Admission Practices


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) develops and adopts policies which maintain high integrity standards and guide the practices of members to better serve students. The Admission Practices Committee is responsible for educating membership about the various components of the NACAC's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices. Questions concerning the professional ethics and standards of conduct for admissions and secondary school members are presented to the Admission Practices Committee Chair.

Furthermore, committee members are available for presentations and information sessions in regards to the rights of students, counselors, and admission professionals and to promote better understanding of admission practices and CEPP.


Co-Chairs: Jonah O'Hara, St Stephen's Episcopal School & Tom Becker, University of Pittsburgh

Some of our key statements of good practice:

All members agree that they will:

  • Accurately represent and promote their schools, institutions, organizations, and services.
  • Not use disparaging comparisons of secondary or postsecondary institutions.
  • Not offer or accept any reward or remuneration from a secondary school, college, university, agency, or organization for placement or recruitment of students.
  • Be responsible for compliance with applicable privacy laws and regulations.
  • Not guarantee admission or specific college placement or make guarantees of any financial aid or scholarship awards prior to an application being submitted.
  • Not use minimum test scores as the sole criterion for admission, advising, or financial aid.
  • Counsel students to abide by all application requirements and restrictions.

Postsecondary members agree that they will:

  • State clearly the requirements for the first year and transfer admission and enrollment processes, including secondary school preparation, standardized testing, financial aid, housing and notification deadlines, and refund procedures.
  • Neither require nor ask candidates or the secondary schools to indicate the order of the candidates’ college or university preferences.
  • Permit first-year candidates for fall admission to choose among offers of admission, financial aid and scholarships until May 1 and state this deadline explicitly in their offers of admission.
  • Work with their institutions’ senior administrative officers to ensure that financial aid. and scholarship offers and housing options are not used to manipulate commitments prior to May 1.
  • Notify accepted aid applicants of financial aid decisions before the enrollment confirmation deadline.
  • Not establish any application deadlines for first-year candidates for fall admission prior to October 15.
  • Not notify first-year candidates for fall admission prior to the receipt of a transcript that reflects completion of the final semester of the junior year of high school or the equivalent.

Counseling members agree that they will:

  • Sign only one pending Early Decision or Restricted Early Action agreement for any student.
  • Not reveal, unless authorized, candidates’ college or university preferences.

If these expectations or any other provisions of the CEPP are not being met, concerned parties are encouraged to submit a complaint. The members of the Admission Practices Committee will review complaints and take appropriate action.

Submit a confidential complaint

Statement from NACAC regarding the CEPP (Sept/Oct 2019):
At its 2019 National Conference in Louisville, the NACAC Assembly voted to remove three provisions from the association’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP) that the US Department of Justice believes inhibit, to some extent, competition among colleges for students. The three provisions address offering exclusive incentives for Early Decision, recruiting first-year undergraduates who have committed elsewhere, and recruiting transfer students.