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Changes to College Admissions Rules May Not all be Positive

At the September meeting of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), changes were made to the ethical guidelines that colleges have to adhere to when admitting students.  These changes went into effect at the end of September of this year and may impact your child’s admission experience.

Emery Riddle University

  The changes include:

  1. For years colleges have agreed to a universal response date by which students would commit to a college for the fall. Colleges had agreed to rules that prohibited them from trying to “poach” a student who had made a commitment elsewhere.  Meaning, colleges would not pursue a student who committed to attend elsewhere, including prohibiting incentives to change their mind (like a last- minute bump in financial aid).The Justice Department believed this agreement constituted collusion among the colleges, and reached an agreement to end this rule.  So, what will happen?  We really don’t know.  Most organizations, like the National Association for College Admission Counseling and IECA believe most colleges will voluntarily keep to this rule.  Yet we know that any college that fails to achieve enrollment numbers may feel compelled to recruit past a student’s personal decision or beyond the May 1 date.2. The second area that the Justice Department changed was in recruiting students applying under a binding “Early Decision”(ED) process (typically a November-to-January application period).  The rule had been that colleges would not use special incentives to entice students to apply early and commit, as this was binding legal agreement.   For example, colleges were precluded from using special Early Decision scholarships, or early decision priority for dorms or classes.

    These rules too are now gone.  Colleges may begin to offer incentives to apply under a binding ED. While it may be too late to see such activity this year, it could happen.  Early Decision is a serious commitment and as such,a decision should be done with thoughtful and careful planning with an Independent Educational Consultant when there is a clear first choice... not merely because an incentive is put on the table.

If you have questions about the rule changes, or other aspects of the college admissions process,

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