From Application to Enrollment

Helping Students Make Better Decisions on Going to College

Prospective students often start their college searches with high expectations, and soon into their exploration, high anxiety. Both students fresh out of high school and older adults returning to school are making crucial choices about their educations without key information and resources and with misconceptions about everything from application requirements to financial aid and sound student loan options.

According to recent research from New America's Education Policy Program and Public Agenda, 41 percent of students say they did not find enough helpful information to make their college decisions, and less than 1 in 5 adult prospective students has used an interactive website like the College Scorecard when considering college choices. And when it comes to paying for college, for example, 48 percent of students from families making less than $50,000 were unfamiliar with the Pell Grant, the cornerstone of federal financial aid for low-income students.

What do these findings mean for the systems of higher education admissions and recruiting? As Congress begins looking towards the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, how can policymakers and education practitioners better address students' needs and help them become savvier about choosing the college that's right for them?

Join New America NYC and Public Agenda for a discussion with the researchers and policymakers charged with recruiting and counseling New York's prospective students into making beneficial choices for their educations and their futures.

Follow the discussion online using #CollegeDecisions and by following @NewAmericaNYC and @PublicAgenda


Rachel Fishman @higheredrachel
Senior Policy Analyst, Education Policy Program, New America


Carolin Hagelskamp
Vice President and Director of Research, Public Agenda

Paul Marthers, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success, State University of New York

Carmel Paleski, Ed.M.
Director of Academic Affairs, Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center

Laura A. Bruno, M.S.W.
Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management, Queensborough Community College

R. Ummi Modeste, M.S.Ed.
College Advisor, City-As-School High School


Kim Clark @kclarkcollege
Senior Writer, Money Magazine

This event is presented in partnership with Public Agenda, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps diverse leaders and citizens navigate divisive, complex issues and work together to find solutions.