Building a Better College Admission Process

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Busting college admission myths is an important part of any counselor’s job, but do the subtle messages sent by some high schools and colleges undermine efforts to get young people to embrace a more balanced approach during application season?

Last summer, NACAC member Lisa Micele shared tips for all those involved in the process with NPR’s Here & Now.  Her goal? To help students build a college list of no more than 10 schools, all of which they would be happy and proud to attend.

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Parenting Your College Student: Navigating New Terrain Over Winter Break

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The Class of 2022 is home from college for their first winter break and many parents are seeing a new dynamic in their relationship with their children.

These college freshmen have just had their first taste of independence and striking the right balance can be tough for families.

“This is the hard work of being the parent to a college student,” parenting expert and doctor Deborah Gilboa told the Washington Post. “You got them here, now it’s time to let them go and let them thrive.”

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Department of Education Releases Online PSLF Tool

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Think you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)? A new tool from the Department of Education can help you determine your eligibility.

The PSLF program was established in 2007 with the intent to reward public service employees who meet certain requirement by forgiving their student loan debt. In order to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, student loan borrowers must work full-time at a qualifying government or nonprofit organization and make 120 qualifying payments.

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Transition to College Can be Challenging for Rural Students

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The faces of rural education in America are changing, but the challenges these students encounter in earning a college degree have not.

Universities have been slow to recognize these issues, but programs for supporting rural students are starting to crop up across the country.

“We never really came to terms with the fact that they needed extra support,” Naomi Norman, associate vice president for instruction at the University of Georgia, told NPR.

Though rural students graduate from high school at higher rates than urban students and at about the same levels as suburban students, only 59 percent go straight to college. And even if they enroll, they are more likely to drop out than their suburban and urban counterparts.

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Reflections on a College Tour

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Editor’s note: A version of post was first published on Counselors’ Corner.

I had a first in my college counseling career last week when I went on an organized multi-college tour. When you’re the only person in your office—as I was for so long—getting away to see colleges is, at best, a one-day commitment, so the idea of taking an entire week away from the office to see nine college campuses was new to me. It also left me wondering if I could follow the advice I offer my students—to write down your impressions the minute the tour is over, so you don’t confuse the qualities of one campus with the features of another.

It turns out I didn’t have too much to worry about in that department. This tour has been going on for ages and those in charge leave no detail to chance. We were greeted with an itinerary that would have made any logistics expert shed a tear of joy, including a booklet that included a summary of the essential statistics and vital qualities of each school. I was free to add my own notes in the ample notes section in the back, but even if I didn’t, there was no way I was going home with nine schools jumbled in my head.

Overall, the experience taught or reminded me of three things about this profession, all lessons that were timely.

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#NACACreads: Change Needed to Better Serve At-Risk Students

Building trust and working to transform campus culture are two steps counselors can take to better support today’s students, according to author Karen Gross.

Gross—who served as president of Southern Vermont College for eight years—offered those suggestions Wednesday during a far-reaching #NACACreads Twitter discussion of her most recent release, Breakaway Learners: Strategies for Post-Secondary Success with At-Risk Students.

In her book, Gross makes the case that America’s youth are changing, but schools and colleges have been to slow to adapt to their needs. In particular, the road to and through higher education remains filled with barriers for low-income students, first-generation students, and students who have experienced trauma.

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Daily updates on NACAC and the world of college admission counseling. For more information about NACAC, visit nacacnet.org.