Beware of Admissions CON-sultants Hiding in Your Midst

Amidst the rise of the academic meritocracy, as increasing numbers of students qualify for then apply to college, selectivity for admissions annually increases, yet high school counseling staff has been inadequate for the demand, thus many families seek the help of private admissions consultants. But, in the Era of Educational Experts, when qualifications and motivations to help families range widely,…

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The Struggle to Realize Genius and the Cost of Failing to Do So

Everyone has genius. Yet, few discover their genius.  Every parent intends to unleash their child’s genius. Yet, the endeavor to help one’s child discover genius requires the intricate, on-going, at times, herculean effort to challenge expectations—one’s own, one’s extended family’s, as well as one’s culture’s and community’s—not to mention reconciling any gaps in a parent’s own undiscovered genius, a separate…

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Is the College Landscape Experiencing a Tectonic Shift Post Pandemic?

The effects of the COVID-induced disruptions to education have yet to be quantified in the intermediate and long term, thus educators struggling to redefine “normal” learning for years to come, as an entire COVID-affected generation, Pre-K through College, matriculates through the educational system. Additionally, the SAT, an 80 year old admissions requirement, is being summarily dismissed and subsequently, questioned. Students…

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Required Math Courses Changing at the University of California (UC)

Students applying to the University of California (UC) for Fall 2022 admissions and beyond can now fulfill their third year of required mathematics with a variety of math courses, no longer required to take Integrated Math III, Algebra II or an equivalent. However, potential first year UC applicants should still take a Geometry or Geometry-equivalent course as one of their…

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The Responsibility of Freedom

Most teens eventually seek more independence from the watchful eyes of their parents, and many of them believe the freedom they so desire will be found attending college. Yet, just like Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolutionaries (or anyone seeking change), as so aptly advised:  Prudence, indeed will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and…

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University of California Regents To Consider Raising Tuition Starting in Fall 2022

In Summer 2021, the University of California (UC) Regents will likely consider a proposal to raise tuition by 2% plus inflation starting in Fall 2022. Tuition would be frozen for six years for the Class of 2026 (those students starting college in Fall 2022).  Then, each year, tuition would again be raised 2% plus inflation, each subsequent tuition increase frozen…

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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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Advice on How to Answer COVID-Related Questions on College Applications

In the increasing subjectivity of admissions, as grades are affected by the transition to virtual learning and many extracurricular activities have been canceled or suspended until further notice, college admissions officers are seeking information about what students had planned, yet did instead.  Thus, students should reflect on their COVID-interrupted educational experience, to add context for their academic and extracurricular resumes…

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Post-Pandemic Innovation in Education a Real Possibility

During the last fifteen months of living a pandemic disrupted experience, kids experienced unstructured days amidst distance learning and suspension of regularly scheduled activities. Simply seeking to stave off boredom, many (re)discovered talents.   Perhaps a break from running on the hamster wheel of modern family life, chasing prosperity was just what we needed. Pandemics throughout history have disrupted, short-circuiting the status…

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Live Long & Prosper, Class of 2021!

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 students we had the great pleasure of advising during Winter 2020, who will be proudly attending the following colleges starting in Fall 2021:  On the West Coast: Cal Poly, Pomona California State University Fullerton California State University Monterey Bay Chico State University Cosumnes River College Gonzaga University Oregon Institute of Technology Reed College San…

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News 93.1 KFBK interview with Jill Yoshikawa of Creative Marbles Consultancy

More about University of California Test Free Admissions

I recently talked with Aubrey Aquino of News Radio KFBK’s Morning Show about how the University of California’s (UC’s) test-free policy is impacting students through the Class of 2025 (current eighth graders) and potentially increases the subjectivity in admissions evaluations.  Take a listen: Browse our previous posts about how UC admissions staff evaluates students, as well as more about how…

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What the University of California test-free policy means for applicants

Given the University of California (UC) test-free admissions policy, potential UC applicants will need to rethink how they prepare for admissions as well as frame their qualifications when applying, as subjectivity in admissions evaluations will likely increase: As more students may be emboldened to apply, especially those who believe standardized test scores do not reflect their aptitude, thus increasing applicant…

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The UC Extends Test-Free Admissions Through Fall 2025

On May 14, 2021, University of California (UC) officials agreed to extend “test-free” admissions policies through Fall 2025, meaning SAT or ACT scores will not be required nor considered in either admissions or scholarship considerations for the next four application cycles. Current Class of 2022 high school juniors through current eighth graders will be affected by the settlement agreement in…

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College admissions opportunities in the time of COVID

As college enrollments continue sliding, current college students, both those at four year colleges and those aspiring to transfer from a community college, as well as high school students seeking admissions in Fall 2022 and beyond will likely benefit.  Spring 2021 total undergraduate enrollment decreased by 5.9% at two and four year colleges in the United States, a greater percentage…

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