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Meet Joseph Franco

Joseph Franco
Admissions Counselor
University of Washington

What drew you to the college admission field?
Like many in the profession, I fell into college admission. Growing up, my parents instilled the powerful value of obtaining a college degree. Both of them attended college -- one in the Philippines, the other at the University of Washington through the Educational Opportunity Program. They were both unfamiliar with the college search, financial aid, and application process. On the other hand, my high school lacked counseling resources to help students navigate the college search process. As a result, I went to college with no knowledge about financial aid, student loans, private vs. public colleges, internships, etc.; I did not want another student to go through what I went through. As an advocate and admission professional, I am a firm believer that education is the equalizer in our communities, and I continue my work day in and day out to assist with access and opportunities for all students.

What is your favorite part of the job?
The students! I have really enjoyed traveling to high schools and working with students to help them realize their potential and assisting them to reach their goals.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has offered so many great professional development opportunities. I have had a fantastic time connecting with colleagues from around the country at conferences that are working on a common goal: to make education accessible to everyone. My first taste of NACAC came in 2017 at the Guiding the Way to Inclusion (GWI) conference where I learned about diversity issues, multicultural recruitment, and supporting rural and undocumented students. Most recently, I was able to attend the 2019 NACAC Advocacy Day, where I had the opportunity to meet with legislators from Washington state. I advocated for NACAC’s legislative priorities and our local affiliate PNACAC where I currently serve as the Washington State Government Relations Chair. NACAC has given me the tools to network and the opportunity to strengthen my skills as a policy communicator and champion for educational access for all. I think change happens at the policy level, so if you aren’t involved in your Government Relations committee affiliate, be there and join them!

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?Communication and lack of financial literacy. Many students today seek advice from family, friends, and the internet on college information and it turns out some, if not most, are misinformed. Our profession needs to be able to communicate clearly in different mediums (i.e. emails, Snapchat, YouTube). We should not only share admission policies and information about our universities and colleges, but we also need to communicate the costs of attending our institutions and protect them against predatory student lending.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
When I’m not working, I’m actually in school! Currently, I’m in my last quarter at Seattle University (WA) completing my master’s of public administration. Outside of writing papers and reading, I love playing music, working out, and hanging out with my dog, friends, and family. I’m also an avid Seattle sports fan, so you might catch me at a Mariners, Seahawks, or Washington Husky football game.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I love Iron Man aka Tony Stark. An exceptionally fast thinker, intelligent, and can always come up with a witty zinger. Plus, the suit, come on now.

Describe yourself in five words.
Dedicated, focused, collaborator, integrity, and fun.

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