FAQ: New Membership and Dues Structure

After a nearly two-year process that was informed by a membership survey and thorough consultation with members and experts on nonprofit association management, NACAC has announced a new membership and dues structure. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the new model.

Why is NACAC changing its membership and dues structure? Our aim is to simplify the requirements, procedures, and categories for membership and make our dues more equitable. The new structure will enable more individuals from member institutions to participate in NACAC and will give more members a voice in the business of the association. The changes are in line with membership and dues models used by many education associations.

What prompted the decision to revise NACAC’s membership and dues structure? NACAC currently has 32 different membership types and more than 100 different billing types, and the distinctions among them can be complicated and confusing. The new structure will benefit members and institutions by making it easier to join NACAC and add new members. In addition, under the new model, voting status will be extended to more members.

When will the new structure become effective? The NACAC Board of Directors approved the new dues structure at its February 2018 meeting. It will go in to effect in October 2019 for the 2020 membership renewal.  

The new membership structure requires changes to the association’s Bylaws. NACAC voting members will be asked to vote on the Bylaws changes at the Annual Membership Meeting in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

How will the membership structure change? Some membership categories will be phased out. Under the new model, secondary and postsecondary institutions will be charged a single membership fee. For individuals not actively engaged as college counseling professionals, NACAC will offer courtesy membership under the professional individual category. Individuals in this category include students, faculty, and retired members.

Will my dues increase? Any change in your dues will depend on how you or your institution is classified within the new model. For institutions, dues will be set on a graduated scale based on the number of professional admission and counseling staff employed. A new dues structure for NACAC’s individual membership categories has also been approved by the Board of Directors. Individuals who work for an institution that is eligible for NACAC membership will no longer be able to join unless their institution joins.

Ultimately, some members’ dues will increase, some will decrease, and some will stay the same. Overall, we believe that NACAC membership—which offers a wide variety of benefits, including resources, conferences, networking opportunities, timely information about the college admission profession, and college fairs—will continue to be an unbeatable value. And member dues will remain competitive with—if not lower than—those of other, similar associations. View the new dues for all member categories.

How will institutions calculate their dues? Dues will be set on a graduated scale based on the number of admission and counseling staff the institution employs. Institutions must count all their professional staff as defined in NACAC’s member criteria when determining their dues.

How does NACAC define “professional staff”? Professional staff are defined as admission and counseling staff who are employed by a member eligible institution and whose primary work includes assisting students as they transition into and within postsecondary education. Part-time, seasonal, or clerical staff will not be required to be counted when determining the dues amount, but institutions may add them if they choose.

I’m currently the only NACAC member at my school. Will I still be able to join? You will still be able to join NACAC if your school joins. The benefit of the new model is that up to seven additional counselors or other staff may join NACAC for no additional fee.

I’m a retired NACAC member. Why won’t I be eligible to vote? Our intention is to ensure that decisions about matters such as choosing the association’s officers or voting on changes to the code of ethics are made by members who are currently active in the profession. Retired members will continue to enjoy the other benefits of membership.
I have more questions about the new membership and dues structure. Who can I contact? For more information, send your questions to

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