I just completed my 19th year as director of college counseling at Kents Hill School in Maine, 15 years of which also included building and directing its international program. As I close this chapter and begin my next as director of academic advising and college counseling at The American School in London, I am awed at the rapidly changing landscape of international students in the US, particularly at our high schools, and the dire need for more professional development on both the secondary school and college side in support of this growing population of students.
Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in May 2015. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.
It has become customary for many schools to publish a list of college decisions each May. The Ellis School, where I work, is no exception. Our students are so bright and involved and — with 30 students accepted to more than 80 colleges and counting — every girl has excellent options.
But after more than 13 years in the college admission field, I have come to understand that, no matter how impressive, a college list alone does not convey what is truly important and meaningful about a young person’s college admission story. What matters most are the truths they discover about themselves during the process.
Community colleges are an integral facet of the US higher education system. Serving nearly 6.3 million students, these public, two-year institutions offer a variety of courses and degree programs at a third of the price charged by four-year colleges. Because most community colleges have transfer agreements with baccalaureate-granting institutions, many students who seek a bachelor’s degree initially matriculate at a community college to take advantage of its cost-saving benefits. In fact, data from the National Student Clearinghouse show that 49 percent of students who completed a degree at a four-year university in 2015-16 had previously enrolled in a community college during the last 10 years.
Community colleges have typically established transfer agreements with local and regional institutions. These include “2+2” pathway programs, which guarantee admission for students at the partner four-year college if specific academic requirements are met, and articulation agreements that delineate how specific coursework will transfer between programs.
Results from a recent survey of 140 community colleges conducted by NACAC and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) indicate a growing number of these colleges are also interested in pursuing transfer partnerships with universities abroad.
Editor’s note: While the Admitted blog regularly reports on NACAC’s own research, products, and services, or those available from non-profit sources, we occasionally feature posts that focus on the work of our partners and sponsors in the private sector.
You’ve worked in the admission office for three years, and now you must take over a new territory. You don’t know the schools, you’re not familiar with the high school counselors — oh, and you need to figure out your travel schedule in just a week or so. How do you know where to visit? What’s the makeup of the student body at the schools on your visit list?
Or — you’re a high school counselor with students who have some fairly detailed questions about College A. You want to email or call the admission officer who works with schools in your area, but you don’t know who that is. How long will it take to find that information on the college’s website?
You can find the answers to these questions and many more in the new Hobsons Counselor Community.
From planning and promoting individual fairs, to negotiating with vendors and managing the program’s operating budget—Karpf has done it all over her three-decade tenue with the association.
“I still come to work with the same excitement that I had on my first day,” said Karpf, who joined the college fairs program as an administrative assistant and now serves as the department’s senior associate director. “I love the program, and I love what I do.”
Karpf, who celebrates her 30th year with NACAC this month, recently sat down with Admitted to talk about finding her niche, the value of college fairs, and what inspires her work.
Campus visits often play an influential role in a student’s enrollment decision, but one clinical psychologist is questioning whether teens rely too heavily on their initial impressions when selecting a college.
“If we are making a decision we haven’t made before (such as where to go to college) then our present selves must rely on imagination, instead of experience,” Erica Reischer writes in a recent New York Times op-ed. “…Visiting the campus — to take a tour, meet students, get the lay of the land — seems like a prerequisite to making a good decision. But visiting a college is not the same as being a student there, and this distinction matters a lot, because of the many ways in which our imagination misleads us.”
Teens need good information as they approach the college application process, but they also need inspiration.
The latter factor is a key component of an Iowa youth leadership conference that encourages teens to include higher education in their postsecondary plans.
The day-long event — held last month at Mount Mercy University (IA) — was supported by a $900 grant from NACAC’s Imagine Fund. The conference is aimed at students who have traditionally been underserved by America’s colleges and universities.
Many of us working with students in the college search and selection process struggle to help families understand college affordability. While most students will not pay the full cost of attendance, many will use sticker price to eliminate colleges from their list before they have the chance to weigh financial aid packages and scholarship offers.
What are best practices in talking to students and families about financial aid, student debt, and fit and finances? How do we best explain longer-term benefits beyond financial gain, inherent in the value of higher education, to high school juniors and seniors? How do we address the value of borrowing for college?