Category Archives: College Readiness

Michelle Obama Encourages Students to Reach Higher

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has released a special back-to-school message.

“The harder you work in your classes this year, the more opportunities you’ll have to go to college and get the education you need to be who you want to be and build the life you want to live,” Obama tells students in a video message released by Better Make Room. “And that matters not just for your future, but for the future of our country and our world.”

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3 Ways to Make the Most out of College

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

Feeling stressed about the college application process? Take heart.

“There are plenty of great schools in this country, and what matters much more than how they are ranked is how you make use of their resources,” Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University (CT), writes in a column published by The Washington Post.

He continues: “When I talk to seniors and recent graduates from schools of all kinds and in various parts of the country, I find that it matters little how difficult it was to get admitted to that school and that it matters a great deal how hard they worked while attending it.”

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Students Offer College Transition Tips

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Heading off to college is a huge period of transition for students and BUILD Series, a live interview series in New York City, wants to help ease some of the anxiety around the freshman year experience.

Host Matt Forte recently interviewed three current college students at New York University — Wade Cushner, Nettie Jones, and Liz Schilling — about parent relationships in college, making new friends, dealing with roommates, and how to get through the transition.

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Report: Social Class—Not Smarts—Is A Better Predictor of Academic Success

Inequities in opportunity begin far before college, according to a recent report.

In fact, the social class a child is born into is a better predictor than academic test scores when it comes to calculating future earning power, research from Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce shows.

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Windows of Opportunity: The Fine Arts Advantage

You may recall the story about a class of kindergartners who are asked to raise their hands if they are artists. All hands fly up amid peals of delight. Then, a class of ninth graders is asked the same question. Few or no hands appear. What happened to still those creative hands? Unfortunately, as they grow older students are often led to believe that delving deeply into the fine arts will result in an unreliable and unprofitable future. Students are steered to more “practical” endeavors like science, engineering, or business—as if knowledge were deposited like grain into sealed silos.

As college counselors, let us ventilate those silos with windows of opportunity. Each fine artist is imbued with imagination, curiosity, and creativity, and through these windows light pours into every corner of the mind. Albert Einstein declared: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Einstein is in the good company of Leonardo da Vinci, who, had he been practical and followed his father’s profession, would have become a clerk. Imagine the loss, not only to art.

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Michelle Obama Speaks to Students at 5th Annual Beating the Odds Summit

Reach Higher hosted the fifth annual Beating the Odds Summit Tuesday to support first-generation college-bound students.

“No matter how much you may front, there is a part of you that is wondering whether this was a mistake and whether I belong and whether I can do this. Can I go on this campus or start this program? Am I really worthy of it? Those were the messages I had going on in my head and they still come up in life,” former First Lady Michelle said.

“…But here’s my one big message. This is not a mistake. You are here because you are more than capable of doing it.”

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Imagine Grant Pairs Up Graduate Students and School Counselors for College Readiness Event

Courtesy of Julie Cerrito

School counselors face large caseloads and an ever-growing list of demands as they work to serve the social, emotional, and academic needs of their students. But could a small part of this workload be shared by counseling graduate students?

This is the idea behind Postsecondary Readiness Night, a program that pairs the school counseling program at the University of Scranton (PA) with local school districts in Pennsylvania.

The most recent event, funded by a NACAC Imagine Fund grant, was geared toward high school juniors, seniors, and their parents and offered stations focused on topics such as financial aid and college visits.

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School Districts to Offer ‘Graduation Guides’ to Keep Students on Track

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DC public schools (DCPS) are hoping to get and keep high school students on track to graduate and head off to college with their new “Guide to Graduation, College, and Career.”

Personalized for each student, all high school students in DCPS will receive a PDF document twice a year that will track their progress to graduation and offer college and career options, NPR reported. The guides will be mailed and available online.

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#NACACreads: Author Tony Jack to Discuss ‘The Privileged Poor’

Everyone wants to hear what Tony Jack has to say.

In the past three months, the Harvard sociologist has been featured on NPR, CNN, PBS, and other media outlets talking about disadvantaged students, college access, and the admission process.

And this September, he’ll be chatting with NACAC members.

Jack, author of The Privileged Poor, has agreed to join us for a #NACACreads discussion focused on his book. The conversation—which will also provide opportunities for admission professionals to share their insights about the experiences of disadvantaged students—will kick off on Twitter at 9 p.m. ET on Sept. 17.

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