Put Down Your #2 Pencils, The University of California Eliminates SAT/ACT Scores: Part 3

As part of a series of posts, I’ll analyze each of the University of California’s (UC) 14 Comprehensive Review factors which admissions officers will apply to select their incoming first year and transfer classes. The first post can be reviewed here, and in this second post, the following factor will be examined:  Number of, content of and performance in academic…

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Why Do You Want to Attend College?

As an educational consultant, when I ask the question in the title, students and their parents are often stunned and momentarily speechless. Parents usually look at their kids, shrugging their shoulders, as if to communicate, “She’s asking you, you answer.” Then, kids often confess that although they expect to attend college, they’ve never really considered the reasons why they personally…

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Ahead of the Curve: Week of April 27, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 health crisis disrupting educational and instructional continuity, students, parents, and educators are asking and being asked questions about the current educational process, which is also spurring discussions about the value of education.   The following is a selection of education-related news stories from the past few weeks, offering insights about the shifts in both K-12 and higher…

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Easy Does It

School district officials around the country are struggling to define how instruction will continue, and more importantly how students will be evaluated, given that school sites will be closed through the end of the school year. Some district administrators have decided to emulate the actions of many US colleges, and implement a Pass/No Pass grading policy. With little discussion of…

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Top 25 Nationally Ranked Universities Adopt Pass/No Pass-Style Grades for Spring 2020

To date, thirteen of the top twenty-five US News & World Report nationally ranked universities, all adopted Pass/No Pass-style grading systems for the spring term, due to the COVID-19 health crisis: Princeton #1, Harvard #2, Columbia #3, Yale #3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology #3, University of Pennsylvania #6, Stanford University #6, Johns Hopkins University #10, Dartmouth #12, Brown #14, Cornell…

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Who’s the Class Clown?

Teachers got jokes Some advice for those students wanting to be the next Jack Ryan: If you’re looking to hide top secret information, insert it into a syllabus or an assignment’s instructions. No one will ever read it. — Typical EduCelebrity (@EduCelebrity) December 2, 2019 And, just to shake things up for those parents who religiously check their kids’ online…

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SAT Adversity Scores

The Wall Street Journal recently unveiled of what’s being called, “SAT Adversity Score”, which is an attempt to address the question of fairness in college admissions, as well as the “nature vs. nurture” debate about what most influences a human to develop their full human potential. In their own executive summary, The College Board reasons the development of an “Adversity…

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AP Exam = Stress?

Now that AP (Advanced Placement) tests are imminent, the stress level of high school students (and by extension—their parents) is noticeably increasing. Not only are students taking multiple tests in a few short weeks, students are also in the last month of a long school year, and the pressures of thinking that college admissions officers will be scrutinizing their every…

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The Unveiling of the Educational Meritocracy

As the saying goes, “For every system, there is a counter system.” And, the recent Federal indictments of 50 individuals only becomes the latest example of an educational counter-system. College coaches, athletic department administrators, parents, and Rick Singer, the independent college admissions consultant, collectively found a way around the admissions office, the “front door” of colleges, to what Mr. Singer…

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Grade Inflation Exposed

I often listen to students’ and parents’ worries about high school grades that are any other letter but an A. The A grade has become synonymous with “smart”, “the key to college acceptances” and “bragging rights”.  But, in the quest to “achieve”, often the confidence in knowing oneself and one’s strengths, so as to boldly walk into adulthood with a…

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ARGGHHH…#$%@^ Sickness

The days of Calvin-esque thinking are gone. Now, to miss school and recover from illness is more trouble than worthwhile.  Missing assignments means hours of make-up work on top of already multi-hour nightly homework sessions, and missing tests is a complex, logistical hassle to coordinate already busy teacher’s, kid’s and parent’s carpool schedules to find time for a makeup exam.  Thus,…

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The Junior Dilemma

Right about now, junior parents’ anxieties about college applications begin rising.  Thus, they begin asking, imploring, nagging, begging, commanding their 16 or 17 year old teenager to discuss the details of their college plans.  However, juniors may resist their parents’ attempts to initiate conversation about their futures—mostly demonstrated by not applying for summer programs, not identifying colleges for application, not…

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