Private Colleges Propose Tuition Reduction Strategy

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What if America’s private colleges could stop their annual increases in tuition or even drop their prices down?

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) has an idea it says would do just that.

NAICU has recommended that Congress give private, nonprofit colleges a temporary anti-trust exemption for the purposes of promoting affordability.

Current laws ban discussion about prices and discounts — including student aid — among competitors in any industry. NAICU says that this has led to a vicious cycle of ongoing tuition inflation and has forced private colleges to offer larger and larger discounts on the sticker price to stay competitive.

They believe that if schools could talk to one another, they could end this cycle and start targeting financial aid to the students who need it most. The thinking is that if everyone made the decision to collectively lower tuition, then no college would feel like it “lost” because it wasn’t offering the huge discounts that are currently available to counter price inflation.

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ICYMI: NACAC President Responds to Trump Administration’s Reported Plan to Challenge Affirmative Action

NACAC President Nancy Beane

NACAC President Nancy T. Beane responded Wednesday to media reports suggesting the Trump administration is considering legal action against colleges and universities with race-conscious admission policies.

In a statement released to the press, Beane noted that the Supreme Court upheld in 2016  the right of colleges to consider a student’s race or ethnicity as one factor when making admission decisions.

“By disregarding the Fisher ruling, the administration and Justice Department would frustrate efforts to improve educational opportunity, and would erode respect for diversity in higher education,” she said. “This initiative would be a serious challenge to the critical work of improving college access and success for all students.”

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Real Talk: Discuss Diversity, Bias, and Cultural Fluency at #nacac17

It’s human nature: Difficult conversations are often the easiest ones to avoid.

Yet when it comes to discussions surrounding diversity, bias, and cultural fluency, educators owe it to themselves and the students they serve to tune in.

Next month, attendees at NACAC’s national conference in Boston will have the opportunity to do just that. Two interactive Real Talk sessions—one addressing workplace issues, the other focused on the needs of students and families—will be facilitated by Lisa D. Walker, former director of Cross Cultural Student Development at the University of California-Berkeley.

“Good conversation and effective dialogue can inspire us to change individually and collectively,” Walker told Admitted. “In my experience, those changes often start small but can gain momentum over time.”

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Feds Offer Tips for Students Seeking Work-Study Funds

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Counting on Federal Work-Study funds to help pay for college?

Officials at the US Department of Education want to make sure students understand the program’s quirks. For instance, being awarded work-study funds doesn’t guarantee you a job.

“Some schools may match students to jobs, but most schools require the student to find, apply for, and interview for positions on their own, just like any other job,” according to a recent article shared on the department’s Homeroom blog. “Either way, students who are interested in work-study or who have already been awarded work-study should contact the financial aid office at their school to find out whether positions are available, how to apply, and how the process works at their school.”

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Apply to 100 Colleges? What 1 Student Wishes She Had Known About the Admission Process

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A freshman college student in Tennessee isn’t experiencing buyer’s remorse over her college choice. But she has some issues with the way she was told to shop for one.

“I was also told by counselors to apply to 100 colleges. I was never told why that number was chosen, but my peers were told the same,” Anisah Karim, now a psychology student at the University of Memphis, wrote in Chalkbeat.

“We were often pulled out of class to complete these applications, which took away from instructional time — about an hour per day. My high school also ran on an infraction system, and not turning in college applications and other documents led to disciplinary actions.”

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College T-Shirt Beach Etiquette

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Editor’s note: This column was first shared on the NACAC Exchange.

Like many college counselors, the only T-shirts I own are college T-shirts. Last week, I wore lots of them during a beach vacation. Since the only time I usually wear them is at the gym at 5 a.m., I don’t usually get many reactions. However, at the beach, people would respond to the college on the shirt, and it became challenging to know how to respond:

Steve Peifer with his wife, Nancy. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Person at Beach: I WENT TO TEXAS A&M!

Me: That’s nice.

PAB: DON’T YOU JUST LOVE IT? (At the beach, people scream when they see their college on a T-shirt.)

Me: I think it is one of the greatest large universities in the US.

PAB: WAIT. DIDN’T YOU GO THERE?

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More Training Needed for High School Counselors Serving International Students

From negotiating language and cultural divides to interacting with agents, US high school counselors face unique challenges when advising international students about their postsecondary options, according to a new report from NACAC.

The association’s  latest study, Supporting International High School Students in the College Admission Process, draws primarily upon interviews with 20 counselors from public and private schools, as well as the NACAC’s 2016 Counseling Trends Survey.

Interview respondents reported that international students often have difficulty understanding vocabulary and slang specific to the US college admission process. And counselors themselves said they were uncertain of how best to collaborate with agents —  professionals contracted by schools and universities to recruit international students or hired by families for college counseling services.

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Free ACT/SAT Exams Boost College Enrollment Rates

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College enrollment rates increase when high schools cover the cost of college entrance exams, new research suggests.

The finding — published by Education Finance and Policy — is based on a study of six classes of high school juniors who attended Michigan schools from 2003-04 to 2007-08. The state has required teens to take a college entrance exam since 2007.

“Overall, the policy increased the probability that students would enroll in college by about 2 percent,” according to an Education Week article about the new research. “Students at schools with higher poverty rates increased their college enrollment rates by 6 percent, and those students who had a low to middling probability of taking the ACT before the policy took effect saw their rates improve by 5 percent afterward.”

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Campus Visit Tips for Moms and Dads

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Prospective students should take the lead during campus visits, but if parents are tagging along they also have a role to play.

An extra set of eyes and ears can prove invaluable, W. Kent Barnds, executive vice president of Augustana College (IL), wrote in a recent Huffington Post column.

And perhaps more importantly, moms and dads can help prepare their student to make the most out of the visit.

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Study: Economic Factors Influence College Graduation Rates

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Money talks. It’s an old adage, but it rings true even when it comes to college graduation rates.

A new study from Oregon State University found that both the socioeconomic status of a college’s student body and the school’s own revenue and expenditures are significant predictors in whether first-time students will complete their degree and graduate within six years.

Researchers focused solely on four-year broad access institutions, which are colleges and universities that accept 80 percent or more of their applicants.

“For those students, resources really matter, in a way that is different from the population as a whole,” Gloria Crisp, the study’s lead author, said. “That finding is consistent with the persistent inequities in college completion rates for these underserved populations.”

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