Monday, September 29, 2008

Unraveling of college admissions--deadline creep

It's not just early action and early decision anymore; regular college admissions can also unravel. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports (Admissions Group Moves to Stop 'Deadline Creep') that
"The National Association for College Admission Counseling has a message for member institutions: Do not rush applicants into accepting offers.

On Saturday, during its annual meeting here, the association revised its professional guidelines to clarify that colleges may not solicit commitments from first-year applicants before May 1—the long-recognized notification deadline. In approving the new language, the association also affirmed that admissions offers must clearly state whether deposits submitted before May 1 are refundable.

Concerns about “deadline creep” prompted the revisions, said Ken Fox, departing chairman of Nacac’s Admissions Practices Committee. In recent years, some colleges have informed admitted students that they must accept or decline financial-aid offers before May 1, a violation of Nacac’s Statement of Principles of Good Practice. High-school counselors have also complained that some institutions pressure students by urging them to send housing deposits in March or April."

"On Saturday, Nacac also approved a change in its guidelines that will prohibit colleges from asking "regular-decision" applicants to rank their preferred colleges in order. Previously, the association stated only that colleges should not “require” such information, and some institutions continue to include the question on application materials, with the word “optional” beside it."

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