NACAC Member Retires After 67 Years Serving Students

After 67 years working with students, one of NACAC’s most experienced members has stepped away from the desk.

Lillian Orlich retired last month from her position as a counselor at Osbourn High School in Manassas, Virginia. She spent all but three years of her career serving students in the Manassas area, first as a teacher and then as a counselor.

“Her former students and counselees became doctors, lawyers, accountants, and landscapers,” according The Washington Post. “Manassas City Major Hal Parrish was in her social studies course in the late 1960s. NBA legend David Robinson checked into her office in the early 1980s.”

Continue reading NACAC Member Retires After 67 Years Serving Students

Lessons Learned: Reflections and Advice from a Regional Admission Counselor

iStock

After 14 years working in the admission office for my alma mater, I had it good. I coordinated the campus visit team, supervised tour guides, worked with transfer students, and held many “other duties as assigned.” In short, I knew what I was doing.

Then two years ago, I was offered an exciting new role that turned my career on its head: I became Gettysburg College’s first West Coast regional counselor.

In the past 24 months I have learned about the challenges of a three-hour time difference, work-life balance, and the importance of communication with the office. I’ve also reflected on how counselors — and campus-based leaders — can work together to make the most out of regional positions.

Here are my tips for counselors and admission leaders who are considering making the jump.

Continue reading Lessons Learned: Reflections and Advice from a Regional Admission Counselor

Required Reading: More Colleges Assign Books Over Summer Break

iStock

A growing number of colleges are using summer reading assignments to introduce incoming freshmen to the new ideas and topics they’ll encounter in their undergraduate courses, according to reports from The New York Times and Inside Higher Ed.

About 40 percent of college orientations include discussion of a common reading assignment,  the Times reported last month.

“The books are almost always tied to current events and often make strong statements on issues like immigration, race, and the perils of technology,” the article noted.

Two popular choices this summer include Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson’s memoir about prison reform, and Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ exploration of race in America, according to the Times.

J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy — an autobiographical look a rural poverty — is another popular read in a field dominated by titles that address racial or social issues.

Continue reading Required Reading: More Colleges Assign Books Over Summer Break

Member View: How to Appeal to International Students Despite the Political Climate

iStock

NACAC Member Milyon Trulove believes that his school has found the magic recipe for recruiting international students in the current political climate.

Trulove’s school, Reed College (OR), relies on international students to make up 8 to 9 percent of each incoming class and rumblings from guidance counselors at international high schools and internal projections following the 2016 election had the school worried.

In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Trulove, Reed’s vice president and dean of admission and financial aid, shared the strategy that brought the college a record number of international students for the upcoming school year.

Continue reading Member View: How to Appeal to International Students Despite the Political Climate

Even on Welcoming Campuses, LGBT Students Face Hurdles to College Completion

iStock

Colleges across the US have made major strides in their efforts to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.

But a recent New York Times op-ed published by a University of Mississippi grad provides an important reminder that much work still needs to be done.

By his own admission, Dylan Lewis “thrived in college.” At the University of Mississippi he finally felt free to be himself. Lewis joined the student government, led campus tours, and felt safe and supported.

Yet despite a welcoming campus, Lewis— like many LGBT youth — faced unique challenges on his path to college completion.

Continue reading Even on Welcoming Campuses, LGBT Students Face Hurdles to College Completion

FAFSA Update: More Students File for Aid

iStock

Will the FAFSA’s earlier filing date result in increased access to higher education?

New federal data is promising.

After a four-year decline, FAFSA completions are up for the high school class of 2017, the first cohort of students who were able to file for aid starting on Oct. 1 — a full three months earlier than previously allowed.

Continue reading FAFSA Update: More Students File for Aid

Achieving Balance: Tips to Help Students Navigate Their Freshman Year

iStock

Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in September 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

To-do lists, reasonable goals, and regular exercise can help freshmen stay on track.

Those tips and more are included in a USA Today piece aimed at helping first-year students maintain their health and happiness.

“Achieving life balance is one of the largest challenges that college freshmen face,” the article notes. “After all, you must juggle a wide variety of activities — from your coursework to your social life to your extracurriculars — in addition to monitoring your mental and physical well-being.”

Continue reading Achieving Balance: Tips to Help Students Navigate Their Freshman Year

For Many Families, College Search Now Includes Questions about Campus Politics

iStock

It’s hard to avoid conversations about politics these days. This new reality has trickled down to the college admission process where counselors on both sides of the desk are now commonly asked to field tricky questions about political reputations and perceived leanings of a college campus.

Inside Higher Ed recently reported on a group of counselors at the annual meeting of the Higher Education Consultants Association who said that parents were rejecting their children’s college choices based on the schools’ politics.

But while parents might be hesitant about the political climate on campus, it seems to be something students want out of their college experience. UCLA’s 50th annual CIRP Freshman Survey, which surveyed 141,189 full-time, first-year students from around the US, found that student interest in political and civic activity had reached its highest level in the history of the survey.

Continue reading For Many Families, College Search Now Includes Questions about Campus Politics

Study: Students Rely on Mobile Devices to Scout Schools

iStock

Mobile matters when it comes to college recruitment.

Data from a national survey show that handheld devices, such as phones or tablets, are the primary college search tool for roughly one-third of high school students.

In addition, roughly 40 percent of students surveyed said they plan to use social media when deciding where to enroll.

Continue reading Study: Students Rely on Mobile Devices to Scout Schools

Maryland Outlaws Scholarship Displacement at Public Colleges

iStock

A new law prohibits scholarship displacement at Maryland’s public colleges and universities.

The state is the first in the nation to pass legislation limiting the practice, which can spur financial aid reductions for students who are awarded private scholarships.

Continue reading Maryland Outlaws Scholarship Displacement at Public Colleges

Daily updates on NACAC and the world of college admission counseling. For more information about NACAC, visit nacacnet.org.