James Montoya, the College Board’s vice president for Relationship Development, talked about a recent Asia Society conference, New Skills for a Global Innovation Society: Asia Pacific Leaders Forum on Secondary Education, in New Delhi, India, in which the College Board participated. “India is at a special place in its history, not unlike the United States when the College Board was founded in the early 1900s, when we were looking for ways to expand access to college for more
Lee Jones, senior vice president for College Readiness at the College Board, discussed input he received from each of the College Board’s academic advisory committees on what constitutes “college readiness” in their disciplines. Arthur Eisenkraft, distinguished professor of science education at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and a member of the Science Academic Advisory Committee, said that his committee expressed a larger philosophical concern about sending the message that all high school students must be college ready to graduate successfully, whether or not they go on to college. Jones said that his sentiment reflected the College Board’s belief that preparation for 21st-century work is not different from preparation for college.
The National Guidance and Admission Assembly Council met May 15-16. For the first time, members provided reports on regional activities. Christine Scott, director of college counseling at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., talked about efforts to get more members involved in the development of next year’s Middle States Regional Forum. From the Southwest, Leslie Baumert, director of the visitor center at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, reported on high numbers of first-time attendees at their forum and discussed demographic trends in the student population, which shows large future growth in the Hispanic student population.
Jay Evans, associate vice president for institutional enrollment at Austin College in Dallas, explained that the city of Dallas pays for every student to take the SAT; however, only one third of students take the test on a given test day. Council Chair Patricia Smith, who is the director of guidance services for Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla., recommended that regional reports should be implemented in future meetings.
Other topics discussed at the meeting included the College Board’s Fall Counselor Workshops, the CollegeKeys Compact™ and updates from the AP and SATprograms.The College Scholarship Service Assembly Council convened May 19. Carolyn Lindley, university director of financial aid at Northwestern University, led the discussions.
In a conversation about assessing families’ contributions toward college costs, Kathryn Osmond, of Wellesley College, suggested that using an “eligibility analysis” should be considered, instead of the current practice of judging a family’s ability to pay. If families were told what dollar amount they were eligible to receive instead of what the college thinks they should be able to contribute, the calculation would be more widely understood and less resented. The current system yields different answers, depending upon the college a student is interested in, which results in frustration and confusion. Various ways of simplifying the financial aid process were considered during the two-day meeting.
The discussion of costs and aid included reports from the regions. Molly Nan Davis, of Austin College, said that in Texas the perfect storm has hit: The financial challenges are overwhelming, and the gaps between costs and aid are unfathomable. William Spiers, of Tallahassee Community College, talked about the pressure to simplify aid forms and the need to collect essential information. This led Ricardo Gonzalez, Cupeyville School [in Puerto Rico], to say that for many, the current forms were overwhelming. He recommended that the College Board put together a list of volunteers who are willing to work with counselors as they
Shirley Ort, offering a report from the Trustees, gave an update on finances and membership. Other discussions reviewed this year’s regional forums, the Forum in the fall and advocacy efforts, including the “Rethinking Student Aid” report, coming out later this year, which will address many of the aid issues the council members discussed during the meeting. Sally Donahue, from Harvard University, presented the FASSAC report and discussed the work of the subcommittees. The discussion continued with statements on mentoring the next generation, Pell Grants and ways that colleges can recruit low-income students.
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