Tag Archives: Best of the Blog

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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Help Your Students Prepare for National College Fairs

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

All hail the humble highlighter.

Neon markers are a vital part of Dana Lambert’s efforts to help students make the most of their National College Fair experience.

“I make them come in with a plan,” said Lambert, a counselor at West Milford Township High School in New Jersey. “Once the list of fair exhibitors comes out, we have them sit down and highlight the schools and the tables that they want to stop at.”

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Campus Differences Matter in the College Search

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

After visiting a few college campuses, most people begin to think that they are all alike — and in some ways they are right. Most colleges offer students a variety of factors that seem similar: rigorous academics, varied social activities, and meaningful ways to connect with the community.

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College Coaches Use Social Media to Vet Recruits

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

Hoping to play sports in college? Make sure your social media accounts send the right message to recruiters.

“Right or wrong, most college coaches will assume that how you act on social media will be how you act on campus,” according to a recent USA Today column by Fred Bastie. “For that reason, your actions and behavior on social media in high school are critical if you expect to play in college.”

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Achieving Balance: Tips to Help Students Navigate Their Freshman Year

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

To-do lists, reasonable goals, and regular exercise can help freshmen stay on track.

Those tips and more are included in a USA Today piece aimed at helping first-year students maintain their health and happiness.

“Achieving life balance is one of the largest challenges that college freshmen face,” the article notes. “After all, you must juggle a wide variety of activities — from your coursework to your social life to your extracurriculars — in addition to monitoring your mental and physical well-being.”

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Admission Officers Share Advice They Give Their Own College-Bound Kids

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

The college search and application process continues this summer for rising seniors.

In a 2016 New York Times article, nine college admission officers offered a unique perspective on what lies ahead.

As parents themselves, the interviewees shared the advice they offer to their own college-bound children.

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