COVID Crossword

In response to a reported case of COVID-19, K-12 school administrators and teachers in one California district must navigate the myriad, interlocking actions as outlined below: While everything works in theory, when created in a vacuum, the theory may be less useful in practice. One teacher shared that their school nurses, working in conjunction with the county public health officials,…

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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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The Downside of the Academic Meritocracy

The sentiments of a current second-year college student attending a public flagship university in California when reflecting on the perils of the academic meritocracy: Rewarding/punishing requires less effort [by faculty and students] though, making it the easier default [system for measuring academic performance]. Assigning expectations, whether positive or negative, is a low-effort path that leads to lots of power/authority [on…

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“Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

So, said Warren Buffet, net worth $86 billion. Tuition can be a measurement of value, as in, “What’s the value of the education for the number of dollars exchanged?” When families question the “affordability” of a particular college, as in, “Do I have enough money to pay for X College?”, they’re in essence determining the value of one college’s education for…

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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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The Mental Health of the Young

March 13, 2020 is Gen Z’s “Day of Infamy”, when K-12 school campuses closed due to COVID-related health risks, sequestering an entire generation of youth in the midst of their coming of age. Amidst the sudden, and now ever-extending health emergency, precipitating continued distance learning and canceled extracurricular activities, the emotional toll on teens only exacerbates existing pressures.  But there…

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The Unemployment Conundrum Continues

Increasing emergency unemployment claims seems to indicate more people have lost their jobs, yet decreasing continuing jobless claims could mean those unemployed are now employed or failed to get a job, thus are or at risk of being permanently unemployed (or those no longer looking for work.) Translation: we either have at best a bifurcated job market or at worst,…

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The Emotional Health of Teenagers

Adults often minimize the mental health of teenagers as “They’re young, they’ll get over it.” Yet, not every youth (or adult) can cope with life’s inevitable difficulties to the same degree. Even pre-COVID, the young, age 10-24 years old, were committing suicide at greater rates in nearly every state in the US.  Since teenagers’ mental health is a complicated issue,…

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What Could Be Repercussions of Temporary Test-optional Policies?

For Fall 2021, 1575 colleges, nearly two-thirds of all U.S. universities are test optional (no SAT or ACT scores are required for admissions, but students can choose to submit scores) or test blind (no SAT or ACT scores will be considered, nor requested as part of the admissions evaluation), according to FairTest.  Since nearly two-thirds of all US universities will…

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Consumer Confidence Drops

According to Bloomberg News: The Conference Board index, monitored by analysts as a signal of future consumer spending, dropped in October to 125.9 for a third-straight decline.  Bloomberg, October 27, 2020 Furthermore, waning consumer confidence can also indicate a lack of confidence in the labor market, in other words, consumers may be spending less in anticipation of lost wages or…

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Changes to Early Admissions for Fall 2021

College admissions officers are changing Fall 2021 early admissions opportunities, both Early Action and Early Decision. Early Action is defined as applying typically in November to receive an admissions decision in mid-Winter, without having to commit to enrollment until May of the following spring. Early Decision means applying early to receive a mid-winter admissions decision and an acceptance is a…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Will Eliminate SAT/ACT Scores by 2025, Part 15

Fall 2021 admissions evaluations may likely be more subjective since by court order, University of California (UC) admissions officers cannot consider more objective SAT or ACT scores. Thus, applicants would be prudent to understand the UC’s holistic admissions evaluation, guided by the 14 Comprehensive Review points.  UC admissions officers consider academic factors, such as GPA and any improvements in grades…

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College Admissions Officers’ Advice about Letters of Recommendation

As a part of college applications, a recommender’s job is sharing anecdotal evidence to demonstrate the dimension and strength of a student’s character. And, in the age of COVID, when admissions evaluations may be more subjective without a standardized test score being required, recommenders can present the students’ qualifications for admissions.  To assist counselors and teachers in writing their recommendations,…

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Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Will Eliminate SAT/ACT Scores by 2025, Part 14

First year and transfer applicants are evaluated individually at each University of California (UC) campus, applying the parameters of the 14 Comprehensive Review criteria. Since the totality of a student’s experience is reviewed in the application, each UC campus’ readers can determine if the student qualifies for admissions to the specific UC campus.  In understanding the 14 Comprehensive Review points,…

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