Last week the College Board hosted its premiere annual conference, the College Board Forum 2011, in New York City. Here’s how the NYT‘s blog on college admissions, the Choice, described it, “The forum, which brings together college counselors and education professionals from across the country, will feature informational sessions on topics ranging from merit-aid negotiation and private scholarship selection to campus safety.”
Both The Choice and Head Count, an admissions blog published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, posted a series of reports from the Forum. I’ll provide links below to the series so you, too, can listen in on what educators were talking about at the conference.
Wondering why this might be of interest?
- Any family with students heading to college will encounter multiple points of contact with the College Board: PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject tests, AP courses and exams, and the Profile for financial aid.
- Besides the multiple contact points, this family, at least, will have a long-standing relationship with the College Board. Mod Squad Pete took his first PSAT in 2009. If Mod Squad Linc goes to college straight from high school and finishes his degree in four years, his last Profile would be completed in 2020.
- Many of the posts provide an overview of the program and responses or questions from those attending. That, combined with on-line comments, gives us a interesting view of current discussions in admissions and counseling.
- Finally, while the College Board is a non-profit organization, it is also a very large business generating millions of dollars in revenue and impacting millions of students’ lives. Any change the Board might consider — in testing formats, AP curriculum, Profile demands for information — has the potential to affect us all: students, parents, teachers, counselors, and more.
Here are a couple of clips:
For instance, we already know that students with higher ACT scores yield at lower rates than students with lower ACT scores because multiple schools compete to get these top students. But we’re still learning how the increasing the diversity of our applicant pool —through ethnic diversity, socioeconomic factors or life circumstances—will impact our yield rates.
The two also suggested that colleges collaborate to standardize admissions due dates and practices, eliminating the patchwork of early and regular application deadlines.
“Similar to the idea of having a nutrition label on food, that’s what we want to achieve for college,” said Mr. Thacker.
An audience member spoke up in response with a hypothetical version of one such label. “Warning: Fafsa application may be bad for your health?”
- SAT Officials Vow Tighter Test Security After Arrests (nytimes.com)
- College Costs Outpace Inflation, Report (huffingtonpost.com)