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College Admissions Update: Insights from Counselors

The College Board Forum 2023 opened with a dynamic session titled “Counselor Conversations: What’s Happening in College Admissions,” which brought together high school counselors and college admissions leaders to discuss their insights and best practices in the evolving college admissions landscape.

The panel featured prominent figures in the field, including Carolyn Blair from Clayton High School, Tracey Morman from Amarillo Independent School District, Joseph Montgomery from North Carolina A&T State University, and Shawn Felton from Cornell University.

Moderated by Lauri Benton from the College Board, the session began with a discussion on the current admissions climate and the student pipeline. Shawn Felton stressed the importance of encouraging students to consider college and addressing their concerns about whether higher education is the right path for them.

Joseph Montgomery highlighted the rising cost of college education as a barrier to pursuing higher education and emphasized the need for institutions to re-evaluate their structures to better serve students. Collaboration with neighboring institutions was also emphasized.

Tracey Morman emphasized the role of K–12 educators in guiding students towards the right fit for their higher education journey. The panel also delved into the recent SCOTUS decision on affirmative action in college admissions, stressing the importance of counselors helping students navigate this change.

The discussion also touched on the use of AI in recommendation letters and its impact on the evaluation of students during the admissions process.

The panelists concluded by sharing key focus areas in their respective domains, including growing awareness of mental health among students, the impact of parent communications, and the importance of finding the right fit for students.

As college admissions policies continue to evolve, the insights shared by these experienced counselors and admissions professionals offer valuable guidance for navigating the challenges and opportunities in the ever-changing field of college admissions.

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