1. Summer Application In early August, prior to the start of the school year, Paul, one of your rising seniors, emails you and requests that you help him process his application. He needs a counselor letter and a transcript. He indicates that the college requested that he submit this information as early as possible so he will not miss out on opportunities.
NACAC SPGP (mandatory practices) II B 12 – “Postsecondary members agree they will not establish any application deadlines for first-year candidates for fall admission prior to October 15 and will give equal consideration to all applications received by that date.”
2. Financial Need Kristina, one of your juniors, has been a successful student and has aspirations to pursue the field of education. She would be a first generation college student and her parents would rather she just find a job and not go into debt over college. She is discouraged and believes that she will not be able to afford college. She is Pell eligible.
NACAC SPGP (interpretation) II 1 d – “All postsecondary members agree that they will provide students, families and secondary schools with the most comprehensive information about costs of attendance and opportunities for all types of financial aid, and state the specific relationship between and among admission and financial aid practices and policies.”
3. Parent Pressure Samuel’s parents both graduated from a prestigious college and they would for him to follow suit. He is interested in some well established business programs at large public universities. His parents are “encouraging” him to major in economics at their alma mater. His academic credentials are in the lower range of students typically accepted to his parents’ college. He is torn and seeks your support.
NACAC SPGP (best practices) II B 5 - “Counseling members should urge students to understand and discharge their responsibilities in the admission process in a timely manner.” II B 7 – “Counseling members should encourage students to be the sole authors of their application and essays and counsel against inappropriate assistance on the parts of others.”
4. Mental Disability James has an anxiety disorder, which at times has been debilitating. Through medication, therapy, and support at school he has learned to cope with his OCD. As James’ mental health improved, so did his grades. He is reticient to share this information with colleges through the application process. He seeks your advice.
NACAC SPGP (Mandatory Practices) I A 4 – “Members agree that they will be responsible for compliance with applicable laws and regulations with respect to the students’ rights to privacy.”
5. Disciplinary Infraction Myra was suspended from school following a disciplinary infraction tha occurred at a school activity. She does not want to share this information on her college application that asks her to divulge any disciplinary action. She asks you what she should do.
NACAC SPGP III A 8 – “Counseling members should report an significant change in a candidate’s academic status or qualifications, including personal school conduct record between the time of recommendation and graduation, where permitted by applicable law” (best practices) III A 9 – “Counseling members should establish a written policy on disclosure of disciplinary infractions in their communications to colleges” (best practices) I A 4 - “Members agree that they will be responsible for compliance with applicable laws and regulations with respect to the students’ rights to privacy.” (mandatory practices)
6. Early Decision Brian is highly interested in three colleges. one of which offers Early Decision. You discussed binding agreement and ED with Brian and his family. Brian ultimately decides to apply ED but you later learn he was compelled to do this by his parents to help him “game” the system. Brian is accepted to his top three schools and informs you that he will not attend the ED college.
NACAC SPGP (interpretation) Early Decision (ED) – “Is the application process in which students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll.”
7. Deposit Whitney cannot decide between two colleges that have offered her admission. May 1st is looming and her deposit is due. Whitney informs you that she is going to send a deposit to both institutions and asks if there are any problems with this decision.
NACAC SPGP (best practices) III A 14 – “Counseling members should counsel students not to submit more than one admission deposit, which indicates their intent to enroll in more than one institution.”
8. Uninformed Student Randy has weak curriculum, poor grades, and low test scores. He asks you to “sign him up for college”. He also wants some scholarships to help pay for school.
NACAC SPGP (best practices) III A 1 - “Counseling members should provide a program of counseling that introduces a broad range of postsecondary opportunities to students.”
Other Issues… Change in classes reporting to colleges Cheating on the SAT/ACT Parents writing student essays