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Colleges will soon not be allowed to ask student applicants about other schools they are applying to, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
The change comes from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, which revised the “mandatory practices” governing its ethical guidelines over the weekend, according to The Chronicle.
“The new policy says colleges must ‘not ask candidates, their schools, their counselors, or others to list or rank their college or university preferences on applications or other documents,'” The Chronicle reports.
As The Chronicle notes, this only affects written communication with potential students, not in-person conversations. The new policy will be in place for students planning to enroll in fall 2017.
“It was refreshing to see colleges and universities willing to sacrifice a key data point in the interest of doing what is best for students,” University of Denver admission director Todd Rinehart told The Chronicle. “Students … will no longer have to strategize when submitting applications or responding to surveys.”
Previously, colleges were able to access a student’s personal rankings due to a question in the FAFSA federal financial aid form. Inside Higher Ed reported in 2013 that some colleges were “denying admission and perhaps reducing financial aid to students” based on where they had placed the school.
IHE notes in its coverage of the NACAC policy change that the federal Education Department announced this August that it would no longer share this information with colleges.