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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Do You

The title should be the guiding principle of every college applicant. The college admissions process is inherently student-centric, driven by the student’s quest to identify the one institution of higher education where each person discovers more about their unique aptitude.  Yet, today, students and parents perceive the admissions process as college-centric, forced to contort into The Ideal Applicant to even…

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More and More Ivy league Colleges, plus Stanford, Will No Longer Report Admit Rates

In college admissions, applicants often perceive exclusivity, translated as less than 5% admit rates, as a higher quality education, and (sometimes more importantly) a guarantee of lifetime prosperity, The Golden Ticket, as one is forever branded with elitism. However, in coming years, applicants may be guessing more often than not about the selectivity of a university.  Several highly selective universities,…

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Quote: Ferris Bueller

Choosing a Career is Just That, A Choice

In response to Art’s recent post, To Choose or Have Others Choose for You, a Reed College student who’s finishing her first year, shared the following in a recent text conversation. Since many other students are likely in a similar predicament, I’m passing her message forward:  I’m so glad other students have the opportunity to read this article. I definitely…

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Medical School Applications: Opportunity for Clarity within Complexity

Answering “Why do you want to be a doctor?” is the essence of medical school personal statements. Aspiring family practitioners, specialists, surgeons, radiologists, you name it, must make an argument why they are a healer, who needs additional training to gain a greater realization of an inherent ability for easing other humans’ suffering of both body and mind.  As a…

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Post Fall 2022 College Admissions Decisions Analysis

Each Spring, I’m often asked, “Why wasn’t I admitted to _____ University, when others with lower GPA’s (grade point averages) and fewer extracurricular activities were accepted to that same university, believing a particular set of qualifications automatically merits an acceptance, while those “lesser” qualified should be denied admissions, a misconception of the modern academic meritocracy.  In the current K-12 meritocracy, students…

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Advice From One Transfer Admissions Student to Another

Transferring from one college to another is disruptive: moving to a new city, leaving the family home for possibly the first time, establishing new friend networks in a new place. Being 19-20 years old and taking more specialized, upper division courses, typically, transfer students are seeking other older students, but often worry about breaking into already established friend networks.  One…

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Housing Crunch

While annually rising college tuition is regularly reported in the news, frequently prompting much concern and discussion, few families discuss increasing housing costs. Yet, depending on the city where the college campus is located and the availability of on-campus housing, where to live can quickly create additional costs, both in opportunity and financially for undergraduates.  First, for young adults who…

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College Price Is, Contrary to Popular Opinion, Negotiable 

Warren Buffet famously stated, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” Thus, in valuing the education at one college in comparison to the education at another college (or even a third campus), contrary to popular belief, families have the advantage.  Families can negotiate college price, known in educational parlance as “Cost of Attendance” to reduce out-of-pocket costs,…

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To Choose or Have Others Choose For You, That is the Question

Another generation is on the cusp of deciding what to do next, now that their youth has come to end. Those who applied to college then gained acceptance now must decide where they will be attending college in the fall and more importantly why, and for what purpose.  Many college graduates when confronted with why they were accepted to college,…

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Comic: I'm more confused than a chameleon in a bag of skittles

Post College Admissions Decisions Drama Unfolds

In the aftermath of high school seniors receiving their Fall 2022 college admissions decisions, many people are acting as amateur college admissions officers, including applicants’ themselves and their families. Many speculate why someone was denied, yet another (who seems less qualified) was admitted.  In the speculative frenzy, often, urban myths are perpetuated:   MYTH: Out-of-state applicants, who pay more tuition, are…

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The Stages of College Admissions Grieving

“I’ve been rejected” is typically how students translate being denied admissions to a college. (Although, in reality, such a view is not true, many students, who have been trained to seek outward validation from teachers, parents, coaches, club sponsors, tutors etc as the arbiter of being “right”, “smart”, or “capable” thus worthy, lump admissions officers in the same category, thus…

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California State Universities (CSU) Eliminate SAT and ACT Scores from First Year Admissions

As of March 23, 2022, all public universities in California are now test free, meaning no SAT or ACT scores are required, nor will be considered in admissions. The California State Universities (CSU) Trustees permanently eliminated SAT and ACT scores from consideration, joining with the University of California (UC) Regents who declared permanent test free policies last fall.  Of note,…

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UC Berkeley Fall 2022 Admissions Preserved

On Monday, March 14, California State legislators along with Governor Gavin Newsom, ratified legislation amending the California Environmental Quality Act, so UC Berkeley (Cal) admissions officials will not need to reduce Fall 2022 enrollment for first year, transfer, or graduate students, as previously predicted.  As a result, UC Berkeley officials will no longer encourage 1000 first year students to enroll…

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