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Sessions Suggested for Independent Educational Consultant Attendees

Subject to change. Dates and times to be announced.

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In addition to a robust expo hall, lively events, and thoughtful networking opportunities, NACAC Conference 2022 features over 100 educational sessions.  See all sessions here.

Sessions marked with a are offered for NBCC credit hours.

2 + 2 = INEQUITIES: Crowdsourcing Data to Empower Financial Fit for Youth

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

One way the NACAC community embodies a commitment to equity and social justice is through collaboration—sharing people, insights, and resources whenever possible to improve college access and success. But no matter the depth of our commitment to supporting one another, no amount of collaboration can make up for an absence of good data. This absence of data is most painfully evident when trying to prioritize financial fit during our students’ college search. As college pricing has become more and more opaque, the most important factor for low-income students—financial fit—has become by far the most difficult challenge to address. Moreover, the daunting lack of pricing clarity often deters the very students we aspire to help from engaging in the college search process in the first place. Learn how Chicago Scholars (IL) partnered with other like-minded organizations to crowdsource a single central data set of the actual prices that colleges offered. Not only has this new data resource significantly strengthened the depth of guidance our programs can provide regarding financial fit, but it also allows Chicago Scholars to hold partner colleges and universities accountable in the financial aid offers they provide to our students.

Learning Objective:
Increase your understanding of college access as it relates to financial fit.


Achieving Resilient Enrollment Management Strategy in the Test-Optional Age

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM 

Adapt, advance, and restore enrollment and student success in the test-optional age. Esteemed enrollment experts from campuses spanning selectivity, size, type, and geographic difference will reflect on their experiences with the pandemic-motivated adoption of test-optional admission policies. They’ll share lessons learned, offer wisdom gleaned, and provide practical guidance needed for sustaining enrollment strength .

Learning Objective:
Identify the most prevalent challenges (experienced differently across various campus types) that enrollment managers faced during the pandemic—specifically, those surrounding the rapid adoption of test-optional admission policies.


Beyond Binary: Supporting LGBTQIA Students in the Common App

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM 

In today's political and legal climate, LGBTQIA students face unique challenges in applying to college. As Common App expands reporting options for gender, pronouns, and legal sex, a more inclusive application will raise questions about how students should respond, how counselors should advise, and how colleges treat the information. Learn about the research and principles on which these changes are based. We want to hear what these changes will mean for you and your students. Learn from your peers and help inform future resources and support offerings.

Learning Objective:
Understand national trends in students’ reported gender identity and pronoun selection in college applications as well as the growing range of options for legal sex and gender on state and national documents.


Breaking Down Admission Barriers for Students from Title I Schools

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM 

The Coalition for College’s new partnership with Scoir equips hundreds of thousands of students at Title I schools with tools to understand the college admission process and benefit from a simplified application experience. Hear how this partnership will help the Coalition’s collegiate members strengthen their connections to Title I schools and provide more support to low-income and underrepresented students. Come away with a deeper understanding of the Coalition’s access work, ranging from the new integrated application to engagement opportunities with students and their supporters.

Learning Objective:
Learn about an innovative new partnership that seeks to expand access to college support and resources for underserved students. Understand the Coalition’s access work.


Building Bridges through Dual Enrollment

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM 

Hybrid education created the need to explore new learning opportunities for secondary school students. Dual enrollment gives students a chance to build confidence, explore options, and earn credits on a college campus. Explore a framework for dual enrollment using the recent partnership between Catholic Memorial (MA) and Wentworth Institute of Technology (MA) as a case study. The “CM-Squared” (Construction Management at Catholic Memorial) collaboration opened the door for students not typically enrolled in Advanced Placement classes to participate in rigorous college-level STEM coursework. Learn about the latest research supporting dual-enrollment initiatives, discuss logistics for launch, hear input from student participants, and take away a toolkit to help start your own dual enrollment collaboration.

Learning Objective:
Understand how dual enrollment can allow students of all ability levels to engage in college-level academics.


Building Resilience for Students with Learning Disabilities: A Bootcamp for Secondary Educators

Thursday, September 22, 7:15 AM - 10:15 AM 

Prepare your students as they embark on their postsecondary journeys. Learn about the unique steps of identifying best-fit colleges or postsecondary programs for students beginning in ninth grade and identifying the levels of support available to students with learning disabilities. Explore how to secure and implement accommodations in college, review a timeline of “when to do what,” and much more. Walk away with ready-to-use resources and materials to build resilience for students with learning disabilities, specifically related to executive functioning and self-advocacy.

