Category Archives: College Admission

Smarter Balanced Explores College Admission Testing

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Could a new college admission exam be on the horizon?

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is testing the waters, according to a recent blog post published by Education Week.

The consortium — representing 15 states — oversees an online assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards. But the group is apparently looking to expand its offerings.

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Survey: Applications from International Students Decrease Amid Perceptions that US is Less Welcoming

intlreportNearly four in 10 colleges have seen drops in applications from international students, and recruitment officials report that families are exhibiting “a great deal of concern” about how their students will be treated in the US, according to early findings from a recent survey of more than 250 US colleges and universities.

The survey — conducted last month by AACRAO in cooperation with NACAC, International ACAC, and three other higher education associations — shows that 39 percent of respondents reported an overall drop in international applications for fall 2017, with the highest number of institutions reporting declines in applications from the Middle East.

Institutions also reported drops in applications from students in India and China. Currently, those two countries are home to nearly half of all international students studying in the US.

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Breaking Down Barriers: New White Paper Examines Racial Equity in Higher Ed

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Coalition building and collaboration at the federal level may help lead the charge for equity-centered admission and higher education policies.

That assessment was shared last month by panelists and attendees at a Washington, DC, event marking the release of a new white paper examining racial equity and barriers to postsecondary education for minority students.

The paper was released by the Young Invincibles, a bipartisan nonprofit focused on the needs of young people ages 18-34. Through policy research and analysis, the organization advocates for a broad range of policy priorities, including access to postsecondary education — a crucial element for this age group.

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Etiquette Advice for Students Facing Questions about College

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Editor’s note: A version of this post was first published on Admitted in March 2016.

What are your plans for next year?

It’s a query that college-bound seniors across the country will be asked a multitude of times in the weeks and months ahead.

But what happens when the questions become overwhelming? Last year the hosts of Awesome Etiquette — a podcast produced by American Public Media — discussed polite ways to deflect overly intrusive college admission questions.

The topic was raised by high school senior Amy Mercedes, who asked show hosts Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning how she should respond to questions from adults and peers about her college list, grade point average, college essay, and SAT scores.

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Report: High School Graduates from Southern States Projected to Increase

The Southern region is set to produce the largest number of high school graduates in the US over the next 15 years, according to the latest enrollment projections from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

Although the overall number of high school graduates in the US is predicted to decrease, Southern states (highlighted in yellow in the figure below) will see a significant increase in their number of public and private high school graduates. Specifically, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Oklahoma will experience the largest growth.

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New Translations of ‘Trusted Sources’ Now Available

Spanish translation of "Trusted Sources."
Spanish translation of “Trusted Sources.”

Updated resources from NACAC offer tips for students who plan to pursue higher education in another country.

Trusted Sources: Seeking Advice on Applying to Universities in Another Country is now available in Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.

The guide, also printed in English and Mandarin, helps students and parents better understand the advisors available to guide them through the admission process.

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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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