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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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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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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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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The New College Student Dilemma

Three tasks not likely a part of a standard College Move-In Checklist, yet are on every first year college student’s mind:  Establish new community (i.e. make new friends), and how do I make new friends in COVID-related restrictions? Adjust to new, constantly evolving academic expectations “What am I going to be when I grow up?” existential questions Second year students…

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More About Test-Optional Admissions

We’ve abruptly and unequivocally changed the rules of college admissions for all expected-to-attend-college Gen Z’ers and, by extension, their parents, precipitating wide-ranging reactions. But, all reactions are underpinned by what one university administrator recently shared in a Maguire Associates survey:  “Students are confused by the various test requirements and second guess what we are really doing behind the curtain. There…

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See, Speak, Hear no evil monkeys

Beware of Admissions CON-sultants Hiding in Your Midst

Amidst the rise of the academic meritocracy, as increasing numbers of students qualify for then apply to college, selectivity for admissions annually increases, yet high school counseling staff has been inadequate for the demand, thus many families seek the help of private admissions consultants. But, in the Era of Educational Experts, when qualifications and motivations to help families range widely,…

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