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NACAC National Conference Highlights

NACAC National Conference Highlights

Kim Wiley
IACAC Chief Delegate
Deerfield High School

What a year! There’s been so much going on in the world of college admissions, whether it is keeping up with our national educational policies, adapting to new CEPP guidelines, exploring new college and career programming, or really just opening the newspaper to see what made headlines. With so many changes happening, I wanted to provide some information about the major topics that were highlighted at the very busy NACAC National Conference in Salt Lake City last month.

To start, the delegates got to hear from five talented candidates who ran for three board positions. The three new NACAC Board members who were elected are: President Elect- Dr. Jayne Caflin Fonash, The Academies of Loudoun, VA; Board of Directors-Sara Brookshire, Brandeis University, MA; Board of Directors-Stephen Pultz, University of San Diego, CA.

There were five motions proposed at Assembly this year. I am happy to share that all of them passed, including the one that was proposed by Illinois:

  1. Tim Gallen, Pennsylvania ACAC: asked the Board of Directors to consider postponing the implementation of the new membership model until 2021.
  2. Jennifer Melton, International ACAC: asked the Board of Directors to consider modifying the way Admission Practices complaints are handled, specifically to refer complaints to the affiliate where the institution is located as well as to any affiliate chairs whose students may be impacted by the alleged violation.
  3. Kim Wiley, Illinois ACAC: asked the Board of Directors to review the language being used by colleges when requesting final transcripts and consider establishing an appropriate timeline for these requests.
  4. Andrew Rosabianca, New England ACAC: asked the Board of Directors to consider establishing a working group to review institutions’ policies on self-reported test scores. The motion suggested that best practices for communicating policies for self-reported scores could be established and that NACAC could create a database of institutions that allow self-reported scores.
  5. Elisabeth Marksteiner, International ACAC: proposed that the NACAC Board create a commission on testing to examine testing inequalities and barriers to access for international students and US citizens residing outside the United States.


One of the big topics of discussion this year was the proposed NACAC membership model. This group membership fee proposal caused a great deal of commotion and many members (Illinois had a very big voice!) spoke up about their concerns. Since a motion was passed to postpone implementing the new model, the Board will gather more input from the membership about the most effective ways to proceed and changes will not be made this year.

Another topic many are talking about is the ongoing investigation of NACAC by the Department of Justice. The investigation started a year ago requiring NACAC to produce 7 years of documents related to the history of the Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP) and the creation of the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP). In February, we were made aware that the focus of the investigation was the restraint of trade issues. This sounds complicated, but really the DOJ is questioning three main parts of the CEPP:

  1. The prevention of colleges offering incentives to ED applicants that are not available to all other applicants;
  2. The limitation of recruiting students after the May 1 date as well as those who have already committed to a college. They do not want to change the May 1 date, as it is more focused on the ban of recruiting students after May 1;
  3. The limitation of recruitment of transfer students.

NACAC has been trying to convey that these proposed practices from the DOJ are aggressive in nature, focusing on an audience who is 17-18 years old. They addressed what it would mean for a student to enroll in another college at the last minute focusing on things such as transcripts, housing and financial aid. Most importantly, NACAC emphasized students would be put into potentially manipulative situations if the May 1 date and enrollment commitment processes were changed as substantially as what is being proposed.

So here we are today. The investigation is still ongoing and there is no end in sight. We cannot make any amendments to the document for one year or until the conflict is resolved. While the investigation is still happening, it is important that we make sure our students are being treated fairly and appropriately. Violations of the CEPP can still be filed and will be reviewed by the NACAC Admissions Practices Committee. Members are encouraged to report situations if they arise.

Another topic of importance discussed at Assembly was governance restructuring. The following topics were brought up for discussion within each affiliate, but no decisions were made to implement any changes. This was simply to gather more information:

  1. Whether or not delegates should elect national officers via online voting two weeks prior to conference;
  2. Whether or not bylaw and CEPP changes will go to a full membership vote after being amended and approved at conference;
  3. Whether or not Assembly will be moved to Thursday morning of national conference.

I think this just about covers it! If you have any questions, please email your delegates at, as we are always happy to help.


Bring on November!

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