A meditating frog

Living With Roommates

Many first year college students are sharing a room with another person for the first time, as well as deliberately establishing their own living space. While intellectually, many understand that they’ll need to find common ground with their new roommates, many are underprepared for the work of negotiating ground rules.  One, now second year college student, Colin, who chose to…

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Describing Extracurricular Activities In Digital College Applications Can Be An Exercise in Frustration

Students commit hours of their lives, year after year, in organized activities afterschool and on the weekends. (Their parents, as chauffeurs/Uber drivers, coaches, snack providers, co-chairs of every fundraiser, etc, equally spend years of their lives as their kids’ support team.)  Thus, at the moment of capitalizing on their efforts, as part of the online college application activities & awards…

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Comic: I'm more confused than a chameleon in a bag of skittles

JUST THE FACTS

A college acceptance isn’t a cure-all, get-out-of-jail-free card, where untold riches and lifelong prosperity are as plentiful and readily flowing as red cups filled from a college party keg. Instead:  FACT: 37% of all students transfer colleges at least once in a six year period. FACT: 33% of first year students don’t re-enroll for the second year at the same…

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California Polytechnic Institute, San Luis Obispo – Cal Poly SLO to those in the know – is an Exception When Calculating GPA

22 of 23 California State Universities (CSU) calculate the college application grade point average (GPA), using academic course grades from the 10th and 11th grade, known as the A-G requirements. Extra grade points awarded for Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Honors courses are capped at eight (8) semesters, or four full year long courses.  However, Cal Poly San…

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University of California Logo

FAQ about Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) for the University of California (UC)

Each spring, California high school juniors, who are likely within the top 20% academically in their class, are invited to submit their official high school transcripts to the University of California (UC) for their potential Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) status when applying for admissions.  What is ELC?  The designation of any California high school student who: Completed a…

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CMC_Debt(lg).2014

Housing Crunch

While annually rising college tuition is regularly reported in the news, frequently prompting much concern and discussion, few families discuss increasing housing costs. Yet, depending on the city where the college campus is located and the availability of on-campus housing, where to live can quickly create additional costs, both in opportunity and financially for undergraduates.  First, for young adults who…

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College Price Is, Contrary to Popular Opinion, Negotiable 

Warren Buffet famously stated, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” Thus, in valuing the education at one college in comparison to the education at another college (or even a third campus), contrary to popular belief, families have the advantage.  Families can negotiate college price, known in educational parlance as “Cost of Attendance” to reduce out-of-pocket costs,…

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Comic: I'm more confused than a chameleon in a bag of skittles

Post College Admissions Decisions Drama Unfolds

In the aftermath of high school seniors receiving their Fall 2022 college admissions decisions, many people are acting as amateur college admissions officers, including applicants’ themselves and their families. Many speculate why someone was denied, yet another (who seems less qualified) was admitted.  In the speculative frenzy, often, urban myths are perpetuated:   MYTH: Out-of-state applicants, who pay more tuition, are…

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California State Universities (CSU) Eliminate SAT and ACT Scores from First Year Admissions

As of March 23, 2022, all public universities in California are now test free, meaning no SAT or ACT scores are required, nor will be considered in admissions. The California State Universities (CSU) Trustees permanently eliminated SAT and ACT scores from consideration, joining with the University of California (UC) Regents who declared permanent test free policies last fall.  Of note,…

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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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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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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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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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Report Car

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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