Learning Objective:
Leave with a timeline of “when” to do “what” when advising students with learning disabilities in seeking out accommodations in college, including variable documentation requirements to have in place before freshman year. Gain a better understanding of the accommodations intake meeting with a college’s office of disability services.


Check Yourself: Addressing COVID's Impact on Stress, Stereotypes, and Bias

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM 

The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic include burnout, turnover, and understaffing, which exacerbate the risk of biases influencing our work. Now more than ever, we as college and admission counselors need to build our awareness of and ability to confront conscious and unconscious biases across our field and in our roles. Explore the state of research on stress and biases, consider the impact of bias on our organizations, and build strategies to address bias on both sides of the desk.

Learning Objective:
Establish a shared understanding of bias.


College Essay Guy’s Counselor Resource Extravaganza

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM 

Take an interactive tour through a wide range of over 200 resources—don’t worry, we’ll take dance breaks—geared specifically to high school counselors. Topics covered will include tips for leading dynamic essay workshops; essential counseling resources for a new office; 50-plus resources for LGBTQ+ students; what/when/how to reach students more effectively via email; social media templates for hyping campus events; and the best darn financial aid guide you’ve ever seen.

Learning Objective:
Gain practical resources to use with students right away.


College Possible: Helping Foster Youth Access Higher Education

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM 

Youth in foster care are an overlooked student demographic in college readiness and access. Find out how to make college possible for this important group of students. Develop engaging strategies that speak to foster youth, foster parents, and caseworkers and learn how to identify resources and funding that make attending college a reality for youth.

Learning Objective:
Learn how recruiting foster youth aids in meeting DEI-related goals and objectives.


College Readiness Tools for Those Serving Students with Learning Differences

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

College counselors and educational consultants play an essential role in helping college-bound students who learn differently to successfully navigate the college search and application process. But increasingly, the path to college readiness for neurodiverse learners needs greater support than these professionals alone can provide. Explore a new model of collaboration supporting professionals who work with students with learning challenges and their families. Learn about new tools that showcase how those working with at-risk populations can increase student placement success through student- and family-centered relationships.

Learning Objective:
Familiarize yourself with tools to help you develop a deeper understanding of postsecondary variables to consider when working with students with learning differences and their families.


Counselor Tips and Tools for Helping Students Understand Financial Aid and the College Decision Process

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM 

Throughout the college admission process, counselors play a key role in helping students translate the language of financial aid. Learn and share specific ways to help students and families approach the issue of college affordability and understand their financial aid options as well as how to make the most of various tools and resources. Specific topics include net price calculators, the College Scorecard website, the FAFSA (including the mobile FAFSA app), uAspire's College Cost Calculator, steps after submitting the FAFSA (such as verification, reviewing financial aid offers, and common student loan questions), and more.

Learning Objective:
Gain helpful tools and resources to support students in their college selection and financial aid decisions.


Data is NOT a Four-Letter Word: Use It, Show Impact, and Excel

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM 

Become more comfortable with data as you learn how to analyze college-readiness indicators, including college and financial aid applications. Become familiar with research-based strategies to reach larger numbers of students while measuring the impact of your hard work. Learn how to construct a data-driven goal and the steps needed to create a collaborative action plan for improvement. Expand your counselor toolkit with case studies of successful practices.

Learning Objective:
Write a college-focused goal statement and assess your school/organization’s college-readiness indicators.


Decolonize Your College Admission Mind

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM 

Gain actionable ideas on how to refresh your college admission mindset via the lens of four island communities. In what ways do we unknowingly reinforce colonial hierarchies in our college admission practices? Let’s open a dialogue on how to build assets and strengths-based frameworks, especially with students from these island communities. Learn how to practice a strengths-based mindset and ways to infuse culturally responsive counseling, recruitment, and retention practices into your office. Lastly, learn why your students should consider the institutions of higher education on Guam, Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Learning Objective:
Gain firsthand knowledge of culturally responsive counseling, recruitment, and retention practices.


The Demographic Cliff: The Impact on Recruitment of Black Students

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM 

The national demand for four-year college-bound high school graduates is projected to drop by 5 percent from 2020 to 2030. This is a result of the decline in birth rates during the 2008 recession and financial crisis. While all institutions will have to reckon with this shift, Historically Black Colleges and Universities will have to respond uniquely as more resources are spent to recruit Black and ethnic minority students. Take a deep dive into what this data means and learn strategies to effectively target and recruit Black students.

