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The Extra Bonus of the Student Loan Repayment Pause through May 1, 2022

Since March 2020 and extending through May 1, 2022, payments and interest on all Federal education loans, both student loans and Parent PLUS loans have been suspended as parts of various COVID-related economic relief policies. Borrowers have not been obligated to send payments, and for anyone already behind in their payments, no additional penalties have been assessed.  Yet, borrowers who…

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Panic in California

Many Fall 2022 applicants to the University of California Berkeley (Cal) received an unexpected Valentine’s Day greeting—an email announcement that by court order, up to 5100 less acceptance letters may be issued for Fall 2022.  Olufemi Ogundele, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions at UC Berkeley writes:  On Thursday, Feb. 10, a California Court of…

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More About College Admissions Decisions

Welcome to The Big Wait, the post-application period, with nothing to do but check applicant portals and wait for admissions officers to respond. High school students (some transfer admissions candidates too), anxious to “get done” with applications in the fall, expect to relax during the winter months, as “there’s no more college essays to stress over”. Unfortunately, that’s not always…

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Essential advice for high school juniors & their families

Enrolling in college is a process, executed over a series of conversations, which increase in frequency starting during the Spring of Junior year and typically extends through the first semester of college, as teens and their families are seeking agreement about which college is most valuable. The more a family accepts that college admissions isn’t a series of tasks, executed…

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All Ivy League Colleges Extend Test Optional Admissions for Fall 2023…and for a few, beyond 2023

For at least one more application cycle, all Ivy League applicants will once again consider if they can demonstrate their aptitude with a standardized test score. Yale and Princeton admissions officers recently announced maintaining test optional admissions policies through Fall 2023, joining the rest of the Ivy League colleges, although with varying timeframes for the extensions.  Admissions officers at Brown,…

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Reason #45,693 Why College Applicant Portals Are Important

The applicant portal is an online dashboard assigned to students by each college’s admissions officers to track their application, be notified of any missing information, possibly alerted to scholarships as well as likely most important to students: receive admissions decisions.  Typically, admissions decisions are sent through the applicant portals or email, fewer admissions officers send responses using US Postal Mail.…

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What comes after the COVID Pandemic

Often, through these past 24 months living a thoroughly disrupted modern life, retreating from large gatherings, trying to avoid the infection of a floating piece of RNA, we have glimpsed imperfect awareness in quiet moments, comparing life: pre-COVID and now during COVID, while impatiently anticipating post-COVID life, like wishing the microwave was faster.  And, those flashes of truth, the steady…

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What’s an Applicant Portal?

Many college applicants think they’re done with applications once they click, “Submit”, but they’re not. Nearly every university’s admissions officers send an online applicant portal, which is multifunctional, where students can:  Track the receipt of all required application materials, like Letters of Recommendation, transcripts, Mid-year Reports (a form and transcript with the Fall term senior year grades, sent by the…

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Failure (in college admissions) is not supposed to be an option

Students applying to college worry about being denied admissions, a seeming failure at the end of a twelve year long competition in the modern academic meritocracy. They’re frustrated that no guarantees exist, despite being taught that everyone has equal opportunity to compete in the modern academic meritocracy.  As Michael J. Sandel, Harvard professor, argues in his most recent book, The…

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Will the Entire Ivy League be Test Optional for Fall 2023 Admissions?

Updated: March 23, 2022 In September 2021, Cornell University, one of the eight Ivy League colleges, announced the continuation of their test-optional/test-free admissions policy for Fall 2023 and 2024 first year admissions, affecting current Class of 2023 high school Juniors. Will the remainder of the Ivy League follow Cornell’s lead, extending test-optional policies for another year?  While the exact answer…

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“Check Your Email”

AFTER submitting a college application, each admissions office emails each student an Applicant Portal, an online dashboard showing all required information has been received. Yet, many teenagers notoriously don’t check their email, or often they’ll overlook an Applicant Portal as a promotional ad for the university—since the sender’s address is the admissions office.  As college admissions officers may only communicate…

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College Admissions Storytelling Time is Upon Us

Applying to college is complicated. Many believe their past laurels will merit an acceptance letter, yet often fret about distinguishing themselves from other similarly qualified candidates. Thus, when all the boxes of biographical information are completed, the heavy lifting of answering, “Who am I?” in 500 words or less begins. Yet, for many teens, self-reflection is a muscle they may…

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Common App

Can I change my 650 word Common Application Essay After Submitting It Once? Take Two

Yes, students can edit/update/revise/rewrite the 650 word Common Application essay after submitting an application to one (or more) colleges, as was discussed last Fall 2020.  Yet, once a 650 word Common Application essay is submitted, the copy is final for that college. A revised 650 word Common Application essay will only be reviewed by college admissions officers who receive the…

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So Goes Harvard…

As of December 16, 2021, Harvard is the latest college to join the chorus of admissions officers extending test optional/test-blind/test-free admissions policies for at least the next Fall 2023 application cycle and often beyond. (Longstanding Harvard Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons announced extending test-optional admissions policies for the next four years through Fall 2026 admissions, impacting…

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