Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Get the Real Story on College Admission This Year in Seattle

It’s that time of year—education reporters across the country are writing about college admission. Themes that have dominated the press coverage include “uncertainty,” “chaos,” and “competition.” While there is no disputing that college admission continues to produce anxiety, it’s important to see the full picture. The NACAC Conference is the place where you can get the birds-eye view on this process.

There are two things I like most about the NACAC Conference in this regard. First, the conference allows us to share our research on college admission, talk about what it means, and learn how to improve it. The nuances of the admission process as it spans the thousands of institutions in the United States are often lost in the trimmed-down format of the national media.

For instance, I always get approving nods from session attendees when we talk about the fact that the average acceptance rate for four year colleges and universities remains at around 70 percent, nearly identical to the average acceptance rate in the 1980s. Not something you see in stories about historically low acceptance rates at some of our colleges and universities.
Second, I always benefit from the ideas, information, and advice that I receive from people I meet at the conference. Some of our most interesting work stems from conversations I have had with members at the conference—core elements of the NACAC State of College Admission report, NACAC’s scholarship scam prevention efforts, and NACAC’s DREAM Act advocacy are just a few examples.

As someone who works for you, I am looking forward to the opportunity to listen and learn from the people who know this story better than anyone. I’ve also never been to Seattle, so I’m excited about seeing new places and familiar faces.

Hope to see you there!

David Hawkins
Director of Public Policy and Research