Category Archives: College Admission

Are Double Majors Worth It?

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Helping students weigh the pros and cons of a double major?

New research suggests the strategy isn’t a sure ticket to a bigger paycheck. Although 20 percent of college graduates leave school with a double major, they typically don’t experience increases in wages or job satisfaction, according to a paper published in a recent edition of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis.

“We found some evidence that certain combinations of double majors confer advantages over a single major, but they weren’t overwhelming,” Joni Hersch, one of the paper’s authors, recently told The Wall Street Journal.

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Study: Grit as an Indicator of College Success

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Underlying the college admission process is the principle that colleges should strive to accept the most academically talented students. What are the factors that best predict academic success in college?

Historically, postsecondary institutions have relied on quantitative indicators such as high school GPA and standardized test scores to assess a student’s academic potential, and with good reason—there is strong evidence linking these factors with academic performance in college. Yet such measures are neither foolproof, nor do they capture key non-cognitive characteristics, like motivation, enthusiasm, and maturity, which also impact academic outcomes.

A new study by Dr. Patrick Akos and Dr. Jen Kretchmar published in The Review of Higher Education examines the predictive power of one non-cognitive trait—grit. According to research by Dr. Angela Duckworth, grit is a construct encompassing two dimensions: consistency of interest and perseverance of effort. An example of a “gritty” student is one who is steadfast in pursuing long-term goals.

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New NACAC Infographics Highlight Admission Trends

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Looking for quick facts about college admission?

Want to learn more about transfer students and trends in international education?

A series of new NACAC infographics tackles those topics and more. Drawing upon data from the State of College Admission and other NACAC reports, the new resources are now available online.

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Spread the Word: School Counselors Positively Impact College Access

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Need another reason to celebrate National School Counseling Week?

A recent NACAC study confirmed that students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are significantly more likely to attend college and apply for federal financial aid.

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Minnesota Seeks to Curb Summer Melt with Text Messages

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education has teamed up with a group of teens to promote Summer Nudging — a program that uses text messages to help high schoolers successfully navigate the transition to college.

Students from the High School for Recording Arts — a charter school located in St. Paul, Minnesota — recently created a music video to promote the free service.

Teens who sign up receive weekly text messages reminding them when key deadlines are approaching.

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Cost of Campus Meal Plans Continues to Grow

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The price of college meal plans continues to grow  and it’s contributing to the rising costs of higher education, according to an article published this month in The Hechinger Report.

A recent analysis of college dining contracts show that the amount of money students spend on meal plans outpaces what the average American shells out for food each year.

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Researcher: US High Schools Must Invest in College Counselors

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Editor’s Note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in December 2015.

US high schools must devote more time to college counseling if they want to “see the fruit of other investments,” according to one education researcher.

In a 2015 column, New America staffer Abigail Swisher makes the case that students need both rigorous curriculum and personalized guidance to achieve their postsecondary plans.

“If we want to recreate the American high school as a place where all students have the resources for success in college and career, we need to reinvent the role of counselors,” Swisher writes, citing data from NACAC and other education associations. “This could mean reducing the caseload or number of responsibilities each counselor has, or it might mean moving to an entirely different model of support.”

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Parents of College-Bound Students Share Their Hopes and Fears

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Everyone knows that the college application process can be emotional for students.

But what about their parents? What hopes and fears do they have for their children?

NACAC member Brennan Barnard, director of college counseling at the Derryfield School (NH), recently asked moms and dads to share their outlook.

He published the answers in a recent Washington Post column.

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