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Pass/No Pass Grades and College Admissions

In response to the historic health crisis, many school district officials sent millions of students home with little or no planning for the continuity of their education. Thus, as they implemented Emergency Learning, hastily shifting whole schools from brick and mortar buildings to virtual settings, many also changed grading policies, seeking to relieve stress for students and their families.  In…

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Comic: Phineas & Ferb

College Admissions Essay Writing, A Difficult but Rewarding Journey of Self Discovery

“You should definitely start writing your essays early” is common advice college students give to their high school senior friends. Yet, typically, the peer advisor shares little insight to why they started their essays “later” or how writer’s blocks stymied their own efforts in the beginning writing stages.  Thus, the college applicant simply stresses about being “behind” in completing applications,…

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When writing college essays: be yourself, not plagued by doubt

Every year, high school seniors doubt that characterizing their experiences with rigorous honesty, exposing their human flaws or even a critique of their educational experience in their college application essays will garner them the acceptance they seek. They, instead, seek to rationalize contorting themselves into some glimmer or reflection of themselves in order to game admissions.  One senior last Fall…

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What’s the difference between Test-Optional, Test-Blind, and Test-Free College Admissions Policies?

For Fall 2022 admissions, nearly two-thirds of U.S. universities will again use test-optional, test-blind, or test-free admissions policies. Yet, for an entire generation of applicants (and their parents) for whom college admissions is synonymous with “take the SAT or ACT”, differentiating the policies can be helpful to continue strategizing for their individual college educational goals.  Under test-optional policies, students can…

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Applying to College is Often A Long and Winding Road

Writing college essays is an intricate dance, often not a project that’s completed according to scheduled benchmarks and not without conflicts along the way. Often, applicants work in fits and starts, and typically, not in accordance with a parent’s expectations.  Seventeen years of expectations, emotions and experiences can obstruct the effort to draft autobiographical essays. Furthermore, teens are reflecting on…

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Common App

How to Best Answer the New 650 Word Common Application Essay Prompt for Fall 2022

The 2021-22 Common Application includes a new 650 word personal statement prompt, one of seven choices:  Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? Bold emphasis added by CMC After analyzing the new prompt, a few tips for students to…

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It’s Decision Time Already for May 2022 Advanced Placement Exam Registration

A month into the current school year, and The College Board is already calling for students to determine if they’ll take Advanced Placement (AP) tests in May 2022. Thus, high school site based AP Coordinators and teachers are asking students their intentions as well as sending parent emails asking for registration fees. Potential AP exam takers have also recently returned…

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Imagine

To Interview or Not That is The Question

Many private university admissions officers invite applicants to schedule an evaluative admissions interview before they apply. Typically, applicants need to complete interviews by December of any admissions cycle. However, students should check the deadlines for interviews on admissions websites. Admissions interviews are optional, meaning if a student cannot or does not schedule an interview, no penalties will be assessed nor…

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Students Return to a COVID Constrained School

Now back on school campuses, many students grieve the lost 18 months. Freshmen returned as high school juniors, confronting adulthood. Seventh graders returned as high school freshmen, skipping their tweens. College sophomores returned to confront graduating into life.  The “new normal,” for students is wearing masks all day, teachers simultaneously managing social distancing requirements and curriculum, and daily “wellness” checks…

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Sponge Bob comic

Supplemental Essays Matter: view from someone who matters, an admission officer

“A” students, who also happen to be college applicants, notoriously follow directions to the T. So, the lack of a rubric, standard, or other detailed set of directions for writing the college essays, beyond the confirmation bias of an acceptance letter is disconcerting to say the least.  Seeking to reduce confusion, the following is an analysis of Sam Prince’s, Bard…

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To Apply Early Or Not That Is The Question

“I’ll have a better chance of admission if I apply early, right?” is a popular question at this time of year, every year. Applicants, seeking any seeming advantage in the admissions process, believing the objective is winning a vaunted acceptance letter, can naively choose to apply during early admissions rounds.  Groomed since Pre-K, many current Gen Z’ers, like Millennials, many…

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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: New York Federal Reserve 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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