Thursday, October 7, 2010

College admissions--a state of the union interview

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports an interview with the departing head of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC): Admission Group's Departing Leader Takes Stock

"Q. Tell me about one thing that you think is broken in the profession.

A. The number of ways to apply has grown. There’s been an increase in the number of programs under the banner of early decision or early action. There’s the increasing use of “snap apps,” which make it easy to apply. It’s hard for many of us who are long-term professionals to understand all the different ways to apply, and I think that it’s worse for kids and parents. This process should be relatively transparent, though it can’t be totally transparent.

Q. What’s good about college admissions today that wasn’t so good a decade ago?

A. Certainly there’s more information out there about college admissions. When I first started, people had no idea what college admissions was or what it really did. Now there’s far more info out there that’s helpful. To sort through all that information and figure out what’s good is the challenge. There’s far more attention paid to the process.

Q. In some ways, the national dialogue about college admissions has helped demystify the process. But are some of today’s enrollment-management tactics having the opposite effect?

A. Yes. Some of it has been demystified, but some of it has been replaced by other mysteries. There are two extremes. There are a huge number of kids who grow up in good homes where there isn’t a history of going to college. They don’t have the basic understanding that they have to have. Then there are other parents who are obsessed with admissions to certain institutions, and this leads to all kinds of mythology, or as I like to call them, suburban legends. Our challenge is to reach both of those populations—the ones that really need information for access that can change their lives, and those who are so obsessed about getting into a particular college."


collegedirection said...

As a college admissions consultant in Denver, Colorado, I think that information is more available to students about applying to college and college admissions. However, I know that many families find the process overwhelming and feel they need more college counseling in order to make the right college decisions. High school counselors are dealing with so many students that they can't possibly help them with the individual attention they need.
Schools need to make information available to families about community resources for college planning, test prep, scholarship searches, etc. Then, at least, parents and students know where they can turn for help.

Dokemion said...

Figuring out how you are going to afford the high costs of higher education can be an intimidating prospect for anyone. However, you should not be dissuaded from furthering your education because you think you will not be able to afford the expense. Instead, spend some time researching all of the financial aid or college grants you may qualify for; some of which may include federal school grants.

Anonymous said...

Is there anywhere I can find out more about the career college admissions process?