College Admission Takes Center Stage

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There is nothing like the college admission process to bring out the drama.

Abigail Henkin, a recent graduate of Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep, thinks so anyway.

Her play, Decision Day, likens selecting a college to a dating game. The play beat out more than 500 submissions to be featured in the 31st annual Young Playwrights Festival in Chicago.

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Now Available: #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker

Getting more students to complete the FAFSA is a crucial step in expanding college access and a new online tool makes it easier than ever for states and communities to monitor their progress.

The #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker, launched on Monday, tracks and ranks states’ progress toward getting 100 percent of their high school seniors to file for federal financial aid.

The interactive online dashboard, which is updated weekly, also includes city-specific data.

Users can chart their week-by-week progress, see how their community compares to other states and cities, and even check how this year’s completion rates stack up against data from last year. Continue reading Now Available: #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker

Video: The Forgotten College-Ready Students

A new video from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce highlights a vexing problem.

Every year, 500,000 students who graduated in the top half of their high school class fail to complete a college degree.

“Most of these students go to college, but drop out,” the video narrator explains. “So they get all the debt and none of the benefits a degree confers.”

The short animated film highlights the consequences for both students and the American economy.

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New from NACAC: Financial Aid 101 E-Learning Course

Planning how to finance a four-year degree has become a more prominent part of the college application process.

A new e-learning course from NACAC is now available to help college counselors and admission officers confidently field financial aid questions from families.

More than just a webinar or educational session, the online course—Financial Aid 101— includes eight easy-to-use learning modules packed with information on subjects like loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study. Informative graphics and videos break down key concepts, while quizzes help you measure your progress.

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Counselors Change Lives

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As a counselor, it is too easy to feel unappreciated or to feel as though you aren’t making a difference.

But one former student is here to reassure you that even the smallest acts can make the biggest difference.

Gloria Delores Chin recently wrote a beautiful tribute to her high school college counselor, Dr. Donald Comras, in the New York Daily News thanking him for being “a source of support.”

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Report: In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students Yields Economic Benefits

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The benefits of extending in-state tuition to undocumented students in Virginia far outweigh the costs, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.

The organization found that the policy, enacted in 2014, does not create a cost burden to the state and has not resulted in overcrowded classrooms.

“The cost to colleges and the state of providing access to in-state tuition for students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration status is small compared to the potential economic benefits,” the institute noted in a press release highlighting the report’s findings.

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#NACACreads Author Shares Resources to Help Undocumented Students

It’s a time of uncertainly and fear for undocumented students.

DACA recipients will lose protection from deportation in March. And although lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced support for the DREAM Act, disagreements over border security and other issues have stalled legislative action.

Yet despite current conditions, college counselors and admission officers are uniquely positioned to offer support and hope to young immigrants, author/activist Julissa Arce noted during a Tuesday #NACACreads chat.

Continue reading #NACACreads Author Shares Resources to Help Undocumented Students

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