Tuesday, January 17, 2017

December PCACAC Case Study with the Winning Submission!

This is a follow-up to the PCACAC December Case. As you may remember, we hosted a competition to solicit replies concerning the following case. Below, please find the case, the winning submission and additional discussion. Watch for the January Case by the end of the month.

Just a reminder, as part of the PCACAC AP Committee’s desire to proactively discuss ethics, we will be sending out monthly “case studies.” In these cases, we offer a situation and discuss whether the issue is in compliance with NACAC’s Statement of Principles of Good Practices (SPGP). This month’s case was submitted by Casey Zimmer, a member of the PCACAC AP Committee as well as Director of College Counseling of Samford School (DE). If you have a question about a situation or SPGP, please contact a member of the AP Committee.

December Case: Charlie, the College Counselor for his school, was quite happy for his student, Schroeder, when Schroeder happily walked into Charlie’s office on December 15th to share the news – he’d been admitted to Peanuts U Early Decision! Schroeder had also been responsible in keeping his options open, and he had already submitted several other applications Regular Decision.  Charlie felt that Schroeder had played his cards pretty well, getting his applications out of the way while making a prudent decision to apply ED to his first-choice school, Peanuts. He reminded Schroeder that he was supposed to withdraw his other applications, and Schroeder went on his way to play the piano for the school’s holiday concert.

One day in late February, Schroeder came into Charlie’s office and asked him, “So Mr. Brown, have you sent my mid-year reports to my other colleges yet?” Alarm bells went off in Charlie’s mind. Schroeder shouldn’t be worried about his other applications or mid-year reports! He sat Schroeder down for a talk, and found out the scoop. The Financial Aid Award presented by Peanuts to Schroeder and his family was way off what the family thought it could afford to pay for Peanuts.
Schroeder had not officially withdrawn his other applications after he had been admitted to Peanuts, because they had not yet received a Financial Aid package. Once they did receive it in late January, the family quickly started filing appeals with Peanuts – and Schroeder started to get concerned about keeping his other options open – hence his question about his mid-year reports. Schroeder was unsure when they would get a final decision from Peanuts.

To complicate matters, Schroeder proceeds to ask him to send materials to two new schools not previously on his list.
What should Charlie do? What are the ethical issues?

Winning Submission: We would like to thank the numerous professionals from around the country, particularly the numerous members of Illinois ACAC, who took the time to think about and submit an entry to the December Case. The response was enthusiastic and the PCACAC AP Committee had a tough time picking a winner.  In the end, the following write up submitted by Samantha Schneider on behalf of the Towson University of Admission Office was selected:

“SPGP defines Early Decision (ED) as the application process in which students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll. While pursuing admission under an Early Decision plan, students may apply to other institutions, but may have only one Early Decision application pending at any time. Should a student who applies for financial aid not be offered an award that makes attendance possible, the student may decline the offer of admission and be released from the Early Decision commitment. The institution must notify the applicant of the decision within a reasonable and clearly stated period of time after the Early Decision deadline. Usually, a nonrefundable deposit must be made well in advance of May 1. The institution will respond to an application for financial aid at or near the time of an offer of admission.
We felt it was within the student’s right to re-consider the binding agreement if they are no longer able to afford the cost of attendance. Charlie is burdened with #1 of the member conventions: protecting the best interests of all students a primary concern in the admission process.  It didn’t seem like Charlie or the Schroeder family could foresee how far off the financial aid package for Peanut U was during the process but what type of financial research did the student complete before applying? Is there any documentation from the school indicating that they could promise a certain amount of aid (merit or need?). This may also fall back to the net-price calculator if scholarship calculations are included. From the school’s perspective, what language do they include on the website about the procedure for an ED student to question their financial aid? Must it be done by a certain date? The counselor is certainly in a tough spot, but it seems that he might have followed up with Charlie about his notifications or had a conversation with the ED institution and the student jointly. We would want Charlie to speak with the ED school before doing anything more with the other applications in question.”

Further Discussion: Since this case was posted in mid-December, there has been an active and lively related discussion on the NACAC Exchange. The AP Committee has been enthused to see the timeliness of the case; the responses that we have received, as well as the opinions on the NACAC Exchange,  demonstrate this issue is relevant and murky. In reading the various thoughts on this topic, we see multiple viewpoints and considerations ranging from college (from the ED college and others involved), student-counseling (high school, CBO or independent professional) and student/family perspectives. For example, some of the issues that affect each viewpoint include:
-          How does the acceleration of the application process (application creep) effect Early Decision? Is ED really early anymore? 
-          How does the advent of Estimated Cost Calculators effect this process? Do they provide enough accurate information ahead of time for families? What is a fair timeline for an ED college to get a package to a student?
-          With the FAFSA process opening in October, will more colleges package earlier? Will this effect students’ interpretation of “affordable”? How is “affordable” defined given differential packaging and tuition discounting?
-          What is the role of the counselor when this becomes messy? Gatekeeper not allowing more applications, student advocate or combination? 
-          How do other (non-ED) colleges react to a student withdrawing from an ED commitment? 
 __________________________________________________________________________________
If you wish to file a complaint, please complete a NACAC Confidential Complaint form. All personal information will be kept confidential, but the information will be forwarded to the appropriate affiliate AP Committee. This committee will follow up on the issue. 
Want to review previous case studies? 
View all of the Admissions Practices Case Studies on The Anchor here.
Want to submit a case for consideration? Please e-mail the PCACAC AP Committee Chair at jtalmage@stpaulsschool.org


Do you know someone exceptional in the field of college counseling and admissions?

