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RMACAC's Conference in 2024 - Should You Attend?

As an independent education consultant, staying informed about the latest trends and developments in the field of college admissions is crucial to providing optimal service to your clients. One invaluable resource for gaining such insights is attending professional conferences. These gatherings offer a myriad of benefits that can enhance your expertise and effectiveness in guiding students through the college application process. From networking opportunities with fellow consultants and admissions officers to accessing detailed information about various colleges and universities, the RMACAC Conference presents a comprehensive platform for professional growth.


At the heart of these conferences are the opportunities for meaningful connections and collaborations. Engaging with peers and industry experts not only expands your professional network but also fosters knowledge exchange and idea generation.


In this post, we’ll explore the The Rocky Mountain Association of College Admission Counseling (RMACAC) Conference, providing an overview of the conference’s offerings, logistics and cost, pros and cons of attending, and our final review of the RMACAC. 


What is the RMACAC Conference?

The RMACAC Conference is an annual three-day event during mid- to late-April, hosted by the Rocky Mountain affiliate branch of the National Association for College Admission Counseling.  Centered in the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, the RMACAC is a professional network supporting admissions consultants and counselors working with students from a similar geographic background. 


Although the conference is typically held within the RMACAC region or neighboring states, attendance is open to any college admissions professional, including high school counselors and independent education consultants. Nevertheless, conference attendees will largely be from the RMACAC area. 


What events are offered at the RMACAC?

The RMACAC Conference begins with lectures from keynote speakers, typically experts in the fields of college admissions and higher education. Throughout the three days of the event, you’ll additionally have the opportunity to attend educational and professional development sessions, networking events, and tabling exhibits with conference sponsors.

Networking opportunities span from less-structured members meetings, specialized sessions for conference newcomers, and a business card exchange event for both IECs and college admissions representatives. 


The educational sessions are perhaps the most significant offering of the RMACAC Conference — this year, over 35 sessions are offered on varied specialized topics on the college admissions landscape and effective admissions consulting practices. 

Sessions may focus on supporting students with disabilities, such as ‘Assessing Post-secondary Options for Students with Autism’ and ‘Practical tools to support LD students in the college transition process’. Others focus on counseling those from underrepresented backgrounds, including First Generation, Latinx, and transgender students. There are also a wide array of sessions on professional development and networking for new IECs, regionally-focused admissions, and the role of technology in college admissions. You can check out a full list of this year’s educational sessions here.


If you’re able to arrive at the conference early, you’ll also have the chance to attend guided tours of nearby colleges and universities. As college admissions professionals are expected to attend regular campus visits and have strong expertise on an array of schools across the country, the opportunity to complete a variety of tours within a short time frame is an efficient way to boost your professional development. 


The 2024 Conference in Colorado Springs, CO provides opportunities to tour The United States Air Force Academy, Colorado College, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and Pikes Peak State College


For an additional fee, the RMACAC offers two Pre Conference Sessions —- similarly to the conference’s general education sessions, you’ll learn about specialized topics in admissions consulting from others in the field. Due to the additional fee and similar structure to other educational opportunities, these may not be worth joining unless you find the topic areas particularly relevant to your work. 


How much does it cost to attend?

As with most professional college counseling events, the RMACAC Conference is a paid event with discounts offered to members. You’ll also have the opportunity to choose to attend the full conference, or to only join for a single day. 


Here’s a breakdown of the costs:

  • RMACAC Members Full Conference: $300 One Day: $225

  • Non-Members Full Conference: $350 One Day: $225


Note that pricing also varies with the date by which you apply — late registration fees and early registration discounts can add or subtract about $50. 


Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. You’ll gain rich educational content: One of the standout advantages of attending the RMACAC Conference is the wealth of educational sessions available. From workshops and seminars to keynote speeches, attendees gain access to valuable insights on specialized topics in college admissions consulting. These sessions cover a diverse range of subjects, including trends in higher education, best practices in counseling, and strategies for supporting students through the application process. The depth and breadth of these educational offerings ensure that consultants leave the conference equipped with practical knowledge and actionable strategies to enhance their practice.

  2. There’s great opportunities to network: Another significant benefit of participating in the RMACAC Conference is the opportunity to network with industry peers, college admissions officers, and other stakeholders. Whether during scheduled networking events, breakout sessions, or informal gatherings, attendees have ample opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals, exchange ideas, and forge valuable partnerships. These networking opportunities not only facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration but also provide a platform for consultants to expand their professional network, potentially leading to referrals and new business opportunities.


Cons

  1. Non-member cost is steep: Despite being an affiliate of NACAC, only RMACAC members will receive discounted pricing. So, if you’re not specifically a regional member, you might benefit more from attending one of the national conferences. 


Our Review

Overall, the Rocky Mountain Association of College Admission Counseling (RMACAC) Conference is a beneficial experience for independent college admissions consultants seeking to enhance their professional skills and broaden their knowledge of the field. With its array of educational sessions focusing on specialized topics in college admissions consulting and professional development, coupled with its commitment to supporting students of diverse identities and backgrounds, the conference offers a wealth of valuable insights and resources. Particularly advantageous for newer consultants looking to establish themselves in the industry, the RMACAC Conference provides a conducive environment for learning, networking, and growth. While its relevance may vary for consultants outside the RMACAC region, the knowledge and networking opportunities it offers make it an overall worthwhile investment for those committed to advancing their expertise and fostering success in college admissions consulting.



If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at contact@lumiere.education to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: RMACAC logo

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