Generally speaking, I like change.  I’m known to re-paint a room a totally different color, trade in a not-so-old-car on a whim or put a new photo on my screensaver, within a moment’s notice.  Shaking things up is a good thing, I think.  But, I’m afraid I’m having a hard time with the proposed changes in the National Association of College Admission Counselor’s (NACAC) code of ethics.

It all started two years ago when the Federal Department of Justice started investigating NACAC on its potential violation of antitrust laws.  Several changes to the code of ethics resulted from the pressure from the DOJ.  I’m going to discuss two of the changes and why I’m not so excited about them.

First is the rule that says that a college cannot offer incentives (like money or priority housing) to Early Decision candidates.  This rule is being abolished and it is concerning.  First, we already know that ED applicants have an advantage in terms of chances of admission.  Second, we know that ED applicants tend to be more privileged students (because those counting on financial aid will want the opportunity to weigh one financial aid offer against another).  With the elimination of this rule, ED candidates will potentially be offered even more good things and the divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots” will become even greater.

Second is the rule that says a college cannot try to recruit a student once she has deposited at another college.  This has been eliminated and it is concerning.  I am fearful that the student will never feel “done and decided” in the college process and may have second thoughts/regrets as the offers continue to change after May 1st.  It may mean that colleges will up the dollar value of their deposits to keep students from jumping ship which may not be a bad thing but what about the student who gets into their dream college off of a waitlist in the summer?  Losing a large deposit might keep them from attending that dream college.  I was a fan of the May 1st universal acceptance date and think it should remain a rule.