Learning Objective:
Understand data on the demographic cliff.


Effective Student Support Services for Postsecondary Readiness

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM 

As students transition between grade levels and into postsecondary opportunities after graduation, it has become vital to provide comprehensive student support services to meet students’ academic, social/emotional, and physical needs. During the pandemic, student needs expanded to require purposeful wraparound services, increased family engagement, and innovative postsecondary readiness strategies. As a result, we implemented intentional student support services to address and support the whole student and family. Reflect on lessons learned during the pandemic, including the need to meet student and family needs differently to achieve increased student success and postsecondary readiness.

Learning Objective:
Explore effective wraparound services to meet students’ academic, social/emotional, and physical needs.


Engaging Younger Students for College Success

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM 

The current admission cycle typically begins in a student’s junior year. Underserved populations, however, may need an earlier jump-start to meet the same levels of readiness as their more privileged peers. Learn the importance of outreach during the ninth and 10th grade years and hear success stories from urban and rural settings. Explore the need for secondary and collegiate partnerships to make these early interactions possible.

Learning Objective:
Demonstrate the importance of early engagement in college and career exploration.


Ethical Implications of Holistic Admission: Doing the Right Thing

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM 

College admission is going through a period of profound change. Past practices that were widely accepted are being questioned with respect to equity, ethics, and fundamental fairness. As colleges gravitate toward holistic admission, including the elevation of character attributes, admission offices must address underlying ethical issues. Identify important ethical and philosophical issues, where ethical problems or dilemmas may occur, and implications for the future of college admission.

Learning Objective:
Internalize the idea that admission has ethical implications.


The Forgotten Applicant: International Students in US High Schools

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM 

Due to shifting trends as well as the pandemic, international students are joining high schools at different grade levels than in the past. How can counselors guide international students through the necessary application documents? Hear from counselors, universities, and an educational tech company on supporting international students in the US, particularly with English proficiency requirements and testing.

Learning Objective:
Learn strategies to support international students in US high schools.


The Future of ACT/SAT-Optional and Test-Blind/Score-Free Admission

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM 

More than 1,800 colleges and universities did not require applicants to submit ACT/SAT scores for fall 2022 admission. At least 1,650 schools have extended those policies through fall 2023 and, in many cases, years beyond. Why have so many schools dropped testing mandates and what are the initial impacts? How many of these policies will become permanent? What are the long-term implications for equity and inclusion? How will the college application process change for high school students and admission offices? Hear from leaders of major institutions that have adopted test-optional and test-blind policies.

Learning Objective:
Understand the current status of admission testing requirements.


The Future of Race-Conscious Admission: Update on the UNC and Harvard Cases

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM 

Hear an update on SFFA vs. University of North Carolina and other relevant cases. How did we get here and what are the prospects of race-conscious admission policies being overturned by the US Supreme Court? What steps are being taken in support of the use of race in admission decisions? What will be the impact of this decision on admission practices? Join us for a robust discussion (with more questions than answers).

Learning Objective:
Understand the context and issues in the US Supreme Court cases involving race-conscious admission.


Helping Transfers Cross the Bridge: Addressing and Destigmatizing University Affordability Concerns

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Understanding how to finance an education is a barrier that keeps many transfer students from finishing their degree. Beyond the need for financial aid literacy, differences in receiving institutions' processes and societal misconceptions of financial aid add additional barriers. Discuss how we can communicate and destigmatize financial aid through a critical race theory framework, review current financial literacy legislation, and examine research-based suggestions for receiving institutions on helping students understand their financing options. Share your own insights and hear tips and strategies from your colleagues and current transfer students.

Learning Objective:
Discuss how to use a framework of critical race theory in conversations of financial aid and financing education.


How to Level the Playing Field for First-Generation, Low-Income Students 

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM 

First-generation, low-income students face several barriers and equity issues when applying to and attending college. Examine data and evidence collected from literature, policies, and professional experiences to identify roadblocks and ways to make the admission and education process more equitable. Discuss the correlation between institutional DEI initiatives, student success, and satisfaction. Then explore the roles college counseling plays in diversifying the student body as well as ways counseling and admission can influence student body demographics.

