In the United States, summer is time for a much-deserved school break, family vacations, and for many students — college campus tours.
In fact, some students visit so many colleges over the summer it’s dizzying. When I was an admission counselor at a university that saw more than 50,000 visitors per year, I often asked groups of students and families at our information sessions how many schools they had already visited. Usually it was a handful or two at most. But one time a girl raised her hand and had a jaw-dropping list of 35.
This is not a knock on the college tour. It can be a valuable tool in helping students decide which school is a good fit for them. But herein lies the challenge: The more schools you visit, the more they tend to sound — and look — the same. This makes it even more important to ask the right questions when you visit.
Students who go through the enrollment pipeline process, financial aid, and other related procedures will sometimes be faced with “holds,” specifically, administrative process holds.
Administrators typically place holds on a student’s online account to urge them to act on a variety of specific tasks (much of which is guided by a federal or an institutional policy). For example, students may need to complete their financial aid documents to pay for their courses on time, pay an outstanding balance, register for classes, or finalize their admission process.
When I started my career in 2003, I would have been hard-pressed to think that bias existed in the enrollment management profession. After all, doesn’t every college talk about how much they want to diversify their student body? Or how they want to be a more inclusive and accepting community? Campuses seek out students from a spectrum of backgrounds—low socioeconomic status, full-pay, LGBTQ, rural, urban, suburban, international, athletes, residents of certain states…the list is quite exhaustive. And it stands to reason that hiring practices within the profession would follow the same philosophy, right?
Unfortunately, since my last position on a college campus, which ended April 2019, I have witnessed a deep and disturbing pattern whereby hiring managers rarely view the marketing, recruiting, enrollment, and retention skills cultivated by individuals in the community college sector as on par with skills cultivated at four-year institutions.
I view this as an incidence of classism in higher education. Ultimately, it hurts qualified candidates and harms institutions that could benefit from the skills, experiences, and unique perspectives that community college professionals bring to the table.
Want to make life better for students (and your institution) amid the pandemic?
Speakers featured during a panel discussion on politics, government, and higher education at this week’s 2020 NACAC Virtual Conference offered two suggestions.
Pick up the phone.
“These are very tough times we are living in,” Paul Mounds, chief of staff for the governor of Connecticut, told attendees. “…This is not the time to be shy about your financial situation. This is not the time to be shy about the situations facing your students…Government needs to hear directly from you.”
If US higher education is to survive, it must refocus its efforts and prioritize students, NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez said Tuesday in remarks at the 2020 NACAC Virtual Conference.
Like many sectors of the US economy, the admission profession has felt the effects of the coronavirus crisis on its institutional budgets, Pérez noted. But those concerns are secondary when compared to the larger crisis looming for higher ed, he said.
“While we all understandably worry about our schools and our institutions, we have to remember that without students, nothing else in the educational endeavor matters,” Pérez said in his first keynote address as the association’s chief executive officer. “…As we move away from enforcing a code of ethics, NACAC will act publicly and with determination when policy or practice threatens to cause harm to or perpetuate inequities among students.”
Have you been eyeing the NACAC Career Center lately? Maybe you’ve found that perfect next step — but what’s the best way to present yourself when applying? Here are four ways you can leverage what you already know about college admission to become a standout job applicant.
The humanities add meaning to the most profound moments of our lives, but they also bear burdens—notably, the myth that their study is inconsistent with a practical and prosperous career.
Experience shows us otherwise.
Keen students of the humanities can think critically and analytically. They express themselves persuasively in speech and writing (often in more than one language), empathize, mobilize diverse individuals and talents in teamwork and problem-solving, and boldly range outside the box as leaders in education, business, economics, law, and media.
For those students (and parents) still uncertain about the value of the humanities in higher education, here are a few points to consider.
Louisiana became the first state in the nation in 2018 to set FAFSA completion as a high school graduation requirement.
Since then, Illinois and Texas have adopted similar policies and several other states are weighing the option.
Officials from Louisiana recently shared their state’s story during a webinar organized by the Education Commission of the States. During the hour-long presentation, education leaders explained the process Louisiana followed when adopting the new requirement and discussed how counselors can support students as they file for financial aid.
Author and comedian Cristela Alonzo will join the virtual chat, scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET.
In her memoir, Alonzo — who created and starred in the ABC sitcom Cristela — shares personal stories about growing up as a first-generation Mexican American in Texas. She also writes about the challenges she’s faced professionally as a woman of color.