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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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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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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Highly Selective Indeed

Throughout the Ivy League, possibly emboldened by test-optional admissions policies being one less barrier to entry, Fall 2021 applicants increased by double digits, adding subjectivity to the admission evaluation process and dropping admit rates year over year, some to record lows at Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania.  Ivy League admit rates for the Classes of 2025: Harvard, 3.4% Columbia,…

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2021 Creative Marbles’ Educational Retainer Offerings Continued

As no two families are the same, we offer a diverse range of advising options for parents and students to retain our counsel, which were first introduced in the Elite and Selective Tiers. The following offerings in the Preparatory Tier backstop a families’ efforts with strategic, poignant guidance at timely intervals, utilizing the totality of experience as educators for the…

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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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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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Common Application Technical Issues

SECOND UPDATE 12:34 AM, JANUARY 3, 2021 At 10:59 pm PST on January 2, 2021, Stanford admissions officers replied by email to Creative Marbles, as well as below, that applications will continue to be accepted until January 3, 2021 at 11:59 pm PST. Similarly, Cornell University will accept applications until January 8, 2021. **UPDATE TO EARLIER POST** As of 10:25…

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More Regular Decision Deadline Extensions

Pitzer College in Southern California and Barnard College in New York City both extended the Regular Decision application deadline for first year applicants. Pitzer’s deadline is now January 8, 2021 and Barnard’s deadline is now January 4, 2021. As a trend is forming amongst private universities to extend deadlines, applicant should check their email frequently, as, for some colleges, the…

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College Application Deadlines & Time Zones

Although college applications are technically due at 11:59 pm on the deadline day, “11:59 pm” might be hours earlier or later than the time zone where the applicant lives, depending on the admissions policies of the college. Thus, applicants should pay attention to the local time zone where a college is located. Although The Common Application promotes: The end of…

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Guest Post: The Declaration of a College Applicant

Ellie, a high school senior, wrote the following reflection for one of her college essays: In life, I have just been going through the motions, never stopping to pause and contemplate or observe anything. I chased happiness, but once I finally held contentment in my grasp, it quickly slipped through my fingers and the chase started all over again. Until…

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Applying to College: From Chaos Comes Confidence

Typically, in the few days before a college application deadline, both applicants and their parents are wondering: Adding to their stress, students wildly speculate that their efforts to complete their applications will merit them the following response: Anticipating the worst case scenario of a denied admissions, in the midst of crafting their quintessential life’s story, AKA college essays, they often…

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Be True to You

For those students who worry about distinguishing themselves in their college applications, especially as they draft their essays, need to watch the following clip with Yakko, Wakko, and Dot: No need to ask Google for a list of “good” college essays. Those are other people’s stories, and while their autobiography may rhyme, “There’s only one of you.” For more information…

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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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