Learning Objective:
Identify and recognize barriers that first-generation, low-income students and students of color face. Understand how removing these barriers provides a more equitable education process for all students.


In Defense of Boundaries

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM 

“Love what you do and never work a day in your life.” While a lovely sentiment, this adage can turn harmful–especially for those in “helper” professions like education–if not paired with carefully considered and firm boundaries. Join us for a conversation about boundaries: what they are, how to establish them, and why they are especially important coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear how developing these boundaries can influence institutional cultures that concurrently value high productivity and effectiveness with sustainability and balance, both for an organization and its personnel.

Learning Objective:
Gain the ability to articulate why professional boundaries promote resilience.


Increasing Refugee Access to Higher Education

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM 

Today, there are 84 million forcibly displaced persons across the world. Many are young people with dreams and aspirations. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, only 5 percent of refugee youth are enrolled in colleges or universities. Significant barriers—including lack of access to internet connectivity, standardized testing, travel documentation, information, and college counseling—prevent refugees from fulfilling their potential. Learn about the challenges refugees face and what we can do to make higher education more accessible to them. Help chart a better path forward for refugees across the world and for universities that stand to gain from their immense talents and skills.

Learning Objective:
Understand the challenges that refugees face in accessing higher education.


Inventing the Financial Aid Case Study

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM  

Examine aid awards and use resources to better understand the true cost of college. This is a hands-on session, so bring a laptop! All participants will walk away with modifiable tools they can use in their counseling offices.

Learning Objective:
Walk away with a better understanding of how EFC is determined and how colleges create financial aid awards.


Knowledge is Power: Data Literacy for College Counselors

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

In an era where it seems like there's access to more information than ever, how do college counselors parse through the noise to find reliable data sources, understand data sets, and convey information to students and parents? Learn about data sources in higher education, including IPEDS, Common Data Set, and College Scorecard and review how to gather and utilize data for use in college counseling. Walk away with recommendations to help you get started and stay up-to-date on the latest data trends in higher ed.

Learning Objective:
Become familiar with the most relevant data sets in higher education and how to find data specific to their students.


Managing the Physical and Mental Challenges of Admission: Ways to Stay Balanced in a Demanding Career

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Life can be very hectic on both sides of the desk. Discuss how to address common stressors and how to carve out time to achieve your own work-life balance. Get out of your seat to practice deep-breathing and stretching exercises that can help you with every situation—from long plane rides to sitting in front of your computer for extended periods. (Wear comfy and appropriate clothes!) The movements will be inclusive for all bodies and abilities. No matter what stage in your journey you are at, get on more friendly terms with your stress and learn ways to mitigate it.

Learning Objective:
Learn deep-breathing methods and stretching exercises to help manage stress and physical discomfort while in the office.


Navigating Identity Intersections Through Leadership and Growth Opportunities

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

A recent NACAC report, DEI Challenges in the College Admission Counseling Profession, highlights the underrepresentation of BIPOC professionals in leadership positions. Opportunities for growth and advancement often come when least expected and in places we do not anticipate. Successful transitions into these senior roles, especially for BIPOC professionals and those tied to traditionally underserved communities, can be inhibited by unfamiliar institutional contexts and limited access to mentorship. Hear testimonials and guidance on how to transition between academic settings, navigate new institutional contexts, and leverage key networks to promote sustainable success for those seeking leadership roles.

Learning Objective:
Learn how to leverage your personal identity in order to advance your professional goals.


A New Tool to Help Students with the Common App

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

As we strive to increase access for underserved students, we need to pay more attention to how the actual mechanics of applying for admission can be a barrier. Data from the Common Application suggest that students who use the platform tend to skew toward those with college-educated, wealthier parents. And additional data suggests that hundreds of thousands of students who create a Common App account never apply to a single member institution. Members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association recently partnered with professional instructional designers from Oregon State University’s award-winning Ecampus to create a free Common App Companion video series to walk students through the process from start to finish. Come see how the tool works and brainstorm ways the Companion can serve students most in need of college admission guidance.

Learning Objective:
Learn about a new tool to assist first-generation students.


The Pontem Path: College Readiness for First-Generation College Students

Saturday, September 24, 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Learn about the Pontem Path, a successful model that has helped create a pathway to college for student participants in San Diego, California. The Pontem Path is built upon a foundation of connectedness and education. Student participants leverage relationships with program counselors and take part in a series of workshops to help gain a better understanding of the skills necessary to obtain acceptance to and success in college. In addition, the program’s partnership with the University of San Diego allows students to access resources available at the institution and eliminates existing barriers of entry.

