Tag Archives: Best of the Blog

Nov. 1 Eve is the New Halloween

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This post was originally published on Admitted in October 2017. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

Dear Halloween,

I miss you.

On Halloween in Denver, there is an air of anticipation as the sun settles behind the foothills. The skeletons of aspens and cottonwoods stand sentinel along neighborhood sidewalks, their scattered golden leaves soon to be decimated by the trampling of feet, wagons, and strollers. At dusk, adorable children with painted faces and pumpkin-shaped buckets begin to troll the streets.

At least, this is what I imagine happens.

It’s been years since I witnessed this tradition. I merely handle candy acquisition. My husband: distribution. While he responds to the doorbell with Pavlovian efficiency, I write recommendations and reply to my seniors’ frantic emails as they spend the last Halloween of their youth finalizing applications. Because for seniors, Oct. 31 isn’t Halloween.

It’s November 1st Eve.

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Survey: Gen Z Students Focused on Tech Jobs

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Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in January 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

The next crop of college students is more likely than past generations to seek careers in the tech field, according to a report by Barnes & Noble College.

The finding is illuminating, particularly when paired with supporting national survey data that suggests today’s middle and high school students view college — and careers — in a markedly different manner than millennials.

“More than 40 percent of Gen Z respondents seek careers that suit their specific interests, and tend to envision careers in technology, such as computer science and video game development,” according to report.

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A Reminder: The Work We Do Changes Lives

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Editor’s note:  This post was originally published on Admitted in August 2017. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

All of you see it every year.

A senior who graduated in May stops in before they head off to college. The smile is bright, but the eyes betray them; they are scared.

It’s easy for me to reassure them because, as old as I am, I remember how transformational the first week of college was. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I grew up in a town of 13,000 in Illinois. I really had no idea what to expect. I was pretty scared.

It started in my second class. My professor said something, and I laughed out loud. He asked me what was so funny, and I told him that I had never ever thought about what he had just mentioned. He gave me a sly grin and became a lifelong mentor.

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Campus Work Programs Could Help Expand Access

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Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in October 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

On-campus jobs aren’t optional at Berea College (KY).

Students at the NACAC member institution work 10 to 15 hours a week in approved positions either at the college or within the surrounding community.

The requirement has been part of the Berea’s formal educational program since 1906, and college president Lyle Roelofs thinks more institutions should consider the model as a way to address the growing challenges of access and affordability.

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School Districts Can Help Students Adopt New Attitudes About Admission Process

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Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in December 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

School districts may be able to boost college-going rates by changing the way they introduce students to the application process, according to a recent piece published by the Harvard Business Review.

Too often, the conversation is focused on ensuring students submit an application to at least one college, writes researcher Lindsay Page. But when teens apply to a range of institutions “they are more likely to get accepted to an institution that is a good fit,” she notes.

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Upperclassmen Offer Tips to Incoming Freshmen

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Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in July 2015.

Preparing to send your students off to college?

Upperclassmen and recent graduates from around the world offered their advice to incoming freshmen in a New York Times piece.

The tips range from pragmatic (“always take advantage of free food”) to philosophical (“be willing to learn as you go”).

In all, the story includes advice from 24 students. Tips on finding friends, conquering college coursework and taking care of your physical and mental health are included.

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Counselor: Financial Aid Process Burdens Low-Income Students

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Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in March 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

Getting into college is only half the battle for teens living in poverty.

To prove eligibility for financial aid, many colleges ask low-income students to submit a mountain of paperwork — going beyond what is required of their middle- and upper-income peers, NACAC member Joshua Steckel wrote in a 2016 opinion column published by The Boston Globe.

The process is burdensome, he noted. Worst of all, it can discourage talented students from accessing the financial support they need to attend college.

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Occupational Outlook Handbook Helps Students Explore Careers

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Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in December 2015. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

For Gail Grand’s students, the college search process is about more than just picking a campus.

Teens complete an aptitude and interest test and explore careers before ever submitting applications. The strategy is a smart one.

Fewer than four in 10 college students graduate in four years, federal data show. And as tuition rates continue to grow, extra years in school can often mean additional debt.

Tapping into resources like the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) helps teens make wise college choices, said Grand, an independent college counselor based in California’s Westlake Village. It also increases students’ likelihood of graduating on time, she noted.

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Completing a Dependency Appeal for Financial Aid

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Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Admitted in November 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

You may be advising a student who lives with their grandmother or aunt, but was never legally adopted. In other instances, an older brother, sister, or family friend is raising a child but no official adoption took place.

For some families, this approach may have offered a way to handle conflicts and crises without involving the court system. However, complications can arise when it comes time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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6 Ways Colleges and Universities Award Financial Aid

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Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Admitted in November 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

When parents and students complete financial aid and scholarship applications they hope the end result provides a significant amount of funding.

Net price calculators and other tools can help predict a student’s projected cost of attendance. But too often, families wait until the initial financial aid award letters arrive from colleges and then wonder how to finance the gap between what was offered and their own resources.

Help the families you serve by familiarizing yourself with the most common methods used by colleges to award financial aid. By reviewing a college’s website, talking to a school representative, or even taking a campus tour, you can gain knowledge about the institution’s approach to helping families fund a college education.

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