Dear Colleague,

What better time than now to consider how you can help others! The Marion Flagg Scholarship Program gives you the perfect opportunity to provide support to colleagues and friends in the field of college counseling and admissions. If you nominate yourself, you will gain experience that enables you to help your students even more!
Named for one of PCACAC's most outstanding members, the Marion Flagg Scholarship is awarded annually to a group of exceptional educational professionals who are not currently members of PCACAC and who have not previously attended a PCACAC conference. This scholarship specifically targets counselors who work with historically underserved students, minority students or students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each awarded scholarship includes one year of free membership in PCACAC, one 2017 Annual Spring Conference registration, hotel lodging (two nights, double occupancy), and transportation. Scholarship recipients will be asked to confirm their attendance at the conference if selected.  Before submitting a nomination, please ensure the nominee is willing and able to attend the program if selected.
The deadline to 
SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION is February 6, 2017.
Thank you for supporting this professional development opportunity for admission professionals like yourself!

Sincerely,
Rachel Cleaver
Marion Flagg Program Chair

QUESTIONS? We're happy to help!
Marion Flagg Scholarship Program Chair: Rachel Cleaver, rcleave2@gmu.edu PCACAC Executive Office: Annie Hilten, Executive Assistant, info@pcacac.org434-989-7557

Thursday, January 12, 2017

PCACAC Can Advertise Your Spring College Fair/College Night!

Planning a college fair in the spring?  Let us advertise your college fair and help you maximize the turn-out of college representatives!

PCACAC is pleased to announce that it is time again to submit YOUR College Fair/College Night information for inclusion in our seasonal recruitment activity listings.  College representatives remain eager to have this information as they finalize their fall travel around the anticipated College Fair/College Night Schedule for our region.  It's easy to submit your information via our online College Fair/College Night Participation Form.  Help us to help you reach the largest potential audience for attendance at your College Fair/College Night.

PCACAC membership is not required to submit your college fair information. However, accessing the College Fair/College Night Fall Schedule is a member benefit.  If you are not currently a member and would like to enjoy the benefits membership has to offer, please visit the Membership Information section on our Home page at www.pcacac.org and click on Join or Renew.  

The final deadline to submit your information is Monday, February 20, 2017. A preliminary schedule will be released to members on January 16 with a final release on February 27.  If you need assistance or have questions, please email me at the address below or contact PCACAC Executive Assistant, Annie Hilten, info@pcacac.org434-989-7557We look forward to advertising your college fair!

Best Wishes,

James B. Massey, Jr.
PCACAC College Fair/College Night Committee Chair
Sr. Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
jbmassey@umd.eduP:  301-314-8385

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Recognize a Deserving Colleague-Blackburn Award Nominations Close Soon!

Dear Colleague,

The PCACAC Past Presidents Committee invites you to submit your nomination for a deserving candidate for the John A. "Jack" Blackburn Award for Ethics in College Admission.  This award will be presented at PCACAC's 52nd Annual Spring ConferenceApril 23-25, 2017 at The Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA.  Nominations close on February 6, 2017 and will be reviewed by the selection committee after that date.  You will be notified prior to the conference if your nominee is selected.

The Blackburn Award was established by the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC) in 2010 to honor the late Jack Blackburn, long-time Dean of Admission at the University of Virginia. Throughout his career, Jack served as an admirable role model promoting the highest ethical standards, integrity in our profession and equity in access to higher education. This award recognizes a member of our profession who exemplifies the qualities that made Jack Blackburn revered by his peers.

Criteria used for selection are:
  • Commitment to the high ethical standards of college admission through sustained active involvement in the profession;
  • Dedication to promoting equal access to higher education for all students.
Membership in PCACAC is not a criterion for selection but consideration will be given to professionals in the PCACAC region.
If you would like to sponsor this award or another program at our 52nd Annual Spring Conference, please access the Conference Sponsorship and Contribution Form at www.pcacac.org/conferences.
Thank you for helping us recognize those who make a difference!
Sincerely,
Mike Carter                  
PCACAC Past Presidents Committee


Questions?  We're happy to help...
Please contact Mike Carter, Past Presidents Committee Chair, mcarter@sssas.org, or Annie Hilten, PCACAC Executive Assistant, info@pcacac.org434-989-7557.

Student Support Grant Applications Are Now Being Accepted!



Dear Colleague,

As the new year begins, give some thought to an important event or project that you'd like to help make happen in 2017 with help from PCACAC's Student Support Grant (SSG).  If you have a great idea to help your students in the college process, but don't have the funds to carry it out, or know of a community program that needs funding to deliver college counseling programming, we can help!
PCACAC is now accepting applications for the Student Support Grant, designed to reimburse counseling professionals in their development and implementation of programs that directly benefit students. We may be able to help fund the program you have been dreaming about! For 2017, one $400 grant will be awarded. 

