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NACACNet > Collaboration & Networking > Blogs and Communities > Admitted Blog
May 23
Livestreamed Presidential Forum to Focus on Education

ceflogolarger.JPGWant to know where the presidential candidates stand on key education issues?

Learn more about their policies and platforms on Thursday during a livestreamed forum at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

The event is hosted by the Committee for Education Funding. NACAC is one of a dozen sponsors.

The forum kicks off at 10:15 a.m. (ET) and will include two panel discussions moderated by Candy Crowley, an award-winning journalist and former chief political correspondent for CNN.

Campaign surrogates make up the first panel. The second panel will feature think tank representatives.

The forum will serve as an opportunity for campaigns to highlight and discuss their education agendas. The goal of the event is to emphasize education as a “critical domestic policy,” according to organizers.

Tune into the livestreamed forum and join the discussion on social media using #CEFpresForum.

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.

May 20
Track FAFSA Completion Rates by School, District

FAFSATooluse.jpgLooking for a better way to chart FAFSA trends in your community?

Check out the US Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid Completion Tool.
 
“This year, for the first time, the tool also provides FAFSA completion rates for school districts, allowing communities to tailor communications, support, and counseling to students while helping schools monitor their progress,” according to a recent newsletter from the department.

The searchable database provides weekly updates for every high school where five or more students have filed a FAFSA. The form is completed annually by current and prospective college students to determine their eligibility for financial assistance.

Data currently posted on the site includes applications processed through May 13.

Learn more about the tool.

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.

May 19
ICYMI: NACAC Awarded Grant to Promote Awareness of Early FAFSA

CounselorWStudentUSE.jpgNACAC is partnering with the National College Access Network (NCAN) on a series of outreach projects funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to assist counselors, admission professionals, and families as they prepare for upcoming changes to the US Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

NCAN received a $1,020,246 grant from the foundation in April. NACAC, as a sub-grantee, has been awarded $74,000 by NCAN to produce and distribute educational resources to help spread word about improvements to the form, which is completed annually by current and prospective college students to determine their eligibility for financial assistance.

Starting in the fall, FAFSA applicants will be asked to report income information using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. And for the first time, students will be able to file for aid beginning Oct. 1—a full three months earlier than previously allowed.

Using the grant money, NACAC will tap into its existing networks to prepare counselors and college admission professionals for a smooth rollout of Early FAFSA. Materials including fact sheets and videos will also be created to encourage FAFSA completion and help students and families understand the new financial aid process.

Work on the project is already underway and will run through September. Learn more about the project and the shift to PPY.
 
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.

May 18
​#NACACreads Author: Overparenting Hinders College-Readiness

how-to-raise-an-adult475.jpgWith thousands of quality colleges spread throughout the US, parents shouldn’t stress over getting their child into the “right school,” according to #NACACreads author Julie Lythcott-Haims.

Their challenge instead? Helping their child develop habits early on that will allow them to thrive wherever they go.

Lythcott-Haims made those comments during a Tuesday night #NACACreads discussion focused on her bestselling book, How to Raise an Adult. Counselors and admission professionals from across the country participated in the hour-long Twitter chat and shared tips to help students build the skills and experiences they need to succeed in college and beyond.

For a large segment of middle- and upper-class students, the college-going process has become more complex in recent years. Although academically prepared, a tendency toward overparenting has made many millennials and their Generation Z counterparts overly dependent on mom and dad. 

Chat participants discussed how college counselors and admission officers can work with families to help students build life skills and gain independence. Simple things, like requiring students to call colleges with questions (rather than have a parent phone on their behalf) can go a long way, said Bob Bardwell, director of school counseling at Monson High School (MA).

“I tell all my students to not let their parents call,” he tweeted. “…Practice being a grown-up.”

Lythcott-Haims, who served as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University (CA) for a decade, said those early nudges are important. Kids who don’t learn coping skills early on aren’t prepared to make the most of their college experience.

She also called on colleges to ratchet down the “admission arms race,” noting that overparenting in the US is tied to the idea that students must compile a near-perfect resume and transcript to get into the college of their choice.

With the stakes so high, parents feel they must intervene to make sure their child stays on track. And kids don’t feel they can make mistakes — even though failure is a crucial part of learning, Lythcott-Haims said.

“Kids need to be able to fail, fall, flail, flounder, fumble — what I call five beautiful F words,” Lythcott-Haims tweeted.

Read a transcript of the chat and watch a Higher Ed Live interview with Lythcott-Haims.

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.

May 17
Shareable Memes Available to Promote Early FAFSA

FAFSAmeme300.jpgLooking for a fun way to let students and families know about upcoming changes to the FAFSA?

Check out the winning entries from a recent meme contest. Organized by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), the goal of the competition was to create shareable graphics to get people talking about the new FAFSA filing procedures.

For the first time this fall, students will apply for aid using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. And applicants seeking funds for 2017-18 will be able to file a FAFSA starting Oct. 1 — a full three months earlier than previously allowed.

“The winning memes are available for institutions, financial aid offices, and other interested parties to use to highlight and promote the move to using PPY income on the FAFSA,” the NASFAA website notes.

Learn more about PPY and download the winning memes.

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.

May 16
#NACACreads: Discuss "How to Raise an Adult" on Tuesday

how-to-raise-an-adult_300.jpgIs overparenting standing in the way of student success?

Tackle that question and more on Tuesday evening during a #NACACreads discussion of How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims.

The hour-long Twitter chat will kick off at 9 p.m. (ET). Lythcott-Haims, who spent a decade working as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University (CA), will participate in the discussion.

