The UC Extends Test-Free Admissions Through Fall 2025

On May 14, 2021, University of California (UC) officials agreed to extend “test-free” admissions policies through Fall 2025, meaning SAT or ACT scores will not be required nor considered in either admissions or scholarship considerations for the next four application cycles. Current Class of 2022 high school juniors through current eighth graders will be affected by the settlement agreement in…

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When Working With Teachers, Be Proactive

Hello Students: As you’re calculating how long you can wait to turn in assignments yet still “make the grade” before the end of the school year, also consider that many teachers are also (very) eagerly anticipating summer vacation (possibly even more than you). Thus, teachers, who have navigated an extraordinarily complex school year and are subject to human limits, may…

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College admissions opportunities in the time of COVID

As college enrollments continue sliding, current college students, both those at four year colleges and those aspiring to transfer from a community college, as well as high school students seeking admissions in Fall 2022 and beyond will likely benefit.  Spring 2021 total undergraduate enrollment decreased by 5.9% at two and four year colleges in the United States, a greater percentage…

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Many congrats to the Class of 2021!

Students we advised, throughout the United States, were admitted to the following colleges for Fall 2021: On the West Coast PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES Arizona State University Chapman University Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Gonzaga University Cal Poly, Pomona Hawaii Pacific University California State University, Fullerton Lewis & Clark College California State University, Long Beach Occidental…

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Tests assess but don’t always determine aptitude

And, as Bart Simpson exemplifies once again, a test without context can create conflicting results far removed from reality. Answering standardized multiple choice questions, at a single moment in the time-space continuum, subject to emotional reactions and human temperament, then interpreted in a formulaic analysis, identifying aptitude without ever seeking the view of the kid whose future has now been…

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COVID Effect On Colleges Extends to Fall 2021

Every day, college administrators are announcing Fall 2021 COVID vaccine policies, stoking lively conversations on social media about the requirement to be vaccinated, as well as continued social distancing protocols.  While many colleges continue debating how they’ll conduct the business of education in Fall 2021, and others have announced that they’re re-opening campuses for business as usual, students should be…

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Consider College Value to Avoid Malinvestment

According to famed investor and one of the world’s wealthiest men, Warren Buffet, “Price is what you pay and value is what you get.” And, given that the total price for college continues to rise at a rate greater than consumer price inflation, and families have already invested considerable capital as well as effort to prepare for college, it would…

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Keep Calm and Learn On

Calm and concentration are essential to learning. Yet, in the high stakes, fast-paced, memorize and regurgitate modern American academic meritocratic classroom, where secondary school students switch from learning Calculus to Shakespeare in five minutes or less after deftly navigating the social complexity in crowded (even in COVID-affected days) hallways from one class to the next, calm is difficult to find…

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Four Year Colleges Still Accepting Fall 2021 Applications

The National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) published their annual “College Openings Update”, a database of four year US universities which are still accepting applications for the upcoming school year. Thus, for students interested in attending a four year college in the fall, there’s still admissions opportunities for Fall 2021.  Keep in mind that more colleges will likely be…

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College Admissions In the Time of COVID

Recently, I spoke with families at the Sacramento Buddhist Church about the current state of education, particularly changes to the college admissions process as a result of the near holistic COVID-induced disruption. I’ve highlighted several issues in the following post, as well as included the full recording. Questions about widespread test-optional admissions dominated our conversation, as a multi-generational precedent in…

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Why the May 13, 2021 10 Year Treasury Auction Matters to Student & Parent Loan Borrowers

Federal student loan interest rates, the cost of borrowing money to be paid at a fixed rate over the life of the loan, are set by adding 2.05% for undergraduate loans to the 10 Year Treasury Rate after the last May auction each school year. [For the upcoming 2021-22 school year, loan interest rates will be set after the May…

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Has the college admissions bubble finally popped?

The law of supply and demand dictates that when prices rise, demand shrinks. Yet, demand for college education post-WWII seems to be inelastic (meaning that demand does not seem to react to increases in price), has only increased, despite the four-digit increase in tuition and costs that has been leveraged to the tune of $1.7 trillion in student loan debt…

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The path to educational normalcy begins….sort of

Even though students are returning to K-12 campuses, either in hybrid models, toggling between in person attendance on campuses and virtual school, or a full five day a week schedule, the social dynamic amongst students as well as the learning process, is shifting.  New social divisions amongst students are forming, as some students, especially secondary school students, are discomforted confronting…

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College Admissions: complexity and emotion in a time of increasing demand

Every Spring, students and parents confront the subjectivity of the college admissions process, where “No’s”, “Yes’s” or “Maybe’s”, are all equally unexplainable, given the complexity inherent to the admissions evaluation process.  Thousands upon thousands of applicants are evaluated in under five months, read multiple times by at least two different individuals, who are all susceptible to bias, as well as…

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