What Could Be Repercussions of Temporary Test-optional Policies?

For Fall 2021, 1575 colleges, nearly two-thirds of all U.S. universities are test optional (no SAT or ACT scores are required for admissions, but students can choose to submit scores) or test blind (no SAT or ACT scores will be considered, nor requested as part of the admissions evaluation), according to FairTest.  Since nearly two-thirds of all US universities will…

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Frustrations About Testing

To stymie cheating, teachers are changing assessments. Instead of simply reiterating the concepts learned, students are being asked to explain their answers or apply the concepts learned. However, no one shared the changes in how they’ll be assessed with students, inciting frustration amongst students as well as parents, and also teachers.  Online, students have access to calculators, Wikipedia and other…

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Consumer Confidence Drops

According to Bloomberg News: The Conference Board index, monitored by analysts as a signal of future consumer spending, dropped in October to 125.9 for a third-straight decline.  Bloomberg, October 27, 2020 Furthermore, waning consumer confidence can also indicate a lack of confidence in the labor market, in other words, consumers may be spending less in anticipation of lost wages or…

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Changes to Early Admissions for Fall 2021

College admissions officers are changing Fall 2021 early admissions opportunities, both Early Action and Early Decision. Early Action is defined as applying typically in November to receive an admissions decision in mid-Winter, without having to commit to enrollment until May of the following spring. Early Decision means applying early to receive a mid-winter admissions decision and an acceptance is a…

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Creative Marbles on the Future Trends Forum

To discuss the successes and implications of Bowdoin College’s iPad initiative to deliver education and maintain community ties, Bryan Alexander of the Future Trends Forum hosted Michael Cato, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Bowdoin College and Creative Marbles’ Jill Yoshikawa EdM. Michael discussed Bowdoin’s ambitious program, distributing an iPad, Apple Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2, as…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Will Eliminate SAT/ACT Scores by 2025, Part 15

Fall 2021 admissions evaluations may likely be more subjective since by court order, University of California (UC) admissions officers cannot consider more objective SAT or ACT scores. Thus, applicants would be prudent to understand the UC’s holistic admissions evaluation, guided by the 14 Comprehensive Review points.  UC admissions officers consider academic factors, such as GPA and any improvements in grades…

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College Admissions Officers’ Advice about Letters of Recommendation

As a part of college applications, a recommender’s job is sharing anecdotal evidence to demonstrate the dimension and strength of a student’s character. And, in the age of COVID, when admissions evaluations may be more subjective without a standardized test score being required, recommenders can present the students’ qualifications for admissions.  To assist counselors and teachers in writing their recommendations,…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Will Eliminate SAT/ACT Scores by 2025, Part 14

First year and transfer applicants are evaluated individually at each University of California (UC) campus, applying the parameters of the 14 Comprehensive Review criteria. Since the totality of a student’s experience is reviewed in the application, each UC campus’ readers can determine if the student qualifies for admissions to the specific UC campus.  In understanding the 14 Comprehensive Review points,…

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The 2021-22 FAFSA Is Open

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, which U.S. universities use to determine what, if any, financial assistance for families, opened on October 1, 2020. Parents and students can submit the form online, only requiring some time and patience to complete, what can, on first glance, be reminiscent of a complex tax form. Furthermore,…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Will Eliminate SAT/ACT Scores by 2025, Part 13

The University of California (UC) will not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores for first year admissions through the Fall of 2025, affecting students currently in grades 8-12 for the 2020-21 school year. Subjectivity in the admissions evaluations will likely increase, without the backstop of standardized test scores to compare other, less objective information, like extracurricular activity descriptions. …

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The Oxymoron of Learning from a Distance

Many students are dismayed, their hopes for a return to a long-established normal this fall, dashed, as school administrators continued suspending or severely curtailing in-person classes, as well as most clubs and sports through at least the end of 2020, due to the on-going COVID-related health risks. Continued distance learning has disrupted the coming of age process, ushering in a…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Will Eliminate the SAT/ACT Scores by 2025, Part 12

Since the University of California (UC) has suspended the requirement of SAT and ACT scores for all admissions cycles through Fall 2025, which affects current (2020-21) 8th graders, subjectivity in admissions evaluations will likely increase, as officers will lose a standardized metric as a comparison for the GPA, extracurricular resume and essays, utilizing the UC’s 14 Comprehensive Review points.  UC…

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A College Admissions Essay Contemplation

To effectively answer essay prompts, an integral component of applications for many US colleges as well as other countries scattered throughout the globe, requires understanding of the autobiographical writing process. According to the Oxford Dictionary, autobiography is “an account of a person’s life written by that person.” How does a teenager, or one of any age for that matter, immersed…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University Of California Will Eliminate SAT/ACT Scores By 2025, Part 11

University of California (UC) applicants are evaluated according to 14 different Comprehensive Review points, for which no one criteria is weighted more heavily than another. Thus, students’ talents and strengths can be more fairly identified when evaluating their admissions to the UC.  Ten of the fourteen Comprehensive Review points concern academic performance, validating the importance of demonstrating intellectual ability. Yet,…

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