Category Archives: College Admission

School Districts Can Help Students Adopt New Attitudes About Admission Process

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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 an article 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.

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Now Available: New Podcast Episode

The latest episode of College Admissions Decoded is now available! Listen on NACAC’s website or Apple Podcasts.

“Avoiding the Parent Trap: A Common-Sense Approach to College Admission,” features NACAC members sharing tips for parents on how to be effective and supportive throughout the admission process.

Tune in and share with the students and families you serve!

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3 Ways to Help Vet Succeed

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

More than 5 million post-9/11 service members are projected to transition out of the military by 2020.

Many will seek out higher education. But while veterans can bring tremendous value to the nation’s college campuses, their path to a degree is often more complex than that of a traditional undergrad.

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High School Performance Matters Most in College Admission Decisions

New survey data from NACAC shows that a student’s high school record remains the primary consideration of colleges when reviewing applications.

The finding, included in the association’s recently released 2019 State of College Admission report, has been consistent over the past three decades.

Specifically, the top four factors in freshmen college admission decisions are: (1) grades in all high school courses; (2) grades in college prep courses; (3) strength of a student’s high school curriculum; and (4) admission test scores (ACT/SAT). Meanwhile, only 1 percent of colleges indicated that a student’s alumni connections or ability to pay had considerable influence during the application review process.

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Chronic Illness and the College Search

Applying to schools and preparing for the college transition can be tough for any student. But for students dealing with a chronic illness, the process has added challenges.

The key to tackling those challenges? Planning ahead.

Teen Vogue recently published a list of advice to help students dealing with chronic illness clear those hurdles before heading off to college.

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New Maps Show Student-to-Counselor Ratios by District

National discussions about school counselors and college access often focus on state-level trends, but new data compiled by NACAC  illustrates how that approach can mask significant equity gaps within states.

A new series of maps, which draw on data from the 2015-16 academic year,  examines how student-to-counselor ratios differ by school district.

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#NACAC19: Beyond Operation Varsity Blues

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Operation Varsity Blues uncovered a complex bribing and cheating scandal within the world of selective college admission.

Although no admission professionals were implicated in the wrongdoing, the scandal’s visibility prompted many discussions among those in the field—conversations that continued last week at NACAC’s 75th National Conference in Louisville.

A panel of nine NACAC members explored the long-term implications for the admission profession and responded to some of the big questions raised in the wake of scandal. The wide-reaching discussion was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education and was one of the conference’s most well-attended sessions.

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#NACAC19: Goal-Setting Can Help Counter Stress for College-Bound Students

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Gen Z students from across the globe are increasingly internalizing the same harmful messages when it comes to college admission, school counselor Dominie Wilhite told attendees Friday at NACAC’s 75th National Conference in Louisville.

To an even greater extent than past generations, today’s young people believe grades, test scores, and application materials must be perfect to achieve their college dreams, noted Wilhite, who serves students at Ghidotti Early College High School (CA).

“There can be a sense that it’s really hard to succeed,” Wilhite said during a panel discussion focused on mental health and wellness in the college admission process.

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Admission Survey: Debt Concerns Are Keeping Potential Applicants Away

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The majority of admission leaders believe their institutions are losing potential applicants due to concerns about student debt, according to a recent Inside Higher Ed report.

For the third consecutive year, more than 80 percent of admission directors believe a fear of debt is preventing students from applying to their respective institutions, survey results show. The concern is greatest among officials at private universities, with 91 percent of respondents citing debt worries as a barrier in the application process.

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Admission Officers Pen Open Letter to Students, Parents

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A group of 24 college admission professionals published an open letter this week in Inside Higher Ed.

Their audience: Students and parents.

Their message: A pledge to provide each student “with the opportunity to realize the very best in themselves, in others, and in the world they will help shape” amid a college admission process that can seem overwhelming.

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