Standardized Testing in the Era of COVID

COVID 19 has wreaked havoc across every industry in this country. And  higher education has not been spared. Universities across the country are grappling with not only moving classes online, figuring out how to manage virtual graduations, enrolling students for the class of 2024, but they also have to look ahead at the upcoming admission cycle for the class of 2025 whose landscape changes daily.  Here are some things admission officers need to consider. Grading. Some high schools have moved online and some have decided to implement a Pass/Fail or a Complete/Incomplete grade. How will this factor into the student’s GPA? Testing.  Advanced Placement tests have been completely reformatted. A test that was once three hours has been condensed to a 45 minute online short [...]

Standardized Testing in the Era of COVID2020-04-16T17:59:38+00:00

Campus Visits in the Era of Covid-19

With college campuses shut down across the country, it is impossible for prospective students to visit campuses and attend information sessions. They will be unable to observe the school’s culture, get a sense of the academic rigor, and talk to current students. All of these would have ultimately determine if a school would be a good fit. It is disappointing for the student. Plans have to be changed, and their spring break is not at all what it was supposed to be. All common feelings that most of the world is feeling right about now.   But, while the students are home, and they have the time, there are so many resources that they can turn to to help them understand what makes each university unique. [...]

Campus Visits in the Era of Covid-192020-03-24T19:07:32+00:00

Landscape Replaces Adversity Scores

It wasn’t too long ago that the College Board, the company that administers the SAT, announced that it would be implementing a new change in the scores that are sent to colleges. In addition to the students’ test scores, an Environmental Context Dashboard (known as the Adversity Rating) would be included. The basic gist of the ratings is the following:  On a scale of 1-100, the College Board would score students based on the adversity they have faced in their lives. Scores above 50 would indicate that a student comes from a more disadvantaged neighborhood with higher crime and poverty rates. The score would also include the relative quality of the student’s high school and the percentage of students eligible for free lunch. The adversity [...]

Landscape Replaces Adversity Scores2019-08-29T21:46:55+00:00

College Board Announces New Initiative: Adversity Ratings

Each year over two million students sit for the SAT, an exam that tests for aptitude in both math and English.  The scores are then reported to colleges and universities and added to the applicant’s file which also include transcripts, letters of recommendations,  and the Common Application itself. This past week the College Board, the company that administers the test, has announced that it will be adding an adversity rating to its report.  The College Board will collect this data based on an algorithm that has yet to be shared with the public. The basic gist of the ratings is the following:  On a scale of 1-100, students will be scored based on the adversity they have faced in their lives. Scores above 50 will [...]

College Board Announces New Initiative: Adversity Ratings2019-05-21T20:56:17+00:00

What is an Alternative Decision?

As if the college application and admissions process is not daunting enough, there is a new trend in what college counselors around the nation are calling “alternative admission decisions.” Instead of following the traditional trajectory of a college pathway which typically begins the fall semester of freshman year, colleges and universities across the country are offering a select group of students a different path.  Some schools are offering a spring semester admission while others are offering a guarantee transfer for sophomore year all contingent on maintaining a certain GPA . We see schools that are offering admission to a satellite campus freshman year with a guarantee of a transfer to the main campus should certain requirements be met and other schools offer a guarantee admission [...]

What is an Alternative Decision?2019-04-10T12:59:16+00:00

And the Decisions Are Rolling In…

Decisions are starting to roll in. Along with this comes waves of emotion from  applicants and their parents.  The tension and anticipation is palpable and the reality is that it is out of our hands. The internet is flooded with articles and with words of advice on how to navigate this unmapped territory of a deferral or even a rejection. I am a big fan of Rick Clark who is not only a seasoned admission officer, but also a talented writer.  Read his most recent blog where he dissects what a deferral may mean. His advice is concrete and his message is clear.  I hope his words resonate with you. They did for me! Preparation Day by Rick Clark Listen to the audio version here! On [...]

And the Decisions Are Rolling In…2018-11-29T20:16:29+00:00

Parenting During the College Admissions Season

I spend a lot of my day reading articles and following blogs of admission officers at universities who always give helpful advice and a new perspective at which to look at the college admission process. One of my favorite bloggers is Rick Clark, an admissions officer at Georgia Tech. He writes with passion and always leaves the reader with an important message. His most recent blog resonated with me, and I thought I would pass it along to you. If you are an athlete, the analogies he uses are concrete, practical, and powerful.  Happy reading! The Coach’s Guide to College Admission by Rick Clark A few months ago I wrote about no longer coaching my son’s soccer team. This fall I have moved on from that 9 year-old boys’ [...]

Parenting During the College Admissions Season2018-10-25T14:51:06+00:00

Bite Your Tongue!

Another wonderful article written about why we need to allow our students to be themselves in their college essay.  I recently worked with a student on an essay.  She wrote about how she tried to bring a sense of school spirit to her classmates even when their football team had never won a game. The essay perfectly captured who she is and what makes her the most proud. A few days later she came to me and said that her parents wanted her to write about her academics because that is what colleges want to hear. NO! They want to hear what makes an applicant tick, who they are, and what values they will bring to campus.  Kimberly Lifton captures this same sentiment in the [...]

Bite Your Tongue!2018-10-16T01:04:48+00:00

Are Colleges Pushing Students to Do Too Much in High School?

I love Jaschik’s  article (see below)  as it speaks to so many issues that are facing our young students, and it is time for colleges to step up and take some ownership. This past week I sat in on two college rep visits and the emphasis put  on what they call "rigor of curriculum" left the students feeling anxious and quite honestly confused. In order to show rigor, do they need to take every AP offered to them? If that is the case, then something will need to give- a student will have to sacrifice time spent doing things that they are passionate about.   Are Colleges Pushing Students to Do Too Much in High School? Demands over number of college-level courses are distorting students' [...]

Are Colleges Pushing Students to Do Too Much in High School?2018-10-10T20:35:47+00:00

Manufactured Activities, Is It Worth It?

I belong to a Facebook group called College Admission Counselors. It’s a platform where counselors, those who work for a high school, independent counselors, and those on the college side can reach out for support, ask advice, and talk about the most current issues in the college admissions world.  I recently read a post where a counselor leans in to his colleagues for advice. He describes his student who is a straight A student with excellent scores, but has few to no awards and a limited activities list. The counselor was seeking out organizations where this said student could apply for awards and perhaps receive one or two in order to pad his application.  I breathed a huge sigh. Is this what we want for [...]

Manufactured Activities, Is It Worth It?2018-05-23T00:54:20+00:00
Go to Top