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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UC Raises Tuition: A Sign of Fiscal Troubles?

The University of California (UC) will begin raising tuition annually starting in Fall 2022 and extending through at least Fall 2026. However, tuition will be raised for each incoming class of first year and transfer students, then held flat throughout the remainder of their years at the UC.  For Fall 2022 applicants, rising high school seniors on the cusp of…

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See, Speak, Hear no evil monkeys

Beware of Admissions CON-sultants Hiding in Your Midst

Amidst the rise of the academic meritocracy, as increasing numbers of students qualify for then apply to college, selectivity for admissions annually increases, yet high school counseling staff has been inadequate for the demand, thus many families seek the help of private admissions consultants. But, in the Era of Educational Experts, when qualifications and motivations to help families range widely,…

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The Struggle to Realize Genius and the Cost of Failing to Do So

Everyone has genius. Yet, few discover their genius.  Every parent intends to unleash their child’s genius. Yet, the endeavor to help one’s child discover genius requires the intricate, on-going, at times, herculean effort to challenge expectations—one’s own, one’s extended family’s, as well as one’s culture’s and community’s—not to mention reconciling any gaps in a parent’s own undiscovered genius, a separate…

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The Summer of the Long Goodbye

Soon-to-be first year college students all over the world are separating from their childhoods—saying, “Goodbye” to friends, leaving their childhood bedrooms, and now emerging as an adult, learning to partner with their parents. They’re establishing their first households outside their family homes, a complicated endeavor often involving new responsibilities.  In readying to move, students are combing through a childhood’s worth…

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Required Math Courses Changing at the University of California (UC)

Students applying to the University of California (UC) for Fall 2022 admissions and beyond can now fulfill their third year of required mathematics with a variety of math courses, no longer required to take Integrated Math III, Algebra II or an equivalent. However, potential first year UC applicants should still take a Geometry or Geometry-equivalent course as one of their…

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