream college does not always mark the end of the road with that school.

Appealing the college’s decision can be an option, though one that typically only results in a few overturned rejections each year.

Every school has its own procedure for an appeal process or clearly denotes that all admission decisions are final.

Though the odds are slim for a successful appeal, NACAC members Colleen Ganjian, Eric Nichols, and Parke Muth spoke to Teen Vogue and offered advice to students looking to give it one more shot.

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Member View: Change Your Mentality on College Rejection


Rejection is always tough whether it’s at work, in a relationship, or in college admission.

NACAC member Rick Clark, the director of undergraduate admissions at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has some advice.

First, if you’ve been rejected, Clark writes, you likely need to take a moment. It’s okay that you’re not okay.

“Go ahead and scream, cry, beat your pillow, cook or eat a lot of something (do all of those at once if you’re really upset). You do you. Whatever it takes to begin clearing your head,” he wrote.

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Department of Education Simplifies FAFSA Verification Process


The Department of Education recently announced changes to FAFSA verification aimed to help make the process less burdensome.

In lieu of IRS tax return transcripts and verification of non-filing forms, the guidance allows institutions to accept copies of signed income tax returns and written statements of non-filing from students who are selected for FAFSA verification. The changes are effective immediately and apply to both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 cycles.

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Building a Better College Admission Process


Busting college admission myths is an important part of any counselor’s job, but do the subtle messages sent by some high schools and colleges undermine efforts to get young people to embrace a more balanced approach during application season?

Last summer, NACAC member Lisa Micele shared tips for all those involved in the process with NPR’s Here & Now.  Her goal? To help students build a college list of no more than 10 schools, all of which they would be happy and proud to attend.

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Reflections on a College Tour


Editor’s note: A version of post was first published on Counselors’ Corner.

I had a first in my college counseling career last week when I went on an organized multi-college tour. When you’re the only person in your office—as I was for so long—getting away to see colleges is, at best, a one-day commitment, so the idea of taking an entire week away from the office to see nine college campuses was new to me. It also left me wondering if I could follow the advice I offer my students—to write down your impressions the minute the tour is over, so you don’t confuse the qualities of one campus with the features of another.

It turns out I didn’t have too much to worry about in that department. This tour has been going on for ages and those in charge leave no detail to chance. We were greeted with an itinerary that would have made any logistics expert shed a tear of joy, including a booklet that included a summary of the essential statistics and vital qualities of each school. I was free to add my own notes in the ample notes section in the back, but even if I didn’t, there was no way I was going home with nine schools jumbled in my head.

Overall, the experience taught or reminded me of three things about this profession, all lessons that were timely.

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Survey: Admission Professionals Sound Off About Social Media Checks


“You know, colleges can see that. You really should watch what you post.”

It’s a common refrain from parents and teachers throughout the college admission process, but are admission officers actually checking social media?

A new survey by Kaplan Test Prep found that just 25 percent of college admission officers check the social media accounts of prospective students, down from a high of 40 percent in 2015.

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Lessons Learned: Reflections and Advice from a Regional Admission Counselor


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

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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