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 Writer's Guide


Publisher: National Association for College Admission Counseling

Circulation/Issue: 15,000 print; 75,000 online

Editor Contact:

Goal: Offer readers practical tips, research-to-practice information, and news they can use in an engaging and concise way. 

Audience: NACAC members (school and independent counselors, admission and financial aid professionals, community-based organizations) and others involved in students’ transition to postsecondary education.

Editorial Requirements


If you wish to be added to our cache of writers, submit a resume along with three news-style writing samples to the editor. 

Generally, the Journal does not publish unsolicited articles. However, each Journal (quarterly) has space for one op-ed. If there is an open slot, the editor considers unsolicited submissions.

Style and Tone:

  • AP Style​
  • Serial comma
  • One space after periods.
  • No footnotes or citations. 
  • Keep sentences short and use an active, non-technical voice (informal).
  • Keep background information to a minimum. 
  • Make your article practical. Include sufficient how-to examples. 
  • Include quotes (include person’s full name and, if applicable, professional title). 
  • No sales pitches.


  • Cover story: 2,000 words
  • Feature story: 1,000–2,000 words
  • Columns: 500–750 words
  • Early Action: 500 words
  • Hall Pass: 750 words
  • International Students: 1,500 words
  • Optimal page total for each issue: 36
  • Optimal number of feature stories: 3–4 
  • Optimal number of NACAC columns: 5
  • Optimal number of guest columns: 3

Editing Process and Copyright:

NACAC’s editors strive to keep the integrity of your piece while ensuring it fits the Journal’s style and length requirements. Contracted writers receiving payment are not consulted during the editing process. Volunteer writers are consulted approximately one month before publication. In both cases, NACAC holds the article copyright and makes ultimate editing decisions. NACAC credits writers in the Journal bylines and readily grant reprint permission (contact editor for form).  


Completed articles must be submitted to the editor two months before the publication date. Email a MS Word document to​.

Publication Dates/Articles Due:

  • Winter: January/November 1
  • Spring: April/February 1
  • Summer: July/May 1
  • Fall: October/August 1


The John B. Muir Editor's Award

This award​, presented by the Communications Committee at NACAC's annual conference, recognizes the author who has made the most significant contribution to the Journal during the past year.​​​​​