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

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

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

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

Waitlist Row

Waitlisted, Now What? Opening an email with news that you have been placed on a waitlist, potentially at your dream school, can be painful and disheartening.  Take the time you need to process all the emotions you are feeling- you may feel jealous of your best friend who was admitted to her first choice or you can feel angry and hurt. Once you have allowed yourself time to grieve, you need to put yourself into gear and make some decisions. The first thing you need to do is decide if you would like to remain on the school’s waitlist. If that is what you decide it means that you would choose that school over other options. Because schools oftentimes rank their lists, you need to [...]

Waitlist Row2018-03-22T17:30:47+00:00

Spring Decisions

It’s that time of year.  Decisions are beginning to be released and will continue to be released until the beginning of April. Some seniors will be opening disappointing emails with denies or waitlists while others are going to be thrilled with their admittance. It is,to say the least, a challenging time for both the student and the family;it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  Trying to unpack why one college has admitted a student and why another has accepted is tempting, but it is a puzzle that is impossible to solve. It is more important to focus energy on schools that have offered admittance to the student and determine what the best fit keeping in mind that all decisions need to be made by May 1. [...]

Spring Decisions2018-03-15T01:34:36+00:00

Rankings: Beware and Don’t Be Fooled!

  Since 1983 US News and World Report has published an annual rankings of colleges and universities. These rankings became all the rage that soon the report outgrew the magazine and became a separate annual reference called Best Colleges.  Even though the magazine is now defunct and no longer exists in print, the rankings live on and have taken on a life of their own. American media devotes considerable attention to the annual publication and families with children about to embark on the college admissions process turn to these reports and rankings as a way to guide them through the process. Afterall, rankings guide consumers when it comes to assessing washing machines, hospitals and even movies.  Why not use rankings when it comes to colleges? [...]

Rankings: Beware and Don’t Be Fooled!2018-02-24T18:50:15+00:00