For Goodness Sake, Open Your Email!

Congratulations to all the seniors out there who have applied and met their November 1st deadlines.  You managed to send or self report your standardized scores. You wrote a compelling personal narrative and edited it and revised it. And then edited and revised it some more.  You compiled your activity lists and wrote descriptions of each activity. You secured letters of recommendation and made sure that transcripts were ordered and sent to each school. You filled out lots of forms and answered a lot of questions.  And most importantly you hit submit on the Common Application (or whichever platform the school uses). But I am sorry to say, your work is not quite over. Once the school processes your application, you will be invited via [...]

For Goodness Sake, Open Your Email!2019-11-12T19:52:41+00:00

A Step in the Right Direction: Changes in This Year’s Common Application

After years of pressure from high profile politicians, civil rights activists, particularly those who advocate for Ban the Box, and educational professional organizations who fight tirelessly to make higher education accessible and inclusive, the Common Application for the 2019-2020 admission cycle set to roll out late July will look a little different. For the first time since 2006, the Common Application has dropped the question about applicants’ criminal history causing civil rights activists to celebrate. The website states that  “The Common Application is committed to advancing access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process.”   Removing the question is a huge step in leveling the playing field and limiting bias against black and Latino applicants. After all, a check on a box does not give [...]

A Step in the Right Direction: Changes in This Year’s Common Application2019-07-14T20:05:33+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

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

Hold Your Horses!

Yesterday I met with a student who is a rising senior.  She was pumped to begin working on her supplements and had the prompts pulled up on a document all ready to begin. I admired her enthusiasm and applauded her dedication to utilize each day of the summer to stay ahead of the ball, but I had to burst her bubble and say, “slow down.” The prompts she proudly displayed on her screen were from last year’s application season. Most universities and colleges do not release supplements until August 1st while others release July 1. It is so important to check and be sure that you are looking at current information for the 2018-19 school year.  While some supplemental questions will remain the same, there [...]

Hold Your Horses!2018-06-09T15:00:47+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

Why college admissions waitlists are getting longer?

Each day the EAB, the Education Advisory Board, puts out a daily briefing of news in higher education. Here is the posting from May 16.  This article speaks to the surge in applications and the rise in waitlist decisions that universities make. At the end of the day, the combination of the increase in application numbers and the number of applicants universities accept in the early decision round forces these long waitlists.    Why college admissions waitlists are getting longer?May 16, 2018. Published by the EAB Daily Briefing Enrollment is a delicate calculus; minor changes in application numbers can have a big impact on the number of students colleges admit and waitlist. High-school students today are applying to more and more colleges, and schools have [...]

Why college admissions waitlists are getting longer?2018-05-17T19:32:27+00:00