Advising and student support services are essential to students’ progress in college. Advising is often one of the only regular, structured, and focused touchpoints that institutions have with their students. When done well, advising has been proven to be one of the most significant determinants of students’ success. Strong advising environments can provide a safe space within higher education where students’ voices and motivations can be heard, personal stories can be shared, and campus climate issues can be unearthed, particularly for racially minoritized and poverty-affected students. Recently, the term holistic advising – looking at students through not only a purely academic lens, but rather as a whole person – has become a central design element in student support services.

Given institutions’ unique student populations, history, culture and context, advising looks different at each institution. The Advising Success Network believes that advising encompasses not only the advisor-advisee relationship, but also the advising office and reporting structure, advisor and student roles, faculty and staff pedagogies, and technologies.

The Advising Success Network also believes that all institutions should provide a more holistic student experience and address historical inequities for Black, Latino/a/x, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander students and poverty-affected students. Holistic advising redesign can help institutions identify, implement, and/or refine equitable, high-quality, and effective institutional practices.

Application Window: March 10 – 29, 2023
The application window is closed.

Winners have been notified. Check back in June for the official announcement.

About the Award

The Holistic Advising Award recognizes postsecondary institutions that have undergone holistic advising redesign efforts supported by cross-functional teams and centering student experiences to increase completion and success indicators for Black, Latino/a/x, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander students and poverty-affected students.


Holistic Advising Awards

NASPA will present this award to five (5) institutions. Recipients will receive a $35,000 award plus a $3,000 travel stipend to attend the 2023 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education.


Student Choice Award

Student Fellows will present this award to institutions that reflect a commitment to the inclusion of the student voices and perspectives. Recipients will receive awards of $1,000 – $10,000.


Applications will be assessed based on a range of criteria around these seven categories: 

Position advising as a lever for student success and equity.

Institutions must seek to understand their unique student populations and address assumptions and biases about students in advisor-student interactions, policies, and technologies. This may include implementing trainings and professional development opportunities to increase staff and faculty cultural competencies; auditing language, policies, and practices for equity-mindedness; identifying and addressing biases in predictive algorithms; and elevating student and advisor concerns and perspectives in decision-making processes.

What is Equity Mindedness?

Define the ideal student journey.

Institutions must understand the lived experiences, talents, aspirations, and needs of their students and incorporate student voices and perspectives in the design of activities to create a campus-wide, leadership-supported ideal student advising experience.

Create and sustain campus cross-collaboration.

Institutions must support a robust advising and student success agenda by creating and communicating organizational policies and practices that foster collaboration and alignment across functional units, providing needed resources, and offering high-quality professional development.

Support students' personal, academic, and career plans.

Institutions must provide advising that is sustained, strategic, integrated, proactive, and personalized in order to effectively support students’ personal, academic, and career plans.

Use advising technologies to scale high-quality practices.

Institutions must identify, adopt or develop, and integrate sustainable advising technologies aligned with their goals to scale high-quality practices.

Invest in high-quality data structures and systems.

Institutions should invest in structures and systems that prioritize the collection and analysis of high-quality, disaggregated data that is made available to appropriate stakeholders.

Promote continuous improvement.

Institutions must encourage continuous improvement processes that reflect on qualitative and quantitative student-level data to ensure institutional policies and practices provide equitable student supports.

Applications Closed

Application Window: March 10 - 29, 2023
The application window is closed.

How to Apply 

We request that a senior leader or their designee serves as the main point of contact for all application correspondence. One application per institution will be accepted. 

To help prepare a strong application, institutions should consider developing responses with a team of institution professionals who are involved with the priority areas listed above.

Estimated Completion time: 60 mins. A PDF copy of the application can be downloaded here to prepare responses.


Important Dates

Application Opens: March 10, 2023
Application Closes: March 29, 2023 at 11:59 PM PT
Award Notifications: Award recipients will be contacted by April 28, 2023 and recognized in-person at the 2023 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education on June 25 – 26, 2023 in Kansas City, MO.

Eligibility Requirements

  • This application is open to non-profit accredited institutions of higher education for which the primary students served are located in the United States of America. 
  • Application support from a senior level leader from the institution who is responsible for student services at the institution or their designee. 
  • Institutions are only permitted to submit one application. 
  • Willingness to provide follow-up information regarding the application details.
  • Willingness to send 1 – 2 team members to the 2023 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education on June 25 – 26, 2023 in Kansas City, MO using travel award funds.


Thank you to the following advisors


  • Silvia Patricia Rios Husain, Ph.D.
    Associate Vice President for Student Success
    University of South Carolina
  • Jeannie Brown Leonard, Ph.D.
    Vice Provost for Student Success
    Kansas State University
  • Fai Howard, Ph.D.
    Assistant Dean, Transition & Academic Growth
    Undergraduate Studies, Student Success
    University of South Florida
  • Mei-Yen Ireland, Ph.D.
    Senior Program Officer
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Karen Podsiadly
    Director, Student Union, Leadership, and Activities,
    Adjunct Lecturer, African & African-American Studies

    SUNY Brockport
  • Hoori Santikian Kalamkarian, Ph.D.
    Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center
    Columbia University
  • Jhenai Chandler, Ph.D.
    Director of College Completion
    The Institute for College Access & Success
  • Laurie Fladd, Ph.D.
    Director Holistic Student Supports
    Achieving the Dream
  • F. Janelle Hannah Jefferson, Ph.D
    NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising