A University of Washington Freshman reflects on the college admission essay writing process.

Cara, an incoming first year University of Washington student and newly published college essay writer, recently shared the following advice for high school seniors about the college essay writing process.  Cara’s Advice: Step away from the prompt. Remember: college essays are all about helping admissions learn more about you, beyond just being a student. Before you get stuck trying to…

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Chart: Commodity Price Change Expectations, July 2021

Cost of College Continues to Outpace Consumer Price Inflation

According to the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s Survey of Consumer Expectations, since January 2021, respondents consistently predict rising college education expenses in the coming 12 months: 5.6% increase in January 2021, rising to a 6.1% increase in May 2021, and most recently in July 2021, even higher at a 7.5% rise. Whereas, just a year ago in July 2020,…

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As the season of college fairs, whether virtual or in person, commences, families should pause to craft a plan before the event. Reviewing the list of college admissions officers in attendance, then discriminately choosing which college representatives with whom to connect is prudent to maximize the benefit of the speed dating-like conditions of a college fair.   Students generally have 60-90…

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The New College Student Dilemma

Three tasks not likely a part of a standard College Move-In Checklist, yet are on every first year college student’s mind:  Establish new community (i.e. make new friends), and how do I make new friends in COVID-related restrictions? Adjust to new, constantly evolving academic expectations “What am I going to be when I grow up?” existential questions Second year students…

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Building healthy money habits

Guest Post: 3 Easy steps to building healthy money habits with your children!

Although intended for families with younger children, Jessica Weaver’s advice to help kids become financially literate applies to teenagers as well. Inherent to financial literacy is defining one’s values, which is an essential tool for teens and families reduce the risk of college malinvestment. The other day I was squeezing in some work while sitting with my daughter, Andie! She…

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For those applying to Yale for Fall 2022, Whether to Use the Coalition or Common Application Is Up to You

Fall 2022 Coalition Application applicants to Yale have the opportunity to submit a “Digital Upload”—an audio file, video, image, or document the student produced along with a short written description of the creation. However, Common Application applicants do not have a similar “Digital Upload” option.  Curious if the difference in the information submitted between the two applications may affect admissions…

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Common App

Discipline question on the Common App disappearing for Fall 2022 Admissions

First year college applicants using The Common Application will no longer be prompted to report any high school disciplinary infractions, starting with the Fall 2022 admissions cycle. Similarly, counselors will not be specifically prompted to report disciplinary actions in their letters of recommendation or School Report.  The Common Application CEO Jenny Rickard reasons: Requiring students to disclose disciplinary actions has…

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Dear Teachers Who Write Letters of Recommendation

Thank you for writing numerous letters every year, often an extra duty added to an already lengthy list of duties.  When teaching, it took me a while to figure out how to write a letter of recommendation, piecing together advice from more veteran colleagues. So, having asked many different admissions officers about useful letters of recommendation over the two decades…

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College Admissions Bragging Begins in Earnest

As the summer ends and the new school year dawns, the posturing in college admissions commences in earnest. We’ve officially reached The “ALL my friends are done with their essays, I’m behind” stage of the Fall college application process.  Is it possible that your teenage friends grinded out “essays” which meet the word limit and generally relate to the essay…

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Gen Z: The Young and Increasingly Disaffected

As of First Quarter 2021, 3.8 million 20-24 year olds are not in school nor employed, 740,000 more young adults adrift than in First Quarter 2020. While wondering, “Where are they?”, more disturbing to consider is, “What are the long term consequences of a delayed entry into adulthood?”  First, dismay may be transforming into disaffection. The current generation of 20-24…

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The 2021-22 School Year Dawns and The Plague Remains

COVID fatigue: borne of that daily reminder of our own mortality and the mortality of those we care about, of the suffering of illness, the suffering of trying to stave off illness only to fail. We’re a global society trying to out-think, out-science a sequence of RNA which is out-mutating our collective human intellect.  In the midst of such an…

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More About Test-Optional Admissions

We’ve abruptly and unequivocally changed the rules of college admissions for all expected-to-attend-college Gen Z’ers and, by extension, their parents, precipitating wide-ranging reactions. But, all reactions are underpinned by what one university administrator recently shared in a Maguire Associates survey:  “Students are confused by the various test requirements and second guess what we are really doing behind the curtain. There…

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GIFF: Spongebob Prepare to Be written

College applicants take note: life’s a journey not a destination

College essays are not an assignment to “get done.”   College essays are not defined by the word count or format. College essays are not a resume-like listing of a young person’s achievements, hoping the admissions evaluator intuits their potential thus grants admissions. College essays are not bounded by the (mis)interpretation of a prompt.  College essays are not prose-like panderings to…

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Possible Test-Optional Admissions Prejudice?

Before COVID, submitting SAT or ACT scores were a must for every college applicant. During COVID though, test-optional policies were widely and quickly implemented to preserve as much access to college admissions as possible since many test centers (which are schools) closed, so SAT’s and ACT’s couldn’t be administered.  While many laud the change in policy, others may now be…

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Chart of Labor Market Outcomes of College Graduates by Major (May 21, 2021)

Too Many People with The Same Good Idea

New college grads, those aged 22-27, who studied computer science, are just as likely to be unemployed as those who studied the fine arts, according to the latest New York Federal Reserve analysis.  The irony.  Most families expect that any studies remotely related to technology translates to unequivocal and continuous employment throughout one’s lifetime. Conversely, both parents and students often…

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