Will the Entire Ivy League be Test Optional for Fall 2023 Admissions?

In September 2021, Cornell University, one of the eight Ivy League colleges, announced the continuation of their test-optional/test-free admissions policy for Fall 2023 and 2024 first year admissions, affecting current Class of 2023 high school Juniors. Will the remainder of the Ivy League follow Cornell’s lead, extending test-optional policies for another year?  While the exact answer is still to be…

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So Goes Harvard…

As of December 16, 2021, Harvard is the latest college to join the chorus of admissions officers extending test optional/test-blind/test-free admissions policies for at least the next Fall 2023 application cycle and often beyond. (Longstanding Harvard Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons announced extending test-optional admissions policies for the next four years through Fall 2026 admissions, impacting…

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News 93.1 KFBK interview with Jill Yoshikawa of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Pondering Progressive Grade Policies

Yesterday, I discussed how changes to academic letter grades may impact students, educators and families with Aubrey Aquino of KFBK News Radio, here in Sacramento, CA. Some school district officials, like those in Sacramento City Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District, will no longer award D’s or F’s to students failing to meet…

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Back in School, But Not Quite Back to Normal

As the novelty of once again gathering in classrooms is waning, both students and teachers are waking to the not-quite-normal reality of what was previously predictable. For starters, only the Class of 2022 seniors experienced a full, non-COVID colored high school year, while Class of 2025 freshmen were seventh graders when last in full time, in person school.  Teachers are…

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Report Car

Pass/No Pass Grades and College Admissions

In response to the historic health crisis, many school district officials sent millions of students home with little or no planning for the continuity of their education. Thus, as they implemented Emergency Learning, hastily shifting whole schools from brick and mortar buildings to virtual settings, many also changed grading policies, seeking to relieve stress for students and their families.  In…

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It’s Decision Time Already for May 2022 Advanced Placement Exam Registration

A month into the current school year, and The College Board is already calling for students to determine if they’ll take Advanced Placement (AP) tests in May 2022. Thus, high school site based AP Coordinators and teachers are asking students their intentions as well as sending parent emails asking for registration fees. Potential AP exam takers have also recently returned…

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Students Return to a COVID Constrained School

Now back on school campuses, many students grieve the lost 18 months. Freshmen returned as high school juniors, confronting adulthood. Seventh graders returned as high school freshmen, skipping their tweens. College sophomores returned to confront graduating into life.  The “new normal,” for students is wearing masks all day, teachers simultaneously managing social distancing requirements and curriculum, and daily “wellness” checks…

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LET THE COLLEGE FAIRS BEGIN!

As the season of college fairs, whether virtual or in person, commences, families should pause to craft a plan before the event. Reviewing the list of college admissions officers in attendance, then discriminately choosing which college representatives with whom to connect is prudent to maximize the benefit of the speed dating-like conditions of a college fair.   Students generally have 60-90…

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Building healthy money habits

Guest Post: 3 Easy steps to building healthy money habits with your children!

Although intended for families with younger children, Jessica Weaver’s advice to help kids become financially literate applies to teenagers as well. Inherent to financial literacy is defining one’s values, which is an essential tool for teens and families reduce the risk of college malinvestment. The other day I was squeezing in some work while sitting with my daughter, Andie! She…

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Common App

Discipline question on the Common App disappearing for Fall 2022 Admissions

First year college applicants using The Common Application will no longer be prompted to report any high school disciplinary infractions, starting with the Fall 2022 admissions cycle. Similarly, counselors will not be specifically prompted to report disciplinary actions in their letters of recommendation or School Report.  The Common Application CEO Jenny Rickard reasons: Requiring students to disclose disciplinary actions has…

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Gen Z: The Young and Increasingly Disaffected

As of First Quarter 2021, 3.8 million 20-24 year olds are not in school nor employed, 740,000 more young adults adrift than in First Quarter 2020. While wondering, “Where are they?”, more disturbing to consider is, “What are the long term consequences of a delayed entry into adulthood?”  First, dismay may be transforming into disaffection. The current generation of 20-24…

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The 2021-22 School Year Dawns and The Plague Remains

COVID fatigue: borne of that daily reminder of our own mortality and the mortality of those we care about, of the suffering of illness, the suffering of trying to stave off illness only to fail. We’re a global society trying to out-think, out-science a sequence of RNA which is out-mutating our collective human intellect.  In the midst of such an…

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