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

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

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

#NeverAgain-If I Protest What Will Colleges Think?

Colleges across the country are taking to Twitter and Facebook assuring admitted and prospective students that if they partake in peaceful protests for stricter gun control, such actions will not impact their admission.  In the days and weeks following the massacre in Parkland, FL, demonstrations and walk-outs are being planned by student activists across the country. Ordinarily these protests would be followed by disciplinary action from their high schools, but the current message from several universities and colleges is that not only will your admission not be impacted, but these schools applaud the students’ passion and civic engagement. Schools from the East Coast to Seattle including but not limited to  SUNY Binghamton, Brown University, Northeastern,Boston University, University of Puget Sound,and Bucknell have been tweeting and [...]

#NeverAgain-If I Protest What Will Colleges Think?2018-02-27T14:09:43+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