Stop Guessing About Test Optional Admissions

With continued, widespread test optional admissions policies, where students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their college applications, inevitably, students, under the misconception that an acceptance letter is THE objective of college admissions, worry about unwittingly harming their admissions evaluation by either adding or excluding test scores from their application.  With test-optional admissions, students…

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Mr. Kipling’s Advice for College Applicants

Prior to the senior year of high school or transfer admissions, students simply matriculate in a pack, taking the same classes, striving for the same grades, clustering in similar out-of-school enrichment activities. Yet, at the moment of applying to college, students need to make their own decision—relate the process, to what Mr. Kipling shares the benefits, yet complexity of walking…

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College Selection: Making College Admissions a Game, a Common Mistake

Selection is defined as “serious attention and vigilant consideration”. Therefore the effective selection of colleges is essential to reduce risks of mis-allocating $150,000 to $200,000. Yet, parents and teens compromise their ability to reason, as they’re often also attempting to counter emotion and expectation, with misconceptions when seeking value in college, only adding complexity to selecting colleges.   Families often mis-perceive…

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The Risks of Applying Early Decision

Many students as well as their parents believe that if they apply Early Decision they have an “advantage” given the higher admit rate over regular decision. However, given Early Decision is a binding choice, where students MUST enroll (legal but is it constitutional?) If admitted, considering the pros and cons therefore is prudent.  While the percentage of students admitted from…

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Full Circle: Early Decision is Regular Decision Again and The College Admissions Rat Race Continues Unabated 

Tulane University admitted two-thirds of their Fall 2022 class, through Early Decision, essentially transforming early admissions into Regular Decision. If Tulane is setting a trend (our base case) or will remain an outlier in college admissions (not likely), depends on whether students and parents continue to apply early admissions believing in their worth as candidates or (more likely) gaming the…

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The College Admissions Guessing Game

The subjectivity of college admissions, combined with the unpredictability of the future, parents and graduating high school seniors, are making (sometimes) educated guesses about college often imbued with expectation and clouded by emotion regarding the value—often complex to define—of a college education. To value a college education, families must be as candid as possible. Additionally, each family member must willingly…

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Quote: Steve Jobs

Freedom Comes From Within, Not By Attending College

Often, teens seek freedom, as a primary reason for attending college. To which, their parents nod knowingly, smiling slyly, complicit in their teen’s seeming act of rebellion, believing that a college education is a coming of age into the freedom of adulthood. However students and parents should reflect on what it means to be free, and free of or from…

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College Admissions Mis-Information

Although hearsay, defined as: “information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate”, is not admissible in any court of law, every day, every year, families make complex educational choices, consequential for their children’s prosperity, based on the hearsay, passing as truth, circulated along The Parent Network, distorted with each retelling, which may have been a selective assertion in the first place. …

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Is Demand for College Education Cooling?

In questioning the affordability of college, more families are asking, “Is the value of a college degree concomitant to the price?” However, despite annually increasing discounts on college tuition, 54.5% in 2021-22, thus improving college affordability for a wider swath of families, college enrollment continues dropping. As previously discussed in our series about the already shrinking middle class, increasing tuition…

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Applying to the Ivy League (Or Similarly Selective Colleges) Requires a Gut Check

Applying to an Ivy League or other similarly highly selective college, where 95-97% of all applicants are denied admissions can be intimidating. To apply or not apply requires asking, “Just because I can (since I’m qualified), does that mean I should?”  Being the top of one’s class in one’s local high school, even in a reputedly academically rigorous, application-only program,…

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The Era of the Disaffected

Gen Z and increasingly Millennials are disaffected. For many, the dystopian stories they consumed as kids, Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Hunger Games, the Divergent series and the like, are now reality. Adherents of YOLO (You Only Live Once), Z’ers and Millennials often maintain a “winner take all and consequences be damned” attitude.  Their “Ok, Boomer” eye-rolling may be…

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College: In Loco Parentis? Not.

Congratulations on being accepted to college!  But, now the work begins. During college, each student still needs to seek understanding of their aptitude, collaborating with mentors, to unleash joy and thus more likely realize a lasting economic vitality.  However, many students expect colleges and universities to act in loco parentis, in the place of a parent, guiding them into adulthood…

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California Polytechnic Institute, San Luis Obispo – Cal Poly SLO to those in the know – is an Exception When Calculating GPA

22 of 23 California State Universities (CSU) calculate the college application grade point average (GPA), using academic course grades from the 10th and 11th grade, known as the A-G requirements. Extra grade points awarded for Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Honors courses are capped at eight (8) semesters, or four full year long courses.  However, Cal Poly San…

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FAQ about Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) for the University of California (UC)

Each spring, California high school juniors, who are likely within the top 20% academically in their class, are invited to submit their official high school transcripts to the University of California (UC) for their potential Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) status when applying for admissions.  What is ELC?  The designation of any California high school student who: Completed a…

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