Introducing our Fall 2021 Educational Retainers: The Selective Tier

To assist the diversity of high school seniors and their families as they seek the greatest value in higher education, we offer a variety of retainers which are a culmination of our nearly twenty years of practice as educational consultants, as well as our understanding of the current trends in education.  Seeking higher education isn’t simply filling in boxes with…

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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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Common Application Prompts to Change for Fall 2022 Admissions

A new 650 word Common Application (bolded in the list below) essay prompt is being added for Fall 2022 admissions, as a replacement for one prompt being “retired”.  Regardless of any prompt chosen, I recommend to avoid approaching the college essay as yet another school assignment, where students try to write and edit simultaneously, crafting one maybe two drafts and…

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Should I take the SAT or ACT? Part 2

Many high school juniors who will be applying to college for Fall 2022 admissions are desperate to understand whether major universities will require SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications.  I would first caution parents and students to be patient and flexible when defining an SAT or ACT test-taking strategy given admissions policies regarding requiring test scores, in…

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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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Should I take the SAT or ACT?

As many U.S. universities have not yet announced any extended test-optional or test-blind policies for Fall 2022 admissions, meaning applicants are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores for admissions, many current high school juniors (in the Class of 2022) are in limbo about the necessity of taking the SAT or ACT. Yet, given SAT and ACT registration deadlines…

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Cal State Universities Test Optional for Fall 2022 Admissions

The 23 campus California State Universities (CSU) system is extending the test-optional admissions policy for another year, through Fall 2022 admissions. In other words, current high school juniors in the Class of 2022 will NOT be required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications to any CSU campus for Fall 2022 admissions. As the University of…

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More Regular Decision Deadline Extensions

Pitzer College in Southern California and Barnard College in New York City both extended the Regular Decision application deadline for first year applicants. Pitzer’s deadline is now January 8, 2021 and Barnard’s deadline is now January 4, 2021. As a trend is forming amongst private universities to extend deadlines, applicant should check their email frequently, as, for some colleges, the…

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College Application Deadlines & Time Zones

Although college applications are technically due at 11:59 pm on the deadline day, “11:59 pm” might be hours earlier or later than the time zone where the applicant lives, depending on the admissions policies of the college. Thus, applicants should pay attention to the local time zone where a college is located. Although The Common Application promotes: The end of…

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

Updated: November 2020 from the original posted in July 2018 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, the last three words are what’s most important to keep in mind:  YOU, the applicant, are the one who’s doing the choosing of…

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Educational Adjustment Ahead

As college students prepare for the new 2020-21 school year, the college experience during the time of COVID-19 will be fundamentally altered. Students, professors, parents and college adminstrators are in the midst of an adjustment period, transitioning to a new mode of learning. Perhaps, for those students attending in-person classes in the U.S., professors will arrive to lecture looking like…

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New COVID Related Questions on The Common App

In order for students to provide a complete and thorough summary of their achievements and qualifications for admissions, The Common Application added two new questions to the form. The Common Application is an online application utilized by almost 900 public and private universities across the US and internationally, which make applying to college more efficient for first year and transfer…

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A Glimpse Into the Undergraduate Experience during COVID-19 Signals Declining Sentiment about the Value of a College Education

A student who attends a public flagship university in California characterizes distance learning as:  Chaos is an apt description. Zoom is challenging to manage and pre-recorded lectures lack humor. It’s difficult to focus on lectures…  Third year undergraduate The student, like many others, struggles to continue learning, conflicted about missing friends and her life in another city yet appreciative of…

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