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NACACNet > Collaboration & Networking > Blogs and Communities > Admitted Blog
September 23
Claudio Sanchez: Admission Professionals are ‘Key-Holders’ to Higher Ed

​Admission professionals have an important role to play in preserving “the soul” of America’s college campuses, education correspondent Claudio Sanchez told attendees Friday at NACAC’s 72nd National Conference in Columbus, Ohio. 

The path to a better life requires some form of postsecondary training, said Sanchez, a reporter with National Public Radio. And as the number of low-income and first-generation students continues to grow, college counselors and admission officers can help ensure that young people from all backgrounds have access to the transformative powers of higher education. 

“You’re not so much gatekeepers as you are key-holders,” said Sanchez, a featured speaker at the conference. 

With the right guidance and support, students can overcome obstacles such as poverty, isolation, and racism, he noted. 

“Let’s not run the risk of forgetting what college is supposed to do — give people from all backgrounds, from all walks of life, a shot at a better life and the opportunity to reinvent themselves.”

To make good on that promise, institutions, along with the state and federal government, need to adapt.

State disinvestment in higher education, along with a federal student aid system that is inadequate and confusing, limit student access, Sanchez said. And colleges need to do more to support students once they have enrolled. 

“Institutions…are there to help guide young people,” Sanchez said. “Not to just let them enter and then say, you’re on your own.”

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

September 22
Pat McGuire: Colleges Must Adapt to Serve Today's Students

mcguire250.jpgAmerica’s students are changing, and colleges and universities must follow suit, education leader Patricia McGuire told attendees Thursday at NACAC’s 72nd National Conference​ in Columbus, Ohio. 

Although many institutions say they value diversity, too few have adopted the mindset — let alone the policies and practices — needed to make higher education accessible for low-income, first-generation, and adult students, she told conference attendees. 

“You hear a lot of talk about getting elite institutions to admit more high-achieving, low-income students…the principle of it being that such students are then somehow transformed by the privilege of being among the elite and the heck with everyone else,” said McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, a women’s college in Washington, DC. “Not only does that clearly leave millions of otherwise well-qualified students outside with arms stretched through the bars of the elite gates, but it also strips the fortunate few of their own identities as they seek to become like all others in the groves of academia.”

During her hour-long keynote address, McGuire touched on her own institution’s path forward. Like many single-sex colleges, the university saw its enrollment plummet in the 1980s and 90s.

But unlike many of its peer institutions, “we found new life for our historic mission by broadening the idea of that mission to new populations” — a move that in turn strengthened the university.

Enrollment has tripled over the past two decades at Trinity. It’s secret to success? The college, which traditionally served white upper- and middle-income women, began recruiting students hungry for opportunity but often overlooked by other colleges. Today, 95 percent of Trinity’s 2,000 students are minorities. More than 80 percent are low-income. 

Support services, new financial practices, and flexible scheduling helped the institution make good on its promise to serve underrepresented students, McGuire said. Despite some initial pushback from donors and alumni, Trinity has found success with its new model.

For higher education to retain the promise of equality, more institutions must make similar changes, McGuire said. Too many economic, structural, and cultural barriers still exist in higher education, obstacles that prevent diverse students from flourishing.

“Equality of educational opportunity — one of our bedrock values — gets trampled in the race for rankings and prestige,” McGuire said. “While institutions say they wish they could have more diverse student bodies, in fact, there’s a considerable mismatch between the rhetoric and reality of policies and programs that would be welcoming and supportive of significant changes in student populations.”

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

September 21
5 Tips to Help You Utilize Social Media at #nacac16
socialmediabubblesuse.jpgNACAC's 72nd National Conference in Columbus, Ohio​ kicks off on Thursday.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of social media at #nacac16. While you have your smartphone in hand, don’t forget to download the conference app.

1. Use
 #nacac16
Using hashtags expands your reach beyond your followers and audience. It’s imperative to utilize the official hashtag. Use  #nacac16 to reach other attendees, exhibitors, speakers, or those listening along who may not be one of your followers. Your posts will have more engagement and you’ll probably gain a few new followers, too!

If you use a social media dashboard tool, such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite, add a  #nacac16 stream to easily follow the conversation.

