Cover art for podcast College Admissions Decoded

College Admissions Decoded

32 EpisodesProduced by NACACWebsite

Created by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, every episode features insiders from the world of admissions breaking down the facts, myths, and rules of engagement for today's college landscape.

32 Episodes | 2019 - 2023

A Guide for Students with Learning Differences to Applying, Choosing, and Thriving in College

January 19th, 2023


At least 10% of students on college campuses have a learning difference. In this conversation, two college admissions professionals share what …

Race-Conscious Admission and the Potential Implications of the Upcoming Supreme Court Ruling

November 14th, 2022


Race-Conscious Admission has been a component of the college admission process for over half a century and has endured legal battles for decades. …

Pride and Passion: The Enduring Legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

October 13th, 2022


A lot of factors contribute to your success in college, from the academic rigor of your classes to the campus environment. The educational excellence …

Fit, Finance, and Equity: Two Economists Discuss College Affordability

September 12th, 2022


How does the ticket price on higher education impact access, and what should families be paying? Two economists tackle these questions with the CEO …

Setting Your College-bound Student Up for Success on Day One

August 30th, 2022


Getting into college is one thing; what about completing your degree, and making the most out of the experience? In this conversation, college …

The Myriad Possibilities of Community College

May 30th, 2022


There are many ways to take advantage of all the opportunities community college provides. It serves some students as a stepping stone to four-year …

Special Edition: Next Gen Admission Professionals Seek Balance, Values, and Self-Actualization at Work

May 4th, 2022


Angel Pérez, CEO of NACAC, talks with two up-and-coming college admission professionals about lessons learned from the pandemic, how to find …

How to Approach the Final Decision on a College

April 12th, 2022


The month of April can be stressful for high school seniors who are making their final decisions about college after four years of classes, …

Why Take, or Not Take, a Gap Year

January 26th, 2022


The gap year – that space after high school and before college devoted to experiential learning – can be magical and mystifying. Our guests define …

How College Admissions Are Different for Student Athletes

January 12th, 2022


The admissions process is different for college athletes. What do they, and their families, need to know?  When should they get started on their …

How to Make the Most of College Visits

December 29th, 2021


College visits are the best way for students to gather information on the schools they are considering. But visits can be a big investment of time …

What Non-academic Factors Actually Influence College Admissions

December 15th, 2021


Beyond grades, test scores, and class rank, what non-academic factors do colleges consider when making decisions on whom to admit? And how should …

The Keys to Building a Good College List

December 1st, 2021


Creating a college list is both art and science. Our guests recommend first answering some important questions, like: What are my goals? What am I …

Strategies for Acing the College Essay

November 17th, 2021


When we ask students what part of the application process makes them the most nervous, frequently the answer is the essay. It can make students feel …

Getting to Know the Campus When the Coronavirus Lockdown Won't Let You Visit

May 5th, 2021


Traditionally, campus visits have played a critical role in helping students figure out which school is right for them. But with coronavirus …

The Many Admission Choices in a Changed World

April 29th, 2021


Four higher education experts share tips and advice for making the right college choice. With Nicole Hurd, founder and CEO of College Advising Corps; …

Student Empowerment in College Admissions

April 22nd, 2021


In these final weeks of the college admission season, many high school seniors and their families still have important decisions to make. Some are …

How Colleges Make Admission Decisions in a Pandemic Year

April 7th, 2021


Colleges across the country made big changes in their admission requirements in response to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 1,600 institutions …

College Financial Aid in the Time of Covid-19

March 24th, 2021


The coronavirus pandemic has put severe financial strains on US colleges, and on students and their parents as well. As a result, more families need …

Stressed Out: The Pandemic’s Effect on the Mental Health of Students Applying to College

March 9th, 2021


Multiple studies have shown that the coronavirus crisis has made us more depressed, anxious, and stressed. Students are not immune from these …

Why College Late Bloomers Are Special

May 14th, 2020


Though many of us find a linear path from high school to college, that is not the case for a set of students whose life circumstance, economic …

What Do College Rankings Really Mean?

April 16th, 2020


Various magazines, websites, and listicles publish their college rankings every year, generating a lot of anxiety from college-bound students and …

Understanding Financial Aid Award Letters

March 26th, 2020


So you—or your child—got accepted to college. Congratulations! But now the financial aid award letter arrives. What does it mean? How much aid are …

How Families Can Talk About Paying for College

February 20th, 2020


There’s almost too much information available about students finding a college with the right “fit” academically and socially, but what about the …

Demystifying the College Transfer Process: What Students and Families Need to Know

January 21st, 2020


Experts say that as many as 40 percent of today’s students transfer to another institution at least once during their college careers. They choose to …

What Colleges Are Looking For: Facts & Myths About the Application Process

December 10th, 2019


The college admission process can be long, bewildering and anxiety-producing for students and their families.  Many are looking for the secret …

Avoiding the Parent Trap: A Common-Sense Approach to College Admission

November 20th, 2019


In this episode, admission experts—from both the high school and college sides of the desk—offer tips to help parents ensure their students remain …

SPECIAL EPISODE: “Fight for What Doesn’t Fit: Celebrating Students’ Identities, Interests, and Unique Qualities”

October 29th, 2019


At the 2019 NACAC national conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Jabari Sellars, a middle and high school humanities teacher at the Sienna School in …

College for Everyone: How College Counselors and Admissions Officers Can Get You There

October 16th, 2019


In this episode, Jacques Steinberg, a member of the NACAC Board of Directors and the senior vice president for higher education and communications at Say Yes to Education and a former national education correspondent of …

The View from Campus

August 13th, 2019


In this episode, three admissions leaders talk about the pressures from campus stakeholders; the responsibility to serve families; and how colleges …

Counseling Applicants and Families Amidst a Scandal

July 16th, 2019


The Varsity Blues college admissions scandal sparked national concern among students, parents and counselors alike as students wondered if their …

College Admissions After Operation Varsity Blues

June 18th, 2019


Operation Varsity Blues uncovered a complex bribing and cheating scandal in elite college admissions. Guilty pleas, lawsuits, and a growing cynicism …

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