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Five Questions to Ask: College Access & Admissions

  1. Look at the application and admission numbers for the universities you cover. How selective are they with regard to how many students get accepted, and how/why has that acceptance rate changed in recent years? In particular, look at the acceptance and enrollment numbers for underserved students relative to the demographics of the regions these universities serve.
  2. Look at the organizations that are members of the National College Access Network.

Are there particular college access programs or organizations in the community you cover? If so, what types of students do they work with and what kind of results have organizations achieved for students?

  1. Among the first-year students who enroll at the colleges you cover, what percentage have to take remedial courses? Has that percentage increased over the years? What percentage of students who take remedial courses during their first year go on to earn a degree from that college? What are high schools, college access organizations, and the colleges and universities doing to addressing such issues of college readiness?
  2. What are the average amounts of student debt incurred by graduates of the colleges you cover? Many selective universities have started to offer financial aid packages that minimize the amount of student loans undergraduates have to take out. How are colleges and access organizations advising students about debt?
  3. Among the selective universities in your region, are students’ scores on admissions tests such as the SAT and ACT becoming more or less important? Have any of these colleges gone test-optional in recent years?