In an effort to “be there” for their kids, far too many parents have stunted their children’s independence and autonomy, Lythcott-Haims writes in her book. The dynamic can leave students unprepared to make the most out of their college years.

Discuss that dilemma with colleagues from across the country. The online conversation will also delve into strategies to help students gain the life skills they need to succeed.
 
Didn’t have time to read the book? You still can participate. Read an excerpt from the New York Times bestseller and watch this Higher Ed Live interview with Lythcott-Haims.

New to Twitter chats? Check out this helpful guide and read transcripts of previous #NACACreads discussions.

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.

May 13
Common App Tweaks Criminal Record Question

commonappuse.jpgThe Common Application is changing a question it poses to students about criminal records.

Applicants will still be asked whether they have ever been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, but a part of the question that previously inquired about other crimes will be removed.

“We realized that was a place of ambiguity and so that could cause some angst for students,” Common App spokesperson Aba Blankson told The Associated Press.

The change will go into effect when students begin applying to colleges for the 2017-18 school year.

The new wording was shared with the Common App’s more than 600 member institutions last week. On Monday, the US Department of Education released a guide encouraging colleges to rethink the ways they inquire about an applicant’s past involvement with the criminal justice system.

US Education Secretary John King called the Common App’s revisions “an important step forward,” according to the AP. However, King also urged the organization to consider alternative approaches outlined in the department’s new Beyond the Box guide.

Other major changes on tap for the Common Application include revisions to questions regarding gender. Starting this fall, students will be asked about “sex assigned at birth.” The form will also allow space for applicants to provide further information, giving transgender and other students more freedom in defining their identity.

Read NACAC's statement about the Beyond the Box guide. 

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.

May 12
Federal Government Releases "Beyond the Box" Guide

enrollmentformUSE.jpgOn Monday, the US Department of Education released a guide containing recommendations for ways colleges inquire about an applicant’s involvement in the criminal justice system.

Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals includes discussion questions designed to assist colleges and universities as they review enrollment policies and practices. The goal: To ensure that what and when students are asked about their possible involvement in the criminal justice system doesn’t impede the college dreams of young people, particularly young men of color.

NACAC supports campus conversations about the appropriate use of student disciplinary and criminal questions on college applications. In a statement released jointly this week with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the two associations urged the higher education community to discuss the timing of when such information is requested. NACAC and AACRAO also encouraged colleges to engage in conversations about “the best ways to promote equity, support safe campuses, and serve students who have been involved in the criminal justice system.”

You’ll likely hear more from the US Department of Education about these efforts in the weeks and months ahead. Communication within the profession will also be crucial.

For colleges: Prepare for questions. Students, families, and counselors will look to you for guidance on how to respond to application questions related to disciplinary and criminal records. 

For counselors: Remain attentive. Institutional admission and enrollment policies may change. Students will seek your counsel on whether they are required to answer questions about disciplinary and criminal records on applications. Reach out to colleges and universities if you have questions about an institution’s practices.

Learn more about Beyond the Box.

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.

May 11
Survey: Nearly Half of Community College Students Report Mental Health Struggles

depressedstudentUSE.jpgCommunity colleges need more resources to address student mental health, according to a study released this spring.

Forty-nine percent of undergraduates at two-year institutions reported experiencing recent or ongoing mental health problems in a survey led by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. And of those students, less than half said they were receiving mental health services.

Limited access to treatment options may help explain the gap, report authors hypothesize. The resulting untreated mental health issues could, in turn, influence the academic success of community college students.

“Mental health is rarely mentioned among the factors affecting community college graduation rates, even though challenges such as depression are strong predictors of adverse academic outcomes,” the report notes. “…58 percent of four-year colleges and universities have on-site psychiatric facilities appropriate for treating mental illness, compared to just 8 percent of community colleges.”

Concerns about student mental health are growing on both two- and four-year college campuses. The best available information on the prevalence of such issues comes from studies conducted at four-year institutions, where an estimated one in three students experience a common mental health ailment, such as anxiety or depression.

As a result, many baccalaureate-granting institutions have bolstered support services.

Report authors say their research shows that more needs to be done at two-year colleges. More than 4,000 students from 10 community colleges spread across the US participated in the study.

“This survey suggests that mental health conditions are more prevalent, and service use is lower, among community college students,” report authors notes. “…It seems clear that community colleges need more resources to address student mental health.”

Read the full report.

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.

May 10
#NACACreads Author: Applying to College Teaches Teens Crucial Skills

NACACreadsVideoImageUSE.jpg#NACACreads author Julie Lythcott-Haims knows it’s tough for parents to turn over the reins, especially when it comes time for their child to apply to colleges.

But if teens aren’t able to complete the application process independently, they are more likely to falter once they arrive on campus, she notes in How to Raise an Adult. Counselors and admission professionals from across the country will discuss her book on May 17 during a #NACACreads Twitter chat.

“We’re so worried that if we don’t do it all for them that they won’t get into college,” Lythcott-Haims said during a special Higher Ed Live interview previewing the official #NACACreads discussion. “My point is, if you do it all for them, how are they going to thrive under the same set of expectations in college.”

Lythcott-Haims spent a decade working as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University (CA). She’s also the parent of two teens — one of whom is a high school junior about to begin the college admission process.

Parents are ultimately responsible for preparing their children for adulthood, Lythcott-Haims said. But counselors and admission professionals also have a role to play in assisting students as they develop independence and problem-solving skills.

“We’re here to strengthen them and help them develop maturity,” she noted during her Higher Ed Live appearance.

Check out the entire interview and make plans to participate in the official #NACACreads discussion of How to Raise an Adult on May 17. The Twitter chat will kick off at 9 p.m. (ET). Lythcott-Haims will take part in the discussion.

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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