Revised Membership Model FAQ

Why do we need a new membership model?

Our current model is not serving the needs of NACAC and our members well. Individual institutions may only have one or two NACAC members, leaving out large numbers of their staff. Other potential members who are interested in being involved with NACAC may not have the support of their institutions and are looking for additional ways to join as voting members.  This proposed model presents an opportunity to reach out and to better engage all segments of the college and admission counseling profession that may not be invited to join, including newer professionals and members from diverse backgrounds.  In addition, after years of steady growth, NACAC’s membership numbers have reached a plateau and have begun to decrease slightly. Some change in the membership model is required for the association to remain healthy and continue to grow. We believe the revised model we are introducing now would help to address these needs.

How does the revised model differ from the proposal that was presented last year?

The revised model is a hybrid model that retains the feature called the “institutional model” that was introduced last year and has added other options for individuals whose institutions are unable or unwilling to join.

Why is the institutional model advantageous?

We retained the institutional feature because we believe it has the potential to reach a larger, younger, and more inclusive group of professionals and bring them into the association. After a long period of steady increases in our membership numbers, those numbers have reached a plateau and our growth has become stagnant. The institutional model would require colleges, universities, secondary schools, CBOs, and other organizations to 1) sign up their entire counseling staffs–allowing professionals at every level to receive the benefits of NACAC membership, and 2) pay a membership fee based on staff size, that, in almost all cases, would be less than the current costs to enroll all individuals from an institution. 

What are the new options?

Comments from members last year taught us that one size does not fit all. Potentially, only offering an institutional membership could result in some members being unable to remain a part of NACAC because of their individual circumstances.

Two options–individual memberships and associate memberships–were added for those whose institutions are unable to join or for whom the institutional approach might not be beneficial.

Individual memberships would give both secondary and postsecondary members the full array of benefits – the ability to vote on bylaws, to serve as an Assembly delegate, to run for elected office, to receive individual member rates for NACAC programs, services and events such as the national conference, and more.  Individual Secondary, Individual Postsecondary, Individual Independent Education Consultants, and retired professionals would be eligible for this category.

We realize that not every member is able to participate in NACAC services but would still like be connected and have access to NACAC’s digital content. Associate memberships, offered at a lower cost, would provide access to all NACAC’s digital resources – online publications, the Bulletin, the “Today in College Admissions” news service, and the digital version of The Journal of College Admission. Associate membership would be a non-voting membership and associate members would not be eligible for reduced rates for NACAC programs such as the conference and Guiding the Way to Inclusion (GWI).  Individual Secondary and Individual Postsecondary professionals would be eligible for this lower-priced category, as would students, nonaffiliated professionals, affiliate staff, and university system and school district staff. 

How will member dues be affected?

We have modeled suggested dues for all the proposed institutional and individual member category to provide an idea of what the fees might be for each. Note that these dues are just “proposed” to illustrate how this revenue-neutral model would operate. Raising or lowering the dues paid by any one member segment would require corresponding changes in others. Final decisions on member categories and dues will be made by the board after hearing feedback from the membership.

What is the financial impact of the proposal for NACAC?

The revised membership model is designed to be revenue-neutral. The model is based on the number of staff that members reported in earlier surveys as we were developing the model. The intent of the proposal is not to make a lot of money for NACAC but to make opportunities for more members affordable while sustaining our current level of dues revenue.  This model has the potential to extend opportunities for membership to a larger, more diverse range of professionals at all levels of experience, and, over time, potentially add thousands of new members—amplifying NACAC’s voice and ability to advocate on behalf of students and their families. We strongly believe the revised model would make NACAC stronger as an association and enable it to deliver more benefits to more people in our professional community—ultimately allowing us to better serve more students and families.

What are the benefits of membership in NACAC?

  • Being part of the only professional organization solely devoted to college counseling and admission;
  • The chance to connect and network with thousands of professionals across the US and around the world – colleagues who share our passion for and commitment to the ethical practice of college admission;
  • Access to the latest data and research on the higher education environment, as well as practical advice to help professionals grow and advance in their careers;
  • News and analysis about federal, state, and local policies that affect US education and our profession in particular; 
  • NACAC’s one-of-a-kind annual conference; and
  • An organization that effectively advocates for members and the students they serve with federal, state, and local governments as well as other higher education authorities. 

How can members learn more and share their thoughts on the new membership model?

Beginning with the Winter Leadership meeting in early March and through the 2019 spring and summer affiliate conferences, NACAC leaders are sharing details of the revised model and soliciting feedback from members.  It is important that we hear from you.  A feedback tool has been created to collect comments from you and it will be available through May 24.

What’s the bottom line?

The revised membership model would help NACAC secure a more sustainable and healthy future, and serve a larger, more diverse segment of our profession. 

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