CA State University

Open Letter to California State University Chancellor Castro

Dear Chancellor Castro: I respectfully seek clarification about the suspended requirement to submit SAT or ACT scores for Fall 2022 admissions, concerned that Fall 2022 applicants may wrongly assess their opportunities for admissions, thus potentially affecting their decision to submit a CSU application.  In preparing to advise clients about Fall 2022 admissions, I noted a discrepancy between the California State…

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College Recruitment Rebooted or Refined

On-going cancellations of the SAT and ACT administrations has interrupted the traditional college admissions recruitment cycle, which may eventually affect demand for college.  Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgia Tech, writes:  The mass cancellations and ensuing test-optional landslide has severely limited a big part of how colleges solicit applications through what we call “search.”…However, this traditional source of…

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Do I Take the May 2021 AP Exams?

For students questioning whether to take the AP exams, wondering if they’d score a 3 or higher to merit college credits, especially since adjusting to virtual learning may have detracted from learning subject material, I offer the following advice:   First, consider what information on the test may not be presented in class before the test date, and what effort would…

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Virtual College Marketplace

Each Spring Break, families pilgrimage to colleges, promoting the potential rewards if students continue achieving, reifying the belief that a college degree equals long term prosperity.  However, we’re still living through a pandemic, with some experts fearing another outbreak fueled by variants of the original COVID virus, could emerge at the end of March, coinciding with Spring Break.  Additionally, since…

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On Children

Kahlil Gibran’s timeless poem provides a contemplation as we all share concerns for the youngest generations. And, while parents are typically the primary adult mentors for children, we all bear the responsibility of helping children realize their full potential. Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you…

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Forecasts for Fall 2021 Admissions

Like everything else in our COVID-colored reality, Fall 2021 college admissions decisions will be historic. Let’s review how: Two-thirds of all US universities and colleges are not requiring SAT or ACT scores as part of applications, and some are not considering the SAT or ACT scores at all, implementing what’s known as “test-blind” admissions, for the first time in nearly…

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Beware of unmet expectations

The root cause of the financial crisis was purely human factor. This human factor is the completely false sense of omnipotence, self-importance and entitlement among the country’s elite, as well as the nurturing of these beliefs at Ivy League colleges and other elite universities the US will be doomed to suffer other calamities every bit the equal of the financial…

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2020 COVID-Induced Retreat

First, in Spring 2020, as we retreated into our homes concerned for the health risks of contracting COVID, we re-centered our lives. Following stringent social distancing guidelines, we imported the world to our personal fiefdoms. Thus, we’re spending more on groceries to prepare our own meals, purchasing cable and satellite TV for news and entertainment, and cleaning products attempting to…

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Students select colleges, colleges don’t select students

The criminally fraudulent actions of Rick Singer and 50 parents and college administrators indicted in the college admissions scandal in 2019, highlighted the disparities and weaknesses in the college admissions system, as well as the cultural bias that a college degree is a salve for life’s uncertainties. As Washington Post journalist, Jeff Selingo writes: These rich and powerful parents —…

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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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(Re)writing college essays

Good writing is rewriting. Truman Capote Typically, high school students write one draft of an essay the night before the assignment is due amidst the myriad other homework assignments. Thus, drafting and editing and revising of each sentence happens simultaneously. But, typically, in writing college essays, drafting, editing, and revising are three separate steps, repeated multiple times per essay, as…

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The Next COVID Wave: Post-Thanksgiving Break?

Confirmed COVID cases are rising at different rates amongst the different regions in the United States and globally just as many college students will be released from their campuses at the Thanksgiving Break. As they begin traveling home, students may have to quarantine once again, just as they did to start the school year, but in their home states or…

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Can I Change My 650 Word Common Application Essay After Submitting It?

Updated: November 2020 from the original posted in July 2018 The short answer is yes…with an *.  [See Below] But, like any life-impacting decision, the short answer doesn’t account for the complexities of choosing a college.  And, the last three words are what’s most important to keep in mind:  YOU, the applicant, are the one who’s doing the choosing of…

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A College Admissions Essay Contemplation

To effectively answer essay prompts, an integral component of applications for many US colleges as well as other countries scattered throughout the globe, requires understanding of the autobiographical writing process. According to the Oxford Dictionary, autobiography is “an account of a person’s life written by that person.” How does a teenager, or one of any age for that matter, immersed…

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Economic Inequality & Generational Disparities Could Equal Deepening Divisions

In the 2009-2019 decade following The Great Financial Crisis, the top 5% experienced the greatest income increase of all Americans, further widening income disparities between the top and everyone else. Contributing to the wealth gap, during the same 2009-2019 decade, Millennials racked up nearly $893 billion in student loan debt to purchase college degrees as they chased economic prosperity, further…

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