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Weekly College Admissions News Roundup, Aug. 10-14

Fri, Aug 14, 2015 @ 10:14 AM

College Admissions NewsFAFSA Will No Longer Show Colleges Where Else Students Are Applying, Higher Education Hot Topic For Presidential Candidates

From FAFSA changes to new college affordability plans, there was a lot going on in higher education news this week.
 
For families, staying informed is extremely important when applying to college as certain developments can affect students’ application strategies. At IvyWise, we try to make the college admissions process as smooth as possible, by bringing you the latest in higher ed and college admissions news every week.
 
Here are some of the top stories in higher education news from this past week:
  1. It was announced this week that the US Department of Education will no longer provide colleges with the entire list of schools that a student submits when filling out the FAFSA, which is used to help determine financial aid for applicants. This is a big step, as this information could previously be used to determine how likely a student is to enroll if admitted – something that could be used against certain applicants a college feel might not matriculate if they get in. This comes after much backlash when the Common Application announced earlier this year that it would give member colleges the option to ask students where else they were applying to college this year. This information could also be used against applicants in the same fashion as the FAFSA list, and many professionals, including NACAC, strongly encouraged colleges not to use it. So far, no major colleges are using this question on the Common Application.
  2. We’re more than a year out from the next presidential election, but candidates are already on the campaign trail, with higher education as a hot topic that many voters are looking for presidential hopefuls to address. This week, Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, announced a $350 billion, 10-year plan to make college more affordable. This plan would require public, four-year colleges to guarantee no-loan tuition for in-state students, and free tuition at community colleges, in exchange for federal grant money that’s gifted to the state. “States will distribute funds only to colleges and universities that demonstrate that they can meet these guarantees by lowering the cost of college on their campuses, ensuring that all funds received will be applied to instruction and learning, and improving the prospects for completion.”
  3. Bad news for some New York students – they’re having to retake the ACT after some tests were lost.
  4. A new college admissions video platform called Kira Academic, which aims to help colleges add another dimension to the holistic admissions process, is trying to shake up the college application process. It already has support from Yale, Notre Dame, and Cambridge. Read more about it here.
  5. Many parents and students are planning college visits this fall, but families should be aware of costs that can add up. Dr. Kat spoke with The Financial Times and gave some tips on how families can save a little money when touring colleges this semester.
  6. Costs in college can also add up, too. Here are some tips on how to save money on campus this year.
  7. Could certain keywords in your college essays help you get into the college of your dreams? Probably not, but it is interesting to see how the prevalence of certain words in successful essays speaks to some colleges’ values and culture.
What do you think of the FAFSA change? Do you think more candidates will propose college affordability plans? Tell us in the comments below!
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