Category Archives: College Admission

Achieving Balance: Tips to Help Students Navigate Their Freshman Year

iStock

Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in September 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

To-do lists, reasonable goals, and regular exercise can help freshmen stay on track.

Those tips and more are included in a USA Today piece aimed at helping first-year students maintain their health and happiness.

“Achieving life balance is one of the largest challenges that college freshmen face,” the article notes. “After all, you must juggle a wide variety of activities — from your coursework to your social life to your extracurriculars — in addition to monitoring your mental and physical well-being.”

Continue reading Achieving Balance: Tips to Help Students Navigate Their Freshman Year

For Many Families, College Search Now Includes Questions about Campus Politics

iStock

It’s hard to avoid conversations about politics these days. This new reality has trickled down to the college admission process where counselors on both sides of the desk are now commonly asked to field tricky questions about political reputations and perceived leanings of a college campus.

Inside Higher Ed recently reported on a group of counselors at the annual meeting of the Higher Education Consultants Association who said that parents were rejecting their children’s college choices based on the schools’ politics.

But while parents might be hesitant about the political climate on campus, it seems to be something students want out of their college experience. UCLA’s 50th annual CIRP Freshman Survey, which surveyed 141,189 full-time, first-year students from around the US, found that student interest in political and civic activity had reached its highest level in the history of the survey.

Continue reading For Many Families, College Search Now Includes Questions about Campus Politics

Study: Students Rely on Mobile Devices to Scout Schools

iStock

Mobile matters when it comes to college recruitment.

Data from a national survey show that handheld devices, such as phones or tablets, are the primary college search tool for roughly one-third of high school students.

In addition, roughly 40 percent of students surveyed said they plan to use social media when deciding where to enroll.

Continue reading Study: Students Rely on Mobile Devices to Scout Schools

Chicago to Make Postsecondary Plans a Graduation Requirement

iStock

Students in Chicago will soon need more than passing grades to graduate from high school.

Starting in 2020, seniors won’t receive a diploma until they can show they’ve secured a job, been accepted to college, enrolled in an apprentice program, enlisted in the military, or have made other plans for their future.

“We are going to help kids have a plan, because they’re going to need it to succeed,” Chicago Major Rahm Emanuel told The Washington Post. “You cannot have kids think that 12th grade is done.”

Continue reading Chicago to Make Postsecondary Plans a Graduation Requirement

Admission Officers Share Advice They Give Their Own College-Bound Kids

iStock

Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in March 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

The college search and application process continues this summer for rising seniors.

In a 2016 New York Times article, nine college admission officers offered a unique perspective on what lies ahead.

As parents themselves, the interviewees shared the advice they offer to their own college-bound children.

Continue reading Admission Officers Share Advice They Give Their Own College-Bound Kids

College Counselor Compiles Summer Reading List

iStock

Looking for summer reading suggestions for yourself or the students you serve?

NACAC member Brennan Barnard has released his annual compilation of book recommendations.

The full list — featuring titles suggested by college admission deans and counselors — appears on The Washington Post website. Some selections are related to education, while other titles are simply good reads.

Continue reading College Counselor Compiles Summer Reading List

Expert Insight: College Admission and the Class of 2017

iStock

In a few short months, this year’s crop of high school grads will head to college.

How did the Class of 2017 decide where to matriculate?

NACAC’s immediate past president, Phil Trout, recently offered some insight based on his experience working with seniors at Minnetonka High School (MN).

Here are three takeaways from his interview with EAB:

Continue reading Expert Insight: College Admission and the Class of 2017

Good or Bad, Meme Groups Now Play a Larger Role in College Admission

Gone are the days where students had to wait until freshman orientation to connect with one another. Now students have connected online before they ever arrive on campus.

The latest of these online forums are Facebook meme groups and nearly every major college in America has one.

Students use the groups to bond, chat, and connect through a shared sense of humor showcased through a series of student-created memes specific to each college.

As the groups have grown, they’ve become about more than just connection. They’ve also begun to play a role in the admission process, Mic reported recently.

Continue reading Good or Bad, Meme Groups Now Play a Larger Role in College Admission

Share Advice For First-Gen Students

iStock

What should first-generation college students know before they head to campus?

A new social media campaign organized by Better Make Room is encouraging college counselors and others to share their wisdom on Twitter.

Contribute your own tips by using #AdviceForFirstGen and #BetterMakeRoom in your tweets.

Tips already submitted include:

  • Find a mentor.
  • Don’t forget to renew your FAFSA every year.
  • When stressed, stop and smell the roses.

Continue reading Share Advice For First-Gen Students

Rethinking the Transcript: High Schools Join New Consortium

iStock

A group of private schools wants to remove letter grades from the college admission process.

Instead, members of the newly formed Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) would submit reports to universities outlining how well students demonstrate mastery of key academic concepts. Other qualities, such as creativity and persistence, could also be highlighted on the new transcript.

The model is inspired in part by competency-based education, a method where students progress through the curriculum based on their demonstration of knowledge and skills, rather than seat time. Consortium leaders say each member will have the freedom to determine which “performance areas” will be included on their school’s transcript.

NACAC research shows that grades matter most in college admission. But many counselors say the resulting pressure to attain perfect marks undermines student learning and development. Continue reading Rethinking the Transcript: High Schools Join New Consortium