Imperfect information to seek value in education

Education is often one of the most complicated investments people make in their lifetime.  As such, accurate information is essential, yet often difficult to acquire thus only increasing the risk of educational malinvestment.  There is a cornucopia of free information regarding every possible educational issue known to man, but remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for…” and…

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How to assess the value of a college education in order to avoid malinvestment

Comparing the published price of tuition along with the size of the student population can be one metric to value a university education. However, “shopping” colleges on price alone is shortsighted, thus families may overlook valuable educational opportunities.  Instead families should determine the value of any college education by discussing answers to reflective questions, starting with, “Why is a student…

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Has the college admissions bubble finally popped?

The law of supply and demand dictates that when prices rise, demand shrinks. Yet, demand for college education post-WWII seems to be inelastic (meaning that demand does not seem to react to increases in price), has only increased, despite the four-digit increase in tuition and costs that has been leveraged to the tune of $1.7 trillion in student loan debt…

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Highly Selective Indeed

Throughout the Ivy League, possibly emboldened by test-optional admissions policies being one less barrier to entry, Fall 2021 applicants increased by double digits, adding subjectivity to the admission evaluation process and dropping admit rates year over year, some to record lows at Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania.  Ivy League admit rates for the Classes of 2025: Harvard, 3.4% Columbia,…

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Community Service: Motivation is Important

Parents routinely ask how many hours of community service their kids must complete in order to be competitive in the college admissions process, essentially commoditizing generosity for their personal gain, which is at odds with serving the needs of others. What, then, is community service and why can volunteerism be included in the college admissions process? To effectively practice philanthropy,…

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To Wait or Not To Wait, That Is the Question

Waitlist offers—the no man’s land of college admissions, an offer for the B Team, a “we’ll call you, don’t call us”—hope and doubt all wrapped up in a single “Maybe”. Students, although navigating through the emotion of wondering why one wasn’t quite “good enough”, can still lobby for an offer of admissions. But, should they?  First, do you still want…

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Choices

The Responsibility of Choice

This spring, like every spring, after years of struggle, high school seniors will finally experience acceptance in the form of an electronic letter or alert in an applicant portal offering admissions to this or that college. Once the initial elation fades, families begin deliberations in earnest to make a final selection by the May 1 national college enrollment deadline.* Essentially,…

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Beware of unmet expectations

The root cause of the financial crisis was purely human factor. This human factor is the completely false sense of omnipotence, self-importance and entitlement among the country’s elite, as well as the nurturing of these beliefs at Ivy League colleges and other elite universities the US will be doomed to suffer other calamities every bit the equal of the financial…

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Students select colleges, colleges don’t select students

The criminally fraudulent actions of Rick Singer and 50 parents and college administrators indicted in the college admissions scandal in 2019, highlighted the disparities and weaknesses in the college admissions system, as well as the cultural bias that a college degree is a salve for life’s uncertainties. As Washington Post journalist, Jeff Selingo writes: These rich and powerful parents —…

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CMC 2017

A College Admissions Essay Contemplation

To effectively answer essay prompts, an integral component of applications for many US colleges as well as other countries scattered throughout the globe, requires understanding of the autobiographical writing process. According to the Oxford Dictionary, autobiography is “an account of a person’s life written by that person.” How does a teenager, or one of any age for that matter, immersed…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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