Learning Objective:
Learn about a successful bridge program for first-generation college students.


Prospective Family Engagement: A Path to Equity Through Access to Information

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Using data from a 2022 study conducted in collaboration with 30 institutions from across the US, learn strategies to ensure better and more equitable access to college information for all students. The study includes data collected from more than 6,000 families of prospective college students at an array of private, public, and two-year institutions. Delve into data points that highlight how communication preferences (both in channel and frequency) are tied to income and family college experience (first-generation status)—and learn how these variations can result in a lack of equity in access to key college planning information.

Learning Objective:
Learn how equity in access to college information is key to equity in access to higher education.


Proud to be First: Tools and Strategies to Empower First-Generation Families

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM 

\We all work with students who are first: first to attend college (or first to attend college in the United States), first to attend an independent school, first to consider colleges that their families have never heard of or never imagined would be possible. How and when do we engage with populations who are first? And how do we instill a sense of pride to be first, whatever first might be? Learn specific techniques to engage with first-generation families. Topics will include understanding the emotions of first-generation students and families, parent weekend programming, exposure opportunities, faculty support, and community-based organization collaboration. In a constantly evolving admission landscape, the techniques we utilize as professionals must cater to the specific needs of our families. Further your understanding of how it feels to be “first-gen” and take away shareable resources to help you serve students and families.

Learning Objective:
Develop a more nuanced understanding of first-generation students and families.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness: What's New

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM 

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program has implemented temporary changes in recent months, making this the perfect time to refresh your knowledge of the program and find out what’s new. Learn about the PSLF—what it is, eligible borrowers, eligible loans, eligible payments, how to keep on track, how to apply for forgiveness, and where to get information to share with your students. Then delve into PSLF reconsideration, through which borrowers can request reconsideration of qualifying employment or payment determinations. You’ll also learn about the limited PSLF waiver, which allows borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment on certain loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF.

Learning Objective:
Understand how the PSLF program works.


Quick, Easy, and Actionable College Essay Feedback: Less Frustration. More Focus. Better Essays!

Thursday, September 22, 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM 

How much time do you spend reviewing college essays? Are your students taking full advantage of your feedback? Giving feedback to students on college essays can be time-consuming and a bit of a mystery. How much or little to offer? Will it make sense to them, and will they know what to do with it? Explore a diagnostic and feedback approach built on a framework professional writers use to communicate clearly and intentionally. You'll leave with printed and online resources to share with students, parents, teachers, and colleagues.

Learning Objective:
Develop a context in which to give feedback on essays.


Racism is (Also) Resilient: How White Supremacy Persists in Equitable Admission

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM 

Resilience is not exclusive to the forces of good in the universe. Racism is also resilient. Enter a dialogue with colleagues as panelists pose thought-provoking questions about how white supremacy is still present in our equitable admission practices. This session is not designed to be instructive; rather, it is intended to raise uncomfortable questions for admission practitioners to ask themselves as we dismantle racism and white supremacy in college admission.

Learning Objective:
Identify and acknowledge white supremacy in the college admission process.


The Real Scoop on Paying for College: Students’ and Families’ Expectations vs. Reality

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM 

While most families agree that college is an investment in their student’s future, many are confused and stressed about paying for that education. Learn what college-bound high school families know and expect when it comes to paying for college, and how that compares to the realities experienced by currently enrolled undergraduates. Then investigate how families’ understanding of available funding sources, attitudes, and behaviors change as they progress on their higher education journey. Gain insights from two new research studies by Sallie Mae and Ipsos, College Confidence: What America Knows About Paying for College and How America Pays for College 2022. Take away tips and best practices to help your students successfully plan to pay for college.

Learning Objective:
Learn what the families of college-bound high school students know about paying for college.


Started from the Bottom, Now We're Here: Maintaining Resilience During Organizational Change

Friday, September 23, 11:45 AM - 12: 15 PM 

In his 2013 hit, Started from the Bottom, hip hop artist Drake recounts his journey from humble beginnings and his meteoric rise to fame. In a similar vein, learn about the many challenges faced by one team as they attempted to rebuild a dormant alumni advising program. Hear their story and examine ways alumni advising can remain steadfast amid organizational change. Discuss major accomplishments, opportunities for future growth, and how other high school and college preparatory professionals focused on alumni advising can start from the bottom and work up to the top.

