2018 Advocacy Efforts

December 2018

A&O: Chatter That Matters

The Advocacy & Outreach Committee (previously known as the Government Relations Committee) sees a lot of important news about the world of higher education. In this regular feature, we’ll be highlighting a few stories that might be of interest to you. When you hear stories that need wider attention, let us know by filling out our quick form here. (If you’re in a place where Google doesn’t work, just email your tip to [email protected].) 

Chatter That Matters:
December 2018 Edition 

September 2018

The APPG on International Students Inquiry

The UK government has an All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Students. This group includes members from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and the three largest parties in the House of Commons. This summer they launched an inquiry (“A sustainable future for international students in the UK?”). Further details of the inquiry can be found via the link above.

The Advocacy & Outreach Committee have created a written submission to particularly reflect the views of school and independent counsellors (there is a separate submission from UUK reflecting the views of UK Universities). This submission reflected feedback from IECs and high school counselors submitted through a questionnaire. The committee would like to extend their thanks to all those members who completed the questionnaire, particularly given the difficult timing.

The full submission can be found here.


Nepali Student Scholarship Cancellations

International ACAC Statement on Nepali Students Scholarship Cancellations


Miracles after May 1st: A Call to Action to Support 61 Displaced Nepali Students

On April 13, 2018, a U.S. university informed 61 students in Nepal that their full scholarships (including tuition, room and board, etc) had been revoked. In a statement last week, the university noted that due to extraordinary demand and budget constraints, that they were no longer able to fulfill the scholarship these students had been granted months earlier. Affected Nepali students, families, and schools were devastated. Many of the students had paid scholarship confirmation fees, I-20 fees, and housing deposits. Students had taken a gap year in order to apply to the U.S., had turned down other offers, or simply stopped applying to schools, as they already had a full ride. They now had nowhere to go.
This situation is unprecedented and the timing could not be more challenging, as May 1st marks the end of the admission cycle for most U.S. universities.  However, over the past two weeks, the International ACAC community has rallied around the Nepali students:

  • High school and independent counselors are mobilizing to provide pro-bono 1-on-1 support to the students
  • High school and independent counselors have identified universities around the world that would admit these students and which would be affordable to the students (for most, $6,000 USD is the maximum amount they can afford)
  • Higher education institutions have extended admission and scholarship opportunities to impacted Nepali students 
A few of these 61 Nepali students -- who had lost confidence in the college admission process over the past month -- now have new admission and scholarship offers that will allow them matriculate to universities around the world.  In short, the efforts by the International ACAC community over the past few weeks have literally been life-changing for the Nepali students. Please view this webinar to better understand the crisis on the ground, and to explore ways of helping these students.
Webinar Recording

Negotiation and Navigation in a Post-Naviance World

Webinar Products



The unexpected and sudden announcement that Hobsons was pulling Naviance out of the international market caught everyone by surprise. International ACAC continues to support the membership in their transition to a new platform.

On March 7, 2018, a webinar was held to help international counselors in this process. There are a number of things to consider when selecting a comprehensive tool to serve students and a counseling office in a post-Naviance world. The webinar panelists discussed how to determine your school's needs and then research systems that best meet those needs. Information is provided on how counselors can advocate up, budget and then implement one of the comprehensive college admission platforms.

Webinar Recording

Webinar Slides

Next Steps: Reviewing Products

Once you have completed a needs assessment and determined what you are seeking in a platform, you will want to contact companies for more information, a demonstration, and cost details. A platform that is a “best fit” for one school may not fit another school’s needs. Talk to other counselors, join the conversation in the International ACAC Facebook group, and take the time to determine which platform works best for you.

The following products support international students and counselors in searching and applying to universities in multiple countries. Contact them to arrange a demonstration and to get more information. If you are a representative of one of these companies and would like to provide a link to an online demo of your product, please send details to [email protected].

The following platform primarily focuses on U.S. college admissions:

Equity in Standardized Admissions Testing 

*Counselors - Consider including details on how your students are impacted in your letters of recommendation to colleges and universities. 

As many of you are aware, NACAC and International ACAC recently released a statement (see below) urging standardized testing flexibility for Class of 2018 applicants due to test cancellations outside the United States. These issues have the potential to significantly disrupt equity and access to students from abroad pursuing education in the U.S.

In order to help colleges and universities to which students are applying understand the depth of this problem, we are encouraging school counselors to include language in their letters of recommendation that highlights how your applicant may have been affected by these standardized testing issues. This could come in the form of a paragraph inserted into an applicant’s letter of recommendation, or as a separate boilerplate document that you use for all your applicants applying to schools that require standardized testing. For sample language to adopt, you may want to refer to the NACAC and International ACAC Statement. 

SURVEY RESULTS on College and University support for international students experiencing standardized admissions testing challenges.

International ACAC Calls for Equity in Standardized Admissions Testing for Students Worldwide

ARLINGTON, VA - October 3, 2017 - The majority of universities in the US, in addition to many universities around the globe, require standardized testing as a significant qualification to apply for admission. Because this testing is required for university admission, International ACAC believes the testing agencies and universities must make sure all students have equal access to these test dates.

Read More 

NACAC and International ACAC Urge Testing Flexibility for International Applicants for Class of 2018