A First Day of School to Remember

As college students prepare to return to college campuses, scattered in varying locales around the nation, to begin the 2020-21 school year, it will not be business as usual given the surrounding outbreak of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus; therefore, monitoring the fluid situation, locally, regionally and nationally, will be of vital importance.  The New York Times published a searchable college…

Continue Reading

The Best Laid Plans are Those that Survive Unplanned Predicaments

In response to the COVID-induced disruption of education, the college admissions process is changing. Many parents and students are now questioning how applicants will be evaluated for Fall 2021 admissions and in years beyond.  Traditional metrics for evaluating admissions, like GPA, are less reliable, given many high schools implemented Pass/No Pass-style marks in spring 2020, effectively lowering students’ cumulative GPA’s.…

Continue Reading

SlowDown.CreativeMarbles2012

CAUTION: Disruption Dead Ahead

Soon-to-be Class of 2021 college applicants are delayed in engaging the college admissions process as it was defined pre-March 2020. With cancelled SAT and ACT tests this past spring, closed high schools and college campuses, no sports games sidelines or Science Olympiad stands where parents can congregate and share notes about college admissions, fewer high school juniors made vigorous progress…

Continue Reading

Top #25 Universities Go Test Optional

This past week, three more U.S. News & World Report top #25 universities Georgetown University, Stanford University and Princeton University suspended the requirement of SAT or ACT scores for Fall 2021 first year applicants. One Stanford student, amongst others, were frustrated by the policy changes, as for many years, they believed (and were taught) that test scores were essential components…

Continue Reading

Yale Declares Test-Optional Admissions for Fall 2021

On June 12, Yale University officials joined almost 200 universities which have suspended the requirement of SAT and ACT scores for Fall 2021 first year applicants. Like many other universities, Yale’s amended testing policy only applies for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Yale officials reasoned: This one-year policy change reflects the extraordinary circumstances that students, families, and educators are currently facing. …

Continue Reading

Defining Life’s Purpose in 500 Words or Less

My advice to a high school senior or transfer student, who’s preparing to share their innermost thoughts with a perfect stranger (AKA a college admissions officer), as they draft college essays would be to consider the acclaimed author, Stephen King’s, view on writing: The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Imagine

A Renaissance in the Midst of COVID-19

Educators and students, participants in the Modern American Educational Industrial Complex, are mere glimmers of the Jeffersonian ideals of “essential merit”, which historian Joseph F. Kett defines as:  …merit that rests on specific and visible achievements by an individual that were thought, in turn, to reflect that individual’s estimable character…’Merit’ was that quality in the person that propelled the achievements,…

Continue Reading

Academic Meritocracy In Peril

Dear The College Board CEO David Coleman: After viewing your live cast on Daily Homeroom with Sal [Khan of Khan Academy], I respectfully request responses to my questions regarding the 2020 Advanced Placement (AP) exams, as well as my concerns about your replies regarding current high school students’ and their families’ worries. In stating that students should not be concerned…

Continue Reading

Mrs. Obama Shares Parenting Advice

Our parents are our first teachers and often are our primary teachers.  As such, the responsibilities of parents are great to be “guides on the side”, not “the sage on the stage”. Then, our children blossom into the extraordinary beings they are. In an essay for People magazine, Michelle Obama shared the following lesson she learned form her mom, which…

Continue Reading

Selecting a College vs. Being Selected by a College

Worries about “not being accepted” to a college are common, since most parents and students believe they’re at the mercy of an admissions officer’s decision. Often, students think, “How do I make my experience, like GPA, test scores and extracurricular activities, match the “right” selection criteria of (insert name of college)?” Few students turn the question around and consider: “At…

Continue Reading

The Early Admissions Arms Race

According to the Common Application, “around 860,000” applications were submitted on November 1, 2019 for Early Action, Early Decision and Regular Decision application deadlines, which for the first time, exceeded the “around 720,000” applications submitted last year on January 1 for traditional Regular Decision deadlines. The increasingly competitive nature of the college admissions process—evident in programs like Early Action/Decision that…

Continue Reading