Merit Scholarship Concerns

At some universities, SAT and ACT scores are used to award merit scholarships, in addition to being a metric for admissions. (Merit scholarships are awarded regardless of a student’s family’s financial status and based on an applicant’s qualifications, like GPA and SAT or ACT scores.) Many parents are concerned that their children will miss merit scholarship opportunities, if they do…

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The Enigma of the Local Context

For Fall 2021 first year applicants, earning the academic designation, Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) for University of California (UC) admissions, may be more difficult than in past years. Given the Spring 2020 implementation of Pass/No Pass grading systems, thus the loss of a semester’s worth of letter grades for GPA calculations, Class of 2021 seniors’ GPA’s could be…

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Paradise Lost

Many are doing more with less, while living through the global, systemic retreat from “life as we knew it”, induced by a virus we cannot see. For some, though, doing the “same with less” is now their life’s maxim, having accepted substantial pay cuts to remain employed during the current economic upheaval.  As Megan Casella of Politco writes: Now, with…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Eliminates SAT/ACT Scores…Sorta: Part 4

In a series of posts, I’m analyzing how University of California admissions officers will utilize the 14 Comprehensive Review factors to select incoming first year and transfer classes for Fall 2021, in light of SAT/ACT scores no longer being required for application. In the first post, I discussed GPA and grades, while in the second post, I wrote about how to craft…

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Princeton Suspends Early Action for Fall 2021

On June 18, 2020, Princeton University’s Dean of Admissions, Karen Richardson, temporarily suspended Princeton’s Single-Choice Early Action deadline for the Fall 2021 application cycle. All first year applicants will apply using a single deadline of January 1, 2021. Princeton is the first university in the U.S. to suspend the early admissions process for Fall 2021 admissions.  Princeton’s Dean Richardson explained…

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Navigating Fall 2021 College Admissions: Test-Optional Policies

Current high school juniors who will apply to colleges this Fall are anxious about amending their college plans, given the numerous cancelled SAT and ACT tests this spring, distance learning for the end of the spring semester, as well as not adding to their weighted GPAs as the academic progress of many is indicated with mandatory Pass/No Pass-style marks.  Additionally,…

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Fall 2021 Admissions Policies Turned Upside Down

With many different colleges amending admissions policies to be test-optional, no longer requiring SAT or ACT scores to be submitted with first year applications, as well as many K-12 schools and community colleges shifting grading policies to universal Pass/No Pass or expanding Pass/No Pass options for students at least for the Spring 2020 semester, the Fall 2021 college admissions cycle…

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University of California Responds to Creative Marbles Consultancy

The above letter is a response from Han Mi Yoon-Wu, Director of Undergraduate Admissions for the University of California Office of the President, after I emailed both UC President Janet Napolitano and the UC Board of Regents to request a response to my recent Open Letter to the University of California. I’m sharing Ms. Yoon-Wu’s response to help parents and…

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Good news with a caveat

As the graph above shows, for counties in the “Acceleration” and “Late Accumulation” stages, including the United States, the peak of the first wave of COVID-19 infections appears imminent, while countries like China and Korea are in the recovery stage of the cycle. So, the current efforts to “tampen the curve” by sheltering in place and closing schools and college…

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Test Optional Admissions

Given the cancellations of the ACT and SAT tests this spring 2020, several colleges, including the University of California, will have a test-optional policy for applicants starting next Fall 2020, meaning applicants are not required to submit SAT and ACT scores for admissions. However, the test optional policies vary per school, ranging from suspending the submission of SAT/ACT scores for only…

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An Open Letter to the University of California

Dear UC President Janet Napolitano, the UC Board of Regents, Chancellor Gary May, Chancellor Carol Christ, Chancellor Howard Gillman, Chancellor Nathan Bostrom, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor Harry T. Yang, Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive: In reviewing the University of California’s changes to admissions policies for Fall 2021 admissions, affecting current high school students, I respectfully ask…

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Harvard’s Going to Admit Less Kids to “Play”

Everyone knows someone’s daughter’s boyfriend’s cousin’s auntie’s neighbor’s niece who was a 4.0+ GPA, perfect 1600 SAT scoring, president of her class who didn’t get admitted into the university of her choice.  Being admitted to college only on one’s merits is a persistent expectation, despite the evidence of “worthy” students being denied admissions every year.  That college admissions isn’t a…

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StateFunding.CreativeMarbles

Tuition Surging at California Public Universities for 2017-18

University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) students will pay more tuition for the 2017-18 school year.  For the first time in six years, both the UC and CSU boards have approved tuition and fee increases.  At the same time, Governor Jerry Brown proposes to phase out the state-sponsored Middle Class Scholarship program for students starting college for the first…

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