NACAC Revises Statement of Principles of Good Practice

By Allie Bidwell, Communications Staff

The National Association of College and Admission Counseling (NACAC) has revised its code of conduct to reflect recent changes from the Department of Education (ED) with regard to the information it gives colleges about where potential students are interested in applying or attending.

ED in August announced that starting this year it would no longer share with colleges and universities the list of institutions a student enters when filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To reflect that change, NACAC updated its code of conduct, known as its Statement of Principles of Good Practice, to explicitly state that all members agree they will not “ask candidates, their schools, their counselors or others to list or rank order their college or university preferences on applications or other documents.” The change falls under the “Mandatory Practices” section.

NACAC noted in the document that its members already do not ask candidates to rank order their college choices, and that not asking them to name other institutions will apply to the 2017 admissions cycle.

In the “Best Practices” section of the document, NACAC also changed the language of the code to state that its members should not “allow admission, financial aid, or scholarship decisions to be influenced by a list or rank ordering of a candidate’s other college choices. This includes, but is not limited to, lists obtained from financial aid applications, testing agencies, or other sources.”

In the past, some have raised concern that certain colleges and universities were letting the information ED provided influence their admission – and in some cases financial aid – decisions. Last year, NACAC said that ED should not be giving the information to institutions.

“While students may volunteer this information, the association believes that a student's right to keeping such information private is an integral part of maintaining  a fair admission process,” NACAC said in an email to its members in 2014, according to Inside Higher Ed.


Publication Date: 10/27/2015

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