Learning Objective:
Understand best practices for alumni advising within the context of a college preparatory school that serves low-income, first-generation students.


Steps to Flourishing: Using Lived Experiences to Inform Programming for Former Foster Youth

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM  

Only 50 percent of youth served by the foster care system graduate from high school; 3 percent earn a college degree. What are the most common barriers to matriculation and eventual graduation? Despite previous programs and efforts, the college graduation rates are not improving as hoped. Hear how one child welfare agency is connecting with former foster youth and making changes in career and college exploration based on students’ lived experiences. Then learn how a community college has created spaces to provide students with wraparound services and options that empower them to persevere and work toward personal independence and educational success. Both programs are meeting students where they are and reducing barriers to career success and degree completion.

Learning Objective:
Increase your knowledge of the statistics surrounding former foster youth and postsecondary educational success.


Tangible Ways to Counteract Bias in the College Admission Process

Thursday, September 22, 7:15 AM - 10:15 AM  

Understanding that we are all biased beings lays the foundation for deeper conversations about equity and inclusion. This foundational session offers crucial understandings about what we see, what we don’t, and how our brains contribute to stereotyping. Consider how bias fuels systemic inequity, then learn and practice concrete strategies to mitigate your own biases as you advise students in the admission process.

Learning Objective:
Understand the difference between implicit and explicit bias.


Transforming Admission to Expand Opportunity for Underserved Students

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM 

Expanding access requires not only lowering complex logistical, financial, and systemic barriers, but a revolutionary shift in the admission process altogether. What if we could develop a more equitable system from the ground up? What if we could create a system that does a better job of helping students match with and enroll at colleges and helps colleges recruit a new set of students? This past fall, a pilot project called Greenlight Match (which included 25 CBOs/schools and 10 institutions) increased college access for first-gen and lower-income students by flipping the script on traditional college admission. Could this be the future of more equitable, accessible, and inclusive admission?

Learning Objective:
Understand the challenges first-generation, lower-income students face in the current college application process.


Tuition Pricing and Discounting Through and Beyond COVID-19

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM 

Gain insight into tuition discounting, tuition resets, and other pricing strategies that took place leading up to and during the COVID-19 crisis, then explore the outlook for these strategies as institutions move beyond the pandemic. Discuss the various institutional reasons for and outcomes related to discounting and resets and examine doctoral research findings. Hear how institutions’ pricing and discounting structures are changing in light of COVID-19 and how the higher education business model may shift as a result.

Learning Objective:
Understand the landscape of price sensitivity and elasticity and how each impacts enrollment and revenue. Use the data to make decisions regarding pricing and discounting.


Using Data to Improve College Readiness

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:00 AM 

Discuss best practices to utilize, disaggregate, and apply data to improve college readiness with indicators such enrollment in honors, Advanced Placement, and dual-credit courses; SAT/ACT scores; and career and technical education certifications/licensures. Learn how to encourage rigor and readiness by harnessing the power of your student information system to collect data and systematically target students "on the bubble."

Learning Objective:
Identify types of data to collect to improve college readiness.


What's New in FAFSA World?

Friday, September 23, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM 

The FAFSA Simplification Act and FUTURE Act require a number of changes to the FAFSA form and aid eligibility calculation. Review the basics and take a big-picture look at the changes. See what’s already been implemented, preview of what’s coming soon, and learn what will be finalized for the 2024-25 application cycle. Discover reliable sources for updates, further information, and student and parent outreach.

Learning Objective:
Familiarize yourself with features of the FAFSA Simplification Act and features of the FUTURE Act that are already or about to be in place.


“Why Us?”: What Colleges are Looking for in Supplemental Essays and What Students Reveal About Themselves

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM 

Character plays a prominent role in holistic admission, with many colleges asking increasingly nuanced supplemental essay questions. This opportunity for students to elaborate on their personal qualities can also add stress to the application process. “Why Us?” essays, among other related questions, ask students to showcase their understanding of a school, demonstrate their fit, and reflect on their personal values. Listen in as admission officers and counselors discuss why colleges ask these questions, the importance of answering them thoughtfully, the role of purposeful college research, and best practices for an effective approach to supplemental essays.

Learning Objective:
Understand why colleges ask supplemental essay questions and the critical role they play in the admission decision-making process.


 

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