Student View: Changes Needed to Support College Applicants with Disabilities


Colleges must do more to provide and improve accommodations for students with disabilities, grad student Valerie Piro wrote in a recent essay published by Inside Higher Ed.

Piro, who uses a wheelchair and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, highlighted the challenges she faced when touring colleges as a high school student.

At one university, she had to use a makeshift wooden ramp to navigate a short flight of stairs. At another school, her prospective residence hall was located at the bottom of a steep hill and the college’s dorm rooms were much too small to accommodate her physical therapy equipment.

“Physical space and a well-functioning infrastructure on a campus cannot be overlooked, especially when one has a disability,” wrote Piro, who is paralyzed from the chest down. “What better way to tell a wheelchair user that they don’t belong at a college or university than by strewing the campus with stairs, broken help buttons, and pitiful excuses for ramps?”

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‘Math Identity’ Prepares Students for STEM Majors


Looking for ways to encourage more of your students to pursue majors in science, technology, engineering, or math?

Efforts need to go beyond college-prep coursework, according to a paper published in 2015.

Students who succeed in developing an identity as a “math person” are more likely than their peers to go on to study STEM subjects in college, data show.

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Teens Produce Textbook Aimed at Teaching Racial Literacy

Courtesy of GoFundMe
Courtesy of GoFundMe

After discovering that their classmates did not have a real understanding of racial injustice, then-tenth graders Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi set out in 2014 to start a conversation and initiate change.

Today Guo and Vulchi are co-founders and co-presidents of Choose, an online community where people can share their stories of inequality, and the creators of the textbook Princeton Choose: The Classroom Index.

The textbook is now on its third edition and has been sold to about 500 schools and individuals across 15 states. Now seniors at Princeton High School in New Jersey, the girls are looking at their next steps for the textbook and the online community.

Their goal? Ensure K-12 students in schools nationwide “develop the historical and sociological toolkit for racial literacy” — a knowledge base they hope will ultimately help young people recognize racial justice and inspire them to create a better world.

Guo and Vulchi recently sat down with Teen Vogue to discuss the project and their goals for the future. Here’s an excerpt of their chat:

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Students: Share Your College Essay with The New York Times


Is your college application essay about money, work, social class, or another related topic?

If so, The New York Times wants to hear from you.

“No topic is too weighty and no stunt too flighty or approach too light for our taste, as long as the essay has at least something to do with money,” the paper notes in its call for submissions. “In the past people have written about their own jobs or their parents’ work (or lack thereof), what it’s like to be poor, what it’s like to be rich and what it’s like to work at McDonald’s.”

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Ferguson Celebrates 30 Years with NACAC

NACAC’s Gregory Ferguson stopped by the Philadelphia National College Fair in November 2015. Ferguson celebrated 30 years with NACAC last month. (Chuck Fazio Photography)

NACAC’s Gregory Ferguson applied to the association three times before being hired in 1987 as assistant director of National College Fairs (NCF).

What kept him coming back? Unwavering support for the program’s mission.

“I really firmly believe: For any student who wants to go to college, there is an institution out there for them,” said Ferguson, who celebrated his 30th year with NACAC last month. Under his leadership, the NCF program has grown steadily and gained a national reputation for quality.

Ferguson, who now serves as the program’s executive director, recently sat down with Admitted to talk about his contributions to NACAC, the future of the NCF program, and what inspires his work.

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#NACACreads: Students Need Good Info about Gap Year

gaptogreatartCounselors who take time to discuss gap year options provide a great service to college-bound students and their families, says author Andrea Wien.

Higher education is an expensive endeavor, and the grades and connections students make as freshmen can set the course for the rest of their college career.

That’s why teens who are burned out from high school — or just not developmentally ready for college — may benefit from taking a gap year to work, travel, or explore an area of interest, Wien said Wednesday during a #NACACreads Twitter discussion of her book, Gap to Great.

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Campus Tour Tips from a College President


Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in March 2016. 

Spring break is just around the corner at high schools across the country and many juniors will use the time to check out college campuses.

For one dad, the season brings back fond memories. L. Jay Lemons recently shared tips for making the most out of campus visits.

Lemons, president of Susquehanna University (PA) — a NACAC member institution — knows of what he speaks. In addition to leading a liberal arts institution, in recent years he’s toured dozens of college campuses as a parent.

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Survey: Students (Not Parents) Should Drive College Admission Process

Parents, take note: Admission officers can tell when you pretend to be your child on the phone.

And butting in to answer questions directed at your son or daughter during a campus visit does more harm than good, a recent survey of more than 350 US admission officers shows.

Overall, 75 percent of survey respondents said that parents should only be “somewhat involved” in the college admission process.

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