Who may apply? 
PCACAC members may apply for a Student Support Grant for their own student program or they may wish to nominate a community member whose volunteer work nurtures college readiness.  For detailed information about the selection criteria and application process, please review the Student Support Grant (SSG) guidelines.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2017. Grant applications will be reviewed by the SSG Program Committee and the selected recipient (and their nominator, if applicable) will be notified by March 10, 2017.  An award certificate will be presented to the recipient at PCACAC's 52nd Annual Conference, April 23-25, 2017.

Please contact me with any questions at info@pcacac.org.

Best regards,
Lucy Neale Duke
Student Support Grant Chairperson 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Yes, we're still celebrating!

Dear Colleague,
The holidays may be behind us, but we continue to celebrate all of our members and look forward to time with you at our 52nd Annual Conference at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA on April 23-25.

We invite you to partner with us in support of the PCACAC mission: To support and advance college admission professionals as they guide their institutions, students, and families in an ethical manner.  Here's how you can help:

SPONSORING, EXHIBITING AND ADVERTISING
Our sponsoring partners, exhibitors and advertisers earn a variety of benefits! Whether you choose to help fund programs like the Marion Flagg Scholarship Program, support a local counselor, partner with us through a designated gift or undesignated monetary donation, join us as an exhibitor, or simply advertise in our Conference Program and Mobile Application, we want to thank you for making a difference and helping us bring together admission and counseling professionals like yourself.  Please visit 52nd Annual Conference  to download the 2017 Conference Prospectus and access to the following forms:
  • Sponsorship and Contribution Form
  • Local Counselor Sponsorship Form
  • Exhibitor Registration and Program Advertisement Form
Colleges - If you are interested in registering as an exhibitor for the Counselors College Fair on Monday, April 24, from 5:00 - 6:00 pm, you may do so when Conference registration opens later in January.  Stay tuned for more information on registration!
 
HOTEL RESERVATIONS
Call the hotel directly at 1-800-832-5665 to make your room reservations (be sure to ask for the PCACAC Conference rates).  Guestrooms start at $139/night and special PCACAC rates are only guaranteed through April 8, 2017, so be sure to book soon!  Each guest will be charged the first night's room and current tax as of the reservation (currently 6% State Sales Tax, 5% Local Sales Tax and $2 per room night Occupancy tax).  If booking for several people within your institution/organization, please only book rooms for individuals who you know are attending the conference. 
Early arrivals are welcome!  The room rates for the PCACAC Conference are applicable three (3) days prior and (3) days after the scheduled program dates (based on availability).  

We look forward to seeing you there!
QUESTIONS? We're happy to help!
Sponsorship Co-Chairs:  Ashley Woodard, awoodard@umw.eduKatie McEnroe, Katie.McEnroe@holton-arms.edu
Exhibit Co-Chairs:  Carolyn Doylecdoyle@archmereacademy.com, Rachel Wyant,rwyant@smsapps.org
General Conference Information: Rosemary Martin, Conference Chair, rmarti2@umd.edu
Registration: Annie Hilten, PCACAC Executive Assistant, info@pcacac.org434-989-7557

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Sponsor, Exhibit and Advertise with PCACAC for the Annual Conference

Dear Colleague,
It's hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us!  As we continue celebrating all of our members, we are reminded of the PCACAC mission:  To support and advance college admission professionals as they guide their institutions, students, and families in an ethical manner.  To this end, we invite you to partner with us for our 52nd Annual Conference, to be held at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA from April 23 - 25, 2017.

SPONSORING, EXHIBITING AND ADVERTISING
Our sponsoring partners, exhibitors and advertisers earn a variety of benefits! Whether you choose to help fund programs like the Marion Flagg Scholarship Program, support a local counselor, partner with us through a designated gift or undesignated monetary donation, join us as an exhibitor, or simply advertise in our Conference Program and Mobile Application, we want to thank you for making a difference and helping us bring together admission and counseling professionals like yourself.  Please visit www.pcacac.org/conferences to download the 2017 Conference Prospectus and access to the following forms:
  • Sponsorship and Contribution Form
  • Local Counselor Sponsorship Form
  • Exhibitor Registration and Program Advertisement Form
If you are interested in registering as an exhibitor for the Counselors College Fair on Monday, April 24, from 5:00 - 6:00 pm, you may do so when Conference registration opens in January 2017.  Stay tuned for more information on registration!
QUESTIONS? We're happy to help!
 
Visit the PCACAC Conference Page: www.pcacac.org/conferences
Sponsorship CoChairs:  Ashley Woodard, awoodard@umw.edu, Katie McEnroe, Katie.McEnroe@holton-arms.edu
Exhibit CoChairs: Carolyn Doyle, cdoyle@archmereacademy.com, Rachel Wyant, rwyant@smsapps.org
General Conference Information: Rosemary Martin, Conference Chair, rmarti2@umd.edu
Registration and Forms: Annie Hilten, PCACAC Executive Assistant, info@pcacac.org434-989-7557