Merit Scholarship Concerns

At some universities, SAT and ACT scores are used to award merit scholarships, in addition to being a metric for admissions. (Merit scholarships are awarded regardless of a student’s family’s financial status and based on an applicant’s qualifications, like GPA and SAT or ACT scores.) Many parents are concerned that their children will miss merit scholarship opportunities, if they do…

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Will My August 2018 SAT Scores Be Cancelled?

Rumors are circling and the internet is again buzzing with controversy about the August 25, 2018 SAT Reasoning Test.   The College Board is accused of “recycling” the August 2018 SAT from a test or practice test given in China and South Korea in October 2017.   A recently deactivated Reddit thread posted an answer key and test which appeared…

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Can I Change My 650 Word Common Application Essay After Submitting It?

The short answer is yes…with an *.  [See Below] But, like any life-impacting decision, the short answer doesn’t account for the complexities of choosing a college.  And, those last three words are key to keep in mind:  YOU, the applicant, are the one who’s doing the choosing of the college.  However, most college applicants skip that fact and believe the college…

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NO SAT!?! NO ACT!?! UChicago’s Curve Ball

Testing is not the be-all and the end-all, said James G. Nondorf, U-Chicago’s dean of admissions and financial aid. He said he didn’t want “one little test score” to end up “scaring students off” who are otherwise qualified. From The Washington Post,  June 14, 2018 On June 14, 2018, the University of Chicago’s John W. Boyer, dean of the college,…

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Tuition Surging at California Public Universities for 2017-18

University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) students will pay more tuition for the 2017-18 school year.  For the first time in six years, both the UC and CSU boards have approved tuition and fee increases.  At the same time, Governor Jerry Brown proposes to phase out the state-sponsored Middle Class Scholarship program for students starting college for the first…

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Changes to the ACT Writing Section

The ACT will be changing the Writing portion of the test, starting in September 2015.  The following outlines the changes: Extended Writing Time: Students will have 40 minutes to craft an essay response, rather than the previous 30 minutes. Changed Prompt Style: Test takers will be presented a contemporary issue and three perspectives regarding the issue.   Students are expected to…

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The Modern “Starving” Student

College alumni often joke about days as a “deprived” undergrad, only eating instant noodles—fast, filling meals on a limited budget—like a badge of honor.  Growing numbers of today’s college students, however, embody the literal meaning of “starving” college student. According to the Wall Street Journal: In 2010, the UC [University of California] system added a food-security question to its biannual student…

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Student Debt in Seven Charts

Not all student debt is ruinous.  However, borrowing can be complex.  Loans spend tomorrow’s income today, and for college students, a promise of tomorrow’s income is spent to pay for expenses in the present day.  Understanding recent growth in student loans and the challenges of repayment can help potential student loan borrowers consider both the benefits and the risks before borrowing. For the last 30 years,…

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The Perils of Scholarships

To many parents, winning scholarships both rewards academic excellence and various leadership achievements, while subsidizing the total costs of college. Even though many high school seniors also desire the benefits of scholarships, many scholarships remain un-awarded. Understanding the timing of scholarship deadlines may explain why action doesn’t follow good intentions.

Guest Post: Investigating the Stereotypes about Women’s Colleges

Hearsay and rumors can preclude students from considering women’s colleges.  In order to gain more understanding, Olivia and Stephanie, the authors of the following post, share their experiences as students at women’s colleges in different parts of the United States.  Olivia currently attends Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA and Stephanie recently graduated from Mills College in Oakland, CA.  (The stereotypes…

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