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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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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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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How to assess the value of a college education in order to avoid malinvestment

Comparing the published price of tuition along with the size of the student population can be one metric to value a university education. However, “shopping” colleges on price alone is shortsighted, thus families may overlook valuable educational opportunities.  Instead families should determine the value of any college education by discussing answers to reflective questions, starting with, “Why is a student…

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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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What the University of California test-free policy means for applicants

Given the University of California (UC) test-free admissions policy, potential UC applicants will need to rethink how they prepare for admissions as well as frame their qualifications when applying, as subjectivity in admissions evaluations will likely increase: As more students may be emboldened to apply, especially those who believe standardized test scores do not reflect their aptitude, thus increasing applicant…

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Many congrats to the Class of 2021!

Students we advised, throughout the United States, were admitted to the following colleges for Fall 2021: On the West Coast PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES Arizona State University Chapman University Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Gonzaga University Cal Poly, Pomona Hawaii Pacific University California State University, Fullerton Lewis & Clark College California State University, Long Beach Occidental…

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GoodNews.Creative Marbles 2013

Four Year Colleges Still Accepting Fall 2021 Applications

The National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) published their annual “College Openings Update”, a database of four year US universities which are still accepting applications for the upcoming school year. Thus, for students interested in attending a four year college in the fall, there’s still admissions opportunities for Fall 2021.  Keep in mind that more colleges will likely be…

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College Admissions: complexity and emotion in a time of increasing demand

Every Spring, students and parents confront the subjectivity of the college admissions process, where “No’s”, “Yes’s” or “Maybe’s”, are all equally unexplainable, given the complexity inherent to the admissions evaluation process.  Thousands upon thousands of applicants are evaluated in under five months, read multiple times by at least two different individuals, who are all susceptible to bias, as well as…

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Introducing our Fall 2021 Educational Retainers: The Selective Tier

To assist the diversity of high school seniors and their families as they seek the greatest value in higher education, we offer a variety of retainers which are a culmination of our nearly twenty years of practice as educational consultants, as well as our understanding of the current trends in education.  Seeking higher education isn’t simply filling in boxes with…

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Changes to The Common Application Could Improve Access for Students

Dear Common Application CEO Jenny Rickard: In advising transfer students, I discovered several incongruencies which, although did not prevent a student from submitting his applications on time, created undue stress and confusion in the hours before the deadline expired.  I offer the following feedback for you and your colleagues to consider, as a means of continuous improvement to provide the…

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College Acceptances: the clouds will part and the sun will shine on a whole new day

Students who applied to colleges will now confront the need to grieve and celebrate simultaneously, as they receive admissions decisions. Acceptances eliciting an elation will be diminished by denials, which sometimes arrive on the same day, as well as by reactions to the success and failures of their peers.    In their grief over a denied admissions, students can desperately seek…

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Common Application Prompts to Change for Fall 2022 Admissions

A new 650 word Common Application (bolded in the list below) essay prompt is being added for Fall 2022 admissions, as a replacement for one prompt being “retired”.  Regardless of any prompt chosen, I recommend to avoid approaching the college essay as yet another school assignment, where students try to write and edit simultaneously, crafting one maybe two drafts and…

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Georgetown Extends Fall 2021 Applications

For students who’ve submitted Part 1 of the Georgetown Application, they can extend submission of their supplement application through January 13, 2021, extending their time to work on their essays. Why are a noticable number of universities extending their Fall 2021 Regular Decision deadlines, more than during a usual college application season? Specifically, are college admissions officers concerned about netting…

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Advice for Students from Students

I asked a recent college graduate, whom we advised during her high school years, what she believed could be improved about her undergraduate experiences. She shared the following: I think undergrad is complex. It’s an odd blend of finding yourself, finding your passion, and finding your career. And a lot of times those do not (maybe rightfully) overlap. That makes…

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