Stay up-to-date with the latest NACAC news and information in the college admission field by checking out the College Admission Social Media Round Up in the Bulletin​.

2. Engage
Social media is a two-way street. While sharing your content is important, so is interacting with others. Engage with other attendees and exhibitors before, during, and after the conference.

Before arriving in San Diego, begin to monitor  #nacac16. Announce your excitement by starting a conversation with others who are also attending.
 
During the conference, reply to other attendees, follow new people, and retweet or like other #nacac16 social media posts. 

Social media is a great way to network and continue conversations. Once you’re home, follow up with your new contacts. Did you have a great conversation with another attendee on Twitter? Why not invite them to connect on LinkedIn?

3. Share Visual Content
Visual content stands out. Between the sessions, social, Imagine End of the Day 5K and Zumba, and the exhibit hall you will have endless photo opportunities. Take a selfie with your new friends—don’t forget to tag them! Snap a photo of a slide from a session’s PowerPoint presentation to create a shareable conference takeaway.
 
4. Quote Speakers
This is an easy and effective way to create valuable content. After the conference, refer back to your own “mini summary” of the most memorable tips. Attendees who are in other sessions will appreciate getting a taste of what you’re learning and the speakers will also appreciate you valuing their presentation as “tweet-worthy.”
 
5. Enjoy the Moment
Social media is a great tool, but don’t forget to enjoy the moment! It’s easy to get caught up in your smart phone, so take the time to find a balance between enjoying #nacac16 and sharing your experience.
 
To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Kate Sigety is the manager of communications, content, and social media at NACAC. She can be reached at ksigety@nacacnet.org.
September 20
​Enrollment Grows at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

HBCUuse.jpgHistorically black colleges and universities across the country are seeing increased interest from students and families.

Federal data show that 38 percent of HBCUs reported at least a 10 percent jump in enrollment between 2013 and 2014. 

“Reasons, observers say, include effects from police shootings involving white police officers and black victims, as well as minority students’ feelings of oppression at predominantly white institutions,” a recent article in The Atlanta Journal Constitution noted​. “Changes in recruitment also have helped.”

At Spelman College (GA), admission officials are establishing relationships with high school sophomores, said Ingrid Hayes, the school’s vice president for enrollment management. The college saw a record number of applicants for the current academic year. 

“Students of color have a heightened sense of awareness regarding the various social and political conversations that are going on around the country and they are seeking places where they feel they have an opportunity to make an impact and also where they simply can be a college student without feeling they’re on the margins of that conversation,” said Hayes, a NACAC member. 

Read the full article and learn more about HBCUs

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page).Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org. 

September 19
'Generation Z Goes to College' Selected for #NACACreads

GenerationZ.jpgGeneration Z students are highly innovative and entrepreneurial. 

They are also skeptical about the cost and value of higher education. And they prefer experiential learning. 

Explore how these students differ from millennials during a Nov. 29 #NACACreads discussion of Generation Z Goes to College by Meghan Grace and Corey Seemiller. 

The book is based on a study of more than 1,100 students born between 1995 and 2010. And as the authors note, what worked for millennials “might not fit this new generation” as they navigate their way to and through college. 

“Our perspective is that of two former student affairs professionals who not only have studied this generation but also have worked with Generation Z students directly,” the authors note in the book’s introduction. “We designed the research and looked at the data we collected in a way that reflects our personal and professional experiences—and in a way that we hope will be constructive to others who wish to bring out the best in today’s teens and college students.”

Learn more about the book.  

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

September 16
Achieving Balance: Tips to Help Students Navigate Their Freshman Year

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

Those tips and more are included in a recent 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.”

Words of wisdom highlighted in the piece include:

• Establish an effective study strategy: “From flashcards to online quizzes to textbook outlining, there is certainly more than one way to study. The key to studying effectively lies in learning how you review best. Try a variety of studying methods, and continue what works.”

• Aim for simplicity: “Remember: no one can do everything. Before you take on a new responsibility, consider whether or not you will have sufficient time to properly commit to it. Though you may find it difficult to turn down various opportunities, it may occasionally be necessary to say ‘no.’”

