UC Raises Tuition: A Sign of Fiscal Troubles?

The University of California (UC) will begin raising tuition annually starting in Fall 2022 and extending through at least Fall 2026. However, tuition will be raised for each incoming class of first year and transfer students, then held flat throughout the remainder of their years at the UC.  For Fall 2022 applicants, rising high school seniors on the cusp of…

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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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The Struggle to Realize Genius and the Cost of Failing to Do So

Everyone has genius. Yet, few discover their genius.  Every parent intends to unleash their child’s genius. Yet, the endeavor to help one’s child discover genius requires the intricate, on-going, at times, herculean effort to challenge expectations—one’s own, one’s extended family’s, as well as one’s culture’s and community’s—not to mention reconciling any gaps in a parent’s own undiscovered genius, a separate…

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Is the College Landscape Experiencing a Tectonic Shift Post Pandemic?

The effects of the COVID-induced disruptions to education have yet to be quantified in the intermediate and long term, thus educators struggling to redefine “normal” learning for years to come, as an entire COVID-affected generation, Pre-K through College, matriculates through the educational system. Additionally, the SAT, an 80 year old admissions requirement, is being summarily dismissed and subsequently, questioned. Students…

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The Summer of the Long Goodbye

Soon-to-be first year college students all over the world are separating from their childhoods—saying, “Goodbye” to friends, leaving their childhood bedrooms, and now emerging as an adult, learning to partner with their parents. They’re establishing their first households outside their family homes, a complicated endeavor often involving new responsibilities.  In readying to move, students are combing through a childhood’s worth…

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Required Math Courses Changing at the University of California (UC)

Students applying to the University of California (UC) for Fall 2022 admissions and beyond can now fulfill their third year of required mathematics with a variety of math courses, no longer required to take Integrated Math III, Algebra II or an equivalent. However, potential first year UC applicants should still take a Geometry or Geometry-equivalent course as one of their…

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The Responsibility of Freedom

Most teens eventually seek more independence from the watchful eyes of their parents, and many of them believe the freedom they so desire will be found attending college. Yet, just like Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolutionaries (or anyone seeking change), as so aptly advised:  Prudence, indeed will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and…

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How to Forecast the Expense of College

College admissions officers award merit scholarships to demonstrate their “value” of a student’s high school experience like signing bonuses for highly sought after employees. A merit scholarship acts as a “discount” on tuition, reducing the overall Cost of Attendance (COA) of any college education, as merit awards are typically renewable for four years.  Also, merit aid is awarded without regard…

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The search for merit aid begins with the proper valuation of a college degree

“Do you help with scholarships?” is often one of the first questions that parents ask me. Fearful of the ever-increasing cost of college tuition, they (mis)perceive a college education as a large purchase, rather than an investment.  To invest in a college education, both institution and family mutually consent to a partnership. Yet, in any partnership, both parties must first…

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Imperfect information to seek value in education

Education is often one of the most complicated investments people make in their lifetime.  As such, accurate information is essential, yet often difficult to acquire thus only increasing the risk of educational malinvestment.  There is a cornucopia of free information regarding every possible educational issue known to man, but remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for…” and…

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Advice on How to Answer COVID-Related Questions on College Applications

In the increasing subjectivity of admissions, as grades are affected by the transition to virtual learning and many extracurricular activities have been canceled or suspended until further notice, college admissions officers are seeking information about what students had planned, yet did instead.  Thus, students should reflect on their COVID-interrupted educational experience, to add context for their academic and extracurricular resumes…

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Uncommonly Common Advice for Graduates Seeking Collaboration instead of More Competition

As new college grads join the ranks of the career-minded, dutifully employed professional, hopeful yet apprehensive in the concomitant uncertainty, I’m sharing advice from Avni, who’s a few years post college graduation. Her wisdom as she reflected on her few years working full time wrangling adulthood, then wondering what if… I would give two pieces of advice to anyone who…

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