Nominate Your Students for CollegePoint

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It’s a persistent problem: Talented lower-income students are less likely than their peers to enroll at selective colleges.

And amid the pandemic, many students—particularly those from low- to moderate-income families—face even greater obstacles on the journey to higher ed.

For those reasons, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ CollegePoint has expanded its eligibility criteria and is calling on counselors, teachers, and others to nominate talented teens in the class of 2022 who would benefit from its free advising program.

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Enhanced Loan Counseling Now Available to Student Borrowers

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New features unveiled this week on StudentAid.gov are designed to help students better understand the process of borrowing for college and choose a repayment plan that’s right for them.

Both the website and myStudentAid mobile app are now equipped with enhanced entrance and exit counseling modules.

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FAFSA Resources for Students and Professionals

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Last week, the Department of Education wrapped up its four-day virtual Federal Student Aid (FSA) Training Conference. The conference mainly serves as an annual training for financial aid professionals who disburse federal aid to students on campus.

COVID-19 has created a great deal of uncertainty among students and families, as well as admission and financial aid professionals. Foremost among these uncertainties is the fact that there has been a 15 percent decline in FAFSA submissions from high school seniors nationwide compared with the same time last year.

Now, more than ever, students and families need information and support to complete the financial aid process.

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A New Perspective

Photo courtesy of Tara Miller

I always opt for the window seat. Where else do you get the chance to expand your view of the world, only as the roads, trees, and buildings become smaller? When I fly, that time looking out the window is often when I reflect. It’s also when a song on my playlist might make me cry. Seems to happen more often miles above the earth. Not sure if it’s the cabin air, or the fact that this vantage point allows me time to really listen and hear. These moments of reflection often bring about new ideas.

This pandemic has been a time to reflect as well. It has been hard, and at first, I found myself struggling to manage it all. The emails tripled, the online meetings quadrupled, and the workday seemed longer. Work-life balance was, well…out of balance. I have since found a rhythm and cadence to my days. The space and time allowed me to see the work from a different perspective.

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Racism and College Admission

By: Lawrence Q. Alexander II

Nov. 1…For some, it’s just another day, but for those of us in college admission, it marks the anniversary of our “first date”—the day when Early Decision and Early Action applications have typically been due and that our work with seniors coalesces.

We recall preaching to them during the spring of their junior year about the importance of starting early and working on their college applications throughout the summer. We replay the melodious songs we sang to our faculty and colleagues about the impact of their letters of recommendation. We also experience pardonable pride as we lead our school community to a date on the calendar that at one time seemed so very far away. We think about the students and families we’ve counseled, the admission colleagues we’ve conversed with, and the floorboards we’ve confessed our frustrations to. And historically, we feel a range of emotions, from excitement to fear to anxiety to relief to sheer exhaustion.

Yet this year, with a global pandemic and the demand for racial equity and justice looming over our anniversary celebration, many of my colleagues and I experienced another emotion on Nov. 1—rage. And as COVID-19 and Racism 2020 tear through our world, they also pervade our profession, prompting a cascading list of uncomfortable yet unavoidable questions.

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New NACAC Report Explores Impact of COVID-19 on Enrollment

Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared on the Salesforce.org blog. Visit NACAC’s newsroom to learn more about the report referenced below.

Salesforce.org recently partnered with NACAC on a survey of 1,194 four-year higher education institutions to glean insight into how institutions are using data to support their long-term goals. The full report offers insight into many critical aspects of recruiting and admission.

Most significantly — and timely — the report explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted recruiting, admission, and enrollment for the Fall 2021 class and those following it.

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