• Reach out if you need help: “Colleges are full of individuals who can help you handle any issues you face. On campus, you can count on professors, mental health professionals, and academic advisers for assistance. Do not be ashamed to turn to these people for help it you need it; they exist to help you do and feel your best.”

Read the full article and check out more tips for first-year students​.

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

September 15
New Data Added to College Scorecard
collegescorecardUSE.jpgUpdated data regarding college completion rates, debt statistics, and post-college earnings was added this week to the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard

The revised Scorecard — launched last fall — seeks to help students select a best-fit college.

“Though a college education can be the best investment people make for their futures, finding the right college can be a stressful process for students and families,” US Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said in a press release. “With the release of new data, we’re working to ensure students and families have a deeper understanding about their college choices to find a school that is affordable, well-suited to meet their needs, and consistent with their educational and career goals.” 

Visitors to the site can peruse data on an institution-by-institution basis, or compare colleges by selecting certain criteria, such as location, majors offered, or enrollment size. 

Since its launch, more than 1.5 million users have visited the site, according to department officials. The new data release includes graduation rates from 2014-15 academic year, debt amounts and repayment rates from 2014-15, and earning information from the 2013 tax year.

In addition, the department has developed new tools to help counselors explain the College Scorecard to the students and families they serve. 

Resources include:
Learn more about the new College Scorecard data.

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org​.
September 14
Report: College-Educated Employees Outnumber High School Grads in Workforce
collegejobsreportUSE.jpgThe economic recovery continues to favor college-educated workers, according to a new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce

“Our findings show that while jobs are back, they are not concentrated in the same occupations that lost jobs in the recession,” noted Anthony Carnevale, the center’s director. “…The Great Recession crushed low-skill blue-collar jobs, while the recovery added many high-skill managerial and professional jobs.”

In fact, 99 percent of jobs created since January 2009 have gone to those with at least some postsecondary education.

Meanwhile, workers with a high school diploma or less — the segment of the population hit hardest by the economic downturn — continue to struggle. 

“Of the 7.2 million jobs lost in the recession, 5.6 million were jobs for workers with a high school diploma or less,” researchers noted. “Those workers have recovered only 1 percent of those job losses over the past six years. The group also saw no growth among well-paying jobs with benefits.”

As a result, for the first time college graduates now comprise a larger share of the workforce than those with a high school diploma or less.
 
“The economy is seeing a continuing scouring of low-skill jobs in favor of high-skill jobs,” the report concludes. “This makes the acquisition of postsecondary education an essential prerequisite to participate in the 21st century labor market.”

Read the full report and check out this Journal of College Admission cover story about the value of a college degree. 

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org​. 
September 13
Back-to-School: NACAC Resources for College-Bound Students

PPY_video_475.jpgIt’s college application season — an exciting (and stressful) time for high school seniors. 

Help the students and families you serve access good information as they embark on the admission process. 

Check out and share these NACAC resources:

• New! FAFSA Video for Students

•​ Updated! Breaking Down the College Admission Process 

• Updated! Guide for Families in the College Admission Process

• Updated! For-Profit Colleges: What to Know Before You Enroll

 Get in the Game: Tips for Student-Athletes and Their Families

• Trusted Sources: Seeking Advice on Applying to Universities in Another Country (also available in Mandarin)

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org​

September 12
​Tools to Help You Assist Students with the FAFSA

fafsacounselorUSE.jpgThe 2017-18 FAFSA will launch in a few short weeks. 

How are counselors preparing? A recent post on the US Department of Education’s Homeroom blog outlines success strategies from school districts, universities, and community organizations. 

Blog author Ashley Harris — an outreach specialist at the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) — has experience helping students apply for financial aid. 

“As a former college counselor, my biggest piece of advice to you is to familiarize yourself with the Financial Aid Toolkit,” she notes. “It is a goldmine of information that can help answer many of your questions and assist with your financial aid planning process.” 

Other resources and models highlighted in the article include:

• 2017–18 FAFSA Messaging and Planning Calendar 
• FSA ID Digital and Social Outreach
• Federal Student Aid Information Center 
• Digital Outreach Resources 
• College Preparation Checklists

Read the full post, and don’t forget to share NACAC’s FAFSA video with your students. 

To comment on this post, sign into the NACAC website (see top left corner of this page). Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org

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