Girl Scouts Introduce College Knowledge Badge

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The Girl Scouts have introduced their first badge dedicated to college exploration.

The College Knowledge Badge — launched in July —is for scouts in grades 11 and 12.

“By showing girls how to research the admission process, financial aid, and other key factors, our College Knowledge Badge meets a specific need and addresses the life skills girls have told us they’re interested in—and that many don’t find support for outside of Girl Scouts,” according to a recent post on the organization’s blog.

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Textbook Costs Dropping Thanks to Digital Resources

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College students are paying less for class materials, thanks in part to the success of OpenStax – an organization that provides free textbooks and digital resources.

The nonprofit, started six years ago by Rice University (TX), serves more than 2.2 million students, according to a recent article in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Nearly half of all US colleges currently use the service, which offers 29 free textbooks for college and Advanced Placement classes.

And for the first time in five decades, average textbook costs are decreasing, according to recent data analyzed by the National Center of Education Statistics.

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New Guaranteed Admission Program Will Offer More Choices to California’s Community College Students

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Community college students in California now have even more options when planning their path to a four-year degree.

The Board of Governors that oversees the state’s community colleges approved a plan last month that offers guaranteed admission to students who take specific community college courses geared toward their intended four-year major.

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Study: In-Class Use of Cell Phones, Laptops Lowers Test Scores

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In the age of laptops, tablets, and smartphones, we’ve mastered the art of multitasking — right?

Unfortunately, a new study suggests otherwise and includes some sobering findings for students.

According to research recently published in Educational Psychology, students who use electronic devices during class lectures have a harder time recalling what they learned in the long-term.

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Survey Shows Schools Plan to Use Grant Dollars to Improve School Counseling

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Preliminary findings from a survey administered by AASA: The School Superintendents Association show that many school districts plan to use funding from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program to improve school counseling.

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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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FAFSA Website Now Mobile-Friendly

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A mobile-friendly version of the FAFSA website went live this week, the first step in a months-long process aimed at making it possible for students to apply for financial aid using their smartphones.

A beta version of a companion app — myStudentAid — is planned for next month, with the complete version available Oct. 1.

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