Elon Academy Students Visit Washington, DC

July 3, 2014
Kennedy Center 1.jpg
Carrie Warick, Director of Partnerships and Policy

Last week, my colleague, Amina Anderson Pringle, and I had the opportunity to meet with ten students from the Elon Academy, a college access program and NCAN member in Alamance County, North Carolina. These dedicated young students are spending a week in Washington, DC, this summer to learn more about our government and the many national organizations based in Washington, DC, that are working in higher education.

As part of our time together, we shared with NCAN’s work in general, and the areas including financial aid and consumer information that we focus on when advocating with Congress. But we spent the majority of the time learning from these students about their college students and their recommendations for how to help other students.  The students reviewed theCollege Navigator and College Scorecard. They found the Navigator overwhelming, but liked the Scorecard format. Though they didn’t think the Scorecard had enough information. When asked what information they seek out when they learn about a college, they created this list, in this order (though not necessarily order of importance): major availability, ACT/SAT scores, location, student activities/clubs, scholarships (especially “full rides”), class size, faculty to student ratio, cost, percentage who graduate, percentage who get jobs, and the size of the college.

While we know that these students will learn much on their trip the nation’s capital, Amina and I also learned from them about how students approach college search today and what their ideal college search tool looked like. But the most telling part was that after the listed the tools they most often use (College Board and the College Foundation of North Carolina), the students credited their advisors with sharing this information with them. While an online tool is a great resource and good ones should be available for all types of students, it was again clear to us why the role of advisors in guiding students to resources and helping the students to use them is so important.







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