CA State University

Open Letter to California State University Chancellor Castro

Dear Chancellor Castro: I respectfully seek clarification about the suspended requirement to submit SAT or ACT scores for Fall 2022 admissions, concerned that Fall 2022 applicants may wrongly assess their opportunities for admissions, thus potentially affecting their decision to submit a CSU application.  In preparing to advise clients about Fall 2022 admissions, I noted a discrepancy between the California State…

Continue Reading


Deferred Student Loan Payments and Interest May Diminish Tax Deduction

Starting in March 2020, first former President Trump, then President Biden have automatically suspended accrual of Federal student loan interest, as well as deferred student loan repayment for every borrower. According to Federal tax law, all borrowers can claim a deduction of the student loan interest paid during the previous tax year. Yet given the automatic deferment of interest for…

Continue Reading

Parents in the Age of the Zoom Schoolhouse

In Zoom School, some parents are redefining “Parent Participation”, or from their kids’ perspective, finding new ways to be embarrassing. 😂 To learn more how experts at Creative Marbles Consultancy, helps families resolve complex educational and college admissions concerns, especially during the COVID-induced disruption of education, read more at

It’s All About Confidence

Confidence is what makes the economy move. Falling confidence is a drag on economic growth. Right now, Americans are mixed yet leaning toward a recovering economy once pandemic restrictions are lifted.  Yet, only roughly a third of all Americans are confident to make a major purchase:  Thus, as acceptance letters trickle back to students during the next six weeks, will…

Continue Reading

College Recruitment Rebooted or Refined

On-going cancellations of the SAT and ACT administrations has interrupted the traditional college admissions recruitment cycle, which may eventually affect demand for college.  Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgia Tech, writes:  The mass cancellations and ensuing test-optional landslide has severely limited a big part of how colleges solicit applications through what we call “search.”…However, this traditional source of…

Continue Reading

Kurt Vonnegut’s Advice: Trust Your Experience

Sometimes, we gain clarity and/or confidence about our aptitude when the thoughts of another like Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse Five, reflects our own experience: When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to…

Continue Reading

Biology Master Work at a Discounted Price

E.O. Wilson, a Harvard-trained renowned biologist, and reported Father of Sociobiology, the study of the social behavior of insects and animals which includes humans, has published an entire biology course—an interactive tome—synthesizing much of Professor Wilson’s life’s work, a rethink of the biological idea, free to anyone on iTunes, Biology: Life on Earth. Image of E.O. Wilson from Wikipedia In…

Continue Reading

Motherly Unemployment Blues

Two income families have become synonymous with modern parenting. Yet, in the recent COVID-induced economic disruption, when women are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than men, the family dynamic may also be shifting.  ….by April [2020] the COVID-19 crisis had created a 3 percentage point gender gap in unemployment.  A similar gap emerged in the share of men…

Continue Reading

Zoom School.Joe Visitacion

Virtual Learning at a Cost

In virtual school, where the learning process is digitalized, students are struggling to access assignments, and to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum being presented, therefore, how can it not be that the potential for greater learning is lost?  Students learning virtually must navigate and utilize a sundry of online learning tools, reducing their time to understand concepts. For example, high…

Continue Reading

All Ivy League Colleges Are Test Optional for Fall 2022

Since every Ivy League college—Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Brown, Columbia, Barnard*, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell—extended their test-optional policies to include Fall 2022 admissions, current high school Class of 2022 juniors will not be obligated to submit SAT or ACT scores with their application.  Given the sudden change to test-optional policies, applicants inevitably ask whether they should submit SAT/ACT scores…

Continue Reading


Do I Take the May 2021 AP Exams?

For students questioning whether to take the AP exams, wondering if they’d score a 3 or higher to merit college credits, especially since adjusting to virtual learning may have detracted from learning subject material, I offer the following advice:   First, consider what information on the test may not be presented in class before the test date, and what effort would…

Continue Reading

Virtual College Marketplace

Each Spring Break, families pilgrimage to colleges, promoting the potential rewards if students continue achieving, reifying the belief that a college degree equals long term prosperity.  However, we’re still living through a pandemic, with some experts fearing another outbreak fueled by variants of the original COVID virus, could emerge at the end of March, coinciding with Spring Break.  Additionally, since…

Continue Reading

Should I take the SAT or ACT? Part 2

Many high school juniors who will be applying to college for Fall 2022 admissions are desperate to understand whether major universities will require SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications.  I would first caution parents and students to be patient and flexible when defining an SAT or ACT test-taking strategy given admissions policies regarding requiring test scores, in…

Continue Reading


On Children

Kahlil Gibran’s timeless poem provides a contemplation as we all share concerns for the youngest generations. And, while parents are typically the primary adult mentors for children, we all bear the responsibility of helping children realize their full potential. Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you…

Continue Reading


Forecasts for Fall 2021 Admissions

Like everything else in our COVID-colored reality, Fall 2021 college admissions decisions will be historic. Let’s review how: Two-thirds of all US universities and colleges are not requiring SAT or ACT scores as part of applications, and some are not considering the SAT or ACT scores at all, implementing what’s known as “test-blind” admissions, for the first time in nearly…

Continue Reading