Media Advisory: 4 Ways to Cover National College Decision Day

Shanda Ivory

Arlington, VA (April 5, 2017) — National College Decision Day is fast approaching for hundreds of thousands of college-bound high school seniors. May 1 — also called National Candidates Reply Date — is the deadline for students to accept an offer of admission and make a tuition deposit at many institutions.

As students across the globe weigh their college choices, here are four ways to cover this key juncture in the admission process.

  • Examine how recent travel bans have affected international student yield. President Donald Trump’s latest immigration order, which has since been blocked by the courts, imposed a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas, including student visas, for citizens of six majority-Muslim nations. Nearly four in 10 colleges have seen drops in Fall 2017 applications from international students, and recruitment officials report that families are exhibiting “a great deal of concern” about how their students will be treated in the US, according to a recent survey of more than 250 US colleges and universities.

  • Share the important role school counselors play in the college admission process. A recent NACAC study confirmed that students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are significantly more likely to attend college and apply for federal financial aid. Specifically, 12th graders who talked about their future plans with a school counselor were nearly seven times more likely to complete a FAFSA, and three times more likely to attend college.

  • Explore the effect of Early FAFSA. This fall, students filed for federal financial aid using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. And for the first time, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was made available starting Oct. 1 — a shift designed to give students an earlier and more accurate idea of their anticipated financial aid and college costs. How did this streamlined process affect the admission cycle? Did colleges issue their financial aid award letters earlier than in past years? Did more students consider financial fit when selecting a college? Did the number of first-generation, low-income students applying to college increase? Check with local schools and colleges to learn more.

  • Highlight College Signing Day events in your community. Better Make Room — a national public awareness campaign that motivates young people ages 14-19 to strive for success in college — is encouraging local schools and communities to host College Signing Day events on Friday, May 5. Better Make Room is a partner of former First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative. Last year, more than 1,250 College Signing Day events were hosted by schools, communities, and nonprofits across the nation.

To speak with school counselors, college admission officers, or NACAC staff about these topics, contact NACAC Director of Communications Shanda Ivory.

And stay tuned in the weeks ahead for more valuable information, including NACAC’s College Openings Update. The annual list, which will be released in early May, includes colleges and universities that still have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshmen and/or transfer students for Fall 2017.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 16,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP).

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