Students and Counselors Make the Case for a Streamlined FAFSA

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Educators, advocates, Hill staffers, and students gathered in Washington, DC, earlier this month to learn more about efforts by the National College Access Network (NCAN) to simplify the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA).

The overarching goal of this new streamlined FAFSA is simple — stop making low-income students repeatedly prove that they are low-income. The NCAN report, Half the FASFA: Cutting the Red Tape to Postsecondary Aid, includes three potential pathways to shorten the FAFSA.

For example, on one track, once a student has confirmed that their family earns a means-tested benefit such as SNAP (food assistance) or TANF (cash assistance), they are automatically sent to the signature portion of the form.

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Utah Pilot Program Would Expand Housing Options for Low-Income Students

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Lawmakers in Utah are considering a pilot program to help low-income college students secure housing that’s both convenient and affordable.

The bill — sponsored by Republican state Rep. Mike Winder — would provide eligible students with a place to live near their college campus.

Residents would not have to dip into student loan funds to pay for housing. Instead the program would be largely supported by public funds and private donors.

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New Translations of ‘Trusted Sources’ Now Available

Spanish translation of "Trusted Sources."
Spanish translation of “Trusted Sources.”

Updated resources from NACAC offer tips for students who plan to pursue higher education in another country.

Trusted Sources: Seeking Advice on Applying to Universities in Another Country is now available in Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.

The guide, also printed in English and Mandarin, helps students and parents better understand the advisors available to guide them through the admission process.

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Are Double Majors Worth It?

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Helping students weigh the pros and cons of a double major?

New research suggests the strategy isn’t a sure ticket to a bigger paycheck. Although 20 percent of college graduates leave school with a double major, they typically don’t experience increases in wages or job satisfaction, according to a paper published in a recent edition of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis.

“We found some evidence that certain combinations of double majors confer advantages over a single major, but they weren’t overwhelming,” Joni Hersch, one of the paper’s authors, recently told The Wall Street Journal.

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Study: Grit as an Indicator of College Success

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Underlying the college admission process is the principle that colleges should strive to accept the most academically talented students. What are the factors that best predict academic success in college?

Historically, postsecondary institutions have relied on quantitative indicators such as high school GPA and standardized test scores to assess a student’s academic potential, and with good reason—there is strong evidence linking these factors with academic performance in college. Yet such measures are neither foolproof, nor do they capture key non-cognitive characteristics, like motivation, enthusiasm, and maturity, which also impact academic outcomes.

A new study by Dr. Patrick Akos and Dr. Jen Kretchmar published in The Review of Higher Education examines the predictive power of one non-cognitive trait—grit. According to research by Dr. Angela Duckworth, grit is a construct encompassing two dimensions: consistency of interest and perseverance of effort. An example of a “gritty” student is one who is steadfast in pursuing long-term goals.

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New NACAC Infographics Highlight Admission Trends

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Looking for quick facts about college admission?

Want to learn more about transfer students and trends in international education?

A series of new NACAC infographics tackles those topics and more. Drawing upon data from the State of College Admission and other NACAC reports, the new resources are now available online.

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Pathways into UK Degrees

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Studying in a new country can be an exciting, inspirational, and mind-opening experience (trust me, I’ve been there). But, let’s not kid ourselves, it can also be challenging at times (trust me, I’ve been there). Getting used to a new lifestyle, culture, and food — “you mean, you guys really eat that?” — as well as taking time out to explore everything an adopted country has to offer are just some of the distractions students might encounter. Perhaps the greatest challenge, though, is understanding the norms and expectations of a different education system.

This is where pathways courses come in. Many universities across the UK offer such courses to foreign students before they start their degree program. Operating like a bridge program, a pathways course will develop a student’s study skills and subject knowledge while getting them used to the UK university environment. These valuable educational offerings allow students to hit the ground running when it really counts, giving them their best chance for success in their subsequent degree program.

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NACAC Celebrates National School Counseling Week

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National School Counseling Week kicked off on Monday. The annual five-day event, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), highlights the many ways counselors help students succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Fun photo contests and local events are scheduled across the country this week, making it the perfect time for school counselors to celebrate the profession they love.

Admitted recently asked NACAC members to reflect on the week’s theme — “School Counseling: Helping Students Realize Their Potential.”

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