Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nov. 1 Eve is the New Halloween

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

Dear Halloween,

I miss you.

On Halloween in Denver, there is an air of anticipation as the sun settles behind the foothills. The skeletons of aspens and cottonwoods stand sentinel along neighborhood sidewalks, their scattered golden leaves soon to be decimated by the trampling of feet, wagons, and strollers. At dusk, adorable children with painted faces and pumpkin-shaped buckets begin to troll the streets.

At least, this is what I imagine happens.

It’s been years since I witnessed this tradition. I merely handle candy acquisition. My husband: distribution. While he responds to the doorbell with Pavlovian efficiency, I write recommendations and reply to my seniors’ frantic emails as they spend the last Halloween of their youth finalizing applications. Because for seniors, Oct. 31 isn’t Halloween.

It’s November 1st Eve.

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#NACACreads Author Hopes New Book Inspires Undocumented Students

Did you participate in our #NACACreads chat with Julissa Arce earlier this year?

The author and activist has released a new book about her experiences as an undocumented immigrant.

Someone Like Me — aimed at students ages 11 to 14 — was released last month. Arce told The New York Times that she hopes her story inspires undocumented students to dream big when it comes to higher education and their future.

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Hey, Alexa: What Time Does the Dining Hall Close?

Saint Louis University (MO) students will have a little extra help figuring out what’s happening on campus this year.

All students moving into residence halls this week will receive a university-branded Amazon Echo Dot. The device, already popular in homes across the country, responds to voice commands and has been programmed to answer more than 100 university-related questions.

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Conversations that Count: Making Mental Health Part of the College Prep Process

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Should mental health be a part of college admission and college prep process?

Grace Gedye, a recent graduate of Pomona College (CA), thinks so.

“Before I went to college four years ago, my parents and I had a ‘work hard in class’ talk and a ‘safe partying’ talk. But we didn’t discuss what to do if stress morphed into anxiety or depression. We should have,” she wrote a recent op-ed for the LA Times.

“Instead, that summer almost every conversation I had with an adult included some variation on: ‘These are going to be the best four years of your life.’ So I was prepped for highs. And when the lows hit, I thought I was alone.”

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Study Shows Impressive Academic Gains Among English Language Learners

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National achievement data released this month included an unexpected bright spot.

A study published by Education Researcher shows that current and former English Language Learners in grades four and eight have made impressive gains in math and reading over the last 15 years, improving at a rate that was two to three times faster than their monolingual peers.

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Pediatrician: Later School Start Times Could Boost Achievement

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Could shifting school schedules help teens succeed?

Pediatrician Aaron E. Carroll thinks so. In a blog published by New York Times in 2016, the doctor cites research showing that later start times are linked to higher rates of attendance and achievement among high school students.

Teenagers need about nine to 10 hours of sleep a night, Carroll writes. But, in many cases, extracurricular activities and homework — combined with an early school start time — make it difficult for teens to catch enough zzz’s.

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Report: Cost Puts Many Public 4-Year Institutions Out of Reach for Low-Income Students

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Have low-income students been effectively shut out of public four-year institutions of higher education?

A new report by the National College Access Network (NCAN) examines this question and the results aren’t pretty.

Only 25 percent of residential public four-year institutions meet NCAN’s measure of affordability, data show.

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Popularity of Happiness Course Shines a Spotlight on Student Mental Health

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Yale University’s most popular course ever may be one of the best indicators of the mental health of incoming and current college students.

Psyc 157, “Psychology and the Good Life,” a twice-weekly lecture that tries to teach students how to live happier lives, enrolled nearly a quarter of the entire student body this semester. It is reportedly the most popular course in Yale’s 316-year-long history.

The course is led by psychology professor Laurie Santos who speculates that the college admission process and the high-pressure campus environment it fosters are behind the class’s popularity. In high school, she said, students had to deprioritize happiness to gain admission to school, leading them to adopt unhealthy and harmful life habits that culminate in “the mental health crises we’re seeing at places like Yale.”

Continue reading Popularity of Happiness Course Shines a Spotlight on Student Mental Health