Best of the Decade: The Journal of College Admission

This past decade marked a notable shift for The Journal of College Admission.

In 2015, it was redesigned and moved from a peer-reviewed research journal to a quarterly magazine offering practical tips, research-to-practice information, member profiles, upcoming events, and news you can use.

But the one thing that hasn’t changed across the years is the high quality of articles from our members.

Enjoy taking a trip down memory lane as we look back at some of the best Journal articles of the decade.

2010 – “Access Between and Beyond Borders” by Ryan Gildersleeve
Appearing in the Winter 2010 Journal, author Ryan Gildersleeve demonstrates how students’ social contexts influence their college choice processes and participation in the broader project of college-going. He argues that if admission officers and college counselors want to make college opportunities for undocumented students a priority, then it is incumbent upon professionals to increase their understanding of the pre-college contexts from which undocumented students struggle to persist.

The entire issue of the Winter 2010 Journal focused on undocumented students and NACAC staff successfully delivered a copy to all 535 members of Congress.

2011 – “The Admission Industrial Complex: Examining Entrepreneurial Impact on College Access” by Amy Liu
As enrollment rates increase, the message that one needs to pursue higher education in order to succeed in our society seems to ring louder and clearer. In turn, some students have sought to leverage their own opportunities by turning to an expanding entrepreneurial admission sector. Indeed, a veritable “admission industrial complex” has sprung forth to meet the demands of students seeking to gain an edge over their peers

2012 – “LGBT Applicants and Challenges for Admission: Five Cases” by Benjamin S. Baum
Few professional processes are more personally intrusive than the college application. It demands information about your family, your finances, your interests, and your desires. For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) applicants in their teenage years who may not be comfortable with their sexuality, admission officers need be sensitive to a key difference that can make their circumstances especially complex.

2013 – “It’s Only Technology If It Happens After You Are Born” by Arthur Levine and Diane R. Dean
A group of undergraduates at a university in the western US were asked about how they were coping with the digital revolution, the tidal wave of new apps, devices, and communication choices. One student responded, “It’s only technology if it happens after you are born.” This statement goes to the heart of the challenges facing higher education today.

2014 – “Creating a Community of Scholars on the Edge of Disaster” by Jason Klugman
Catchy slogans and extra test preparation are not nearly enough to meet the full range of needs of students whose daily experience is often characterized by the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In order to better serve these students, counseling and admission professionals need to create comprehensive support networks that focus on nurturing the whole child.

2015 – “Why College as an Investment is a Lousy Analogy” by Dr. Tara Jabbaar-Gyambrah and Dr. Seneca Vaught
Many books seem to ask the same question: Is college a good investment? In a market-driven society, it is certainly useful to think about one of the largest investments in one’s life in these terms, but there are problems with looking at college in this manner.

2016 – “Cutting Through a Crisis: Guiding Prospective Students and Families During Times of Unrest” by Tommy Lucas and Whitney Linsenmeyer
Before they ever set foot on campus, most prospective students and their families have already formed a mental picture of the ideal college environment. But what happens when your community – or even your college itself – is thrust into the national spotlight due to a crisis?

2017 – “Authentic Conversations” by Jamaal Abdul-Alim
There’s a huge need for counselors and admission professionals to be authentic and real about what students could possibly experience on campus, especially when counseling students of color or students who represent any culturally distinct group.

2018 – “Equitable Representation Among People of Color and Women in Higher Ed” by Alex Surna
By and large, the US isn’t even close to having equitable representation among people of color and women in higher ed. Creating an equitable campus requires work and sacrifice, but it is necessary to properly support students.

2019 – “Decision Fatigue” by Elaina Loveland
Due to the sheer increase in college applications, admission professionals are reviewing many more applications than in the past. Consequently, today’s admission professionals can be more prone to decision fatigue when reviewing applications.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s senior communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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