I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the words “COVID 19,” “coronavirus,” “pandemic,” “new normal,” and “pivot.” What I’m not tired of are masks and clean hands. These last 100 days+ have made us all rethink our lives. How we communicate, how we educate and most importantly, how we process such a life-altering situation.
Teenagers have it worse. They have so much on their plates given school, social media and hormones. Most of them are even more eager than the adults to have life go back to “normal.” This is partially to suppress the fact that they’re anxious, depressed and flat out confused...
As almost every college across the country has, smartly, adjusted their standardized testing requirements for the Class of 2021 (high school, college Class of 2025), students and parents are either jumping for joy at the “test-optional” admission requirement or scratching their heads.
Are Harvard, Duke and Princeton REALLY not going to consider SATs and ACTs for admission?
Well, that’s what they’re saying and that’s what I want to believe, but there’s a wrinkle that you and your child need to consider.
If your child could have taken a standardized test before spring 2020 or if your child can still take one later in the fall - August (SAT), September...
The short answer is yes. Colleges want to know what your child does beyond the classroom. Since the transcript tells them what the grades are -- what happens in the classroom -- the next question is “how else do they spend their time.”
Both the Common Application and the Coalition Application -- the two primary ways students apply to college online -- have dedicated places for students to list their extracurricular activities. While this is the preferred and required place for students to list their athletics, arts, community service, religious or summer activities, many colleges also offer the opportunity to upload a Word or PDF resume. I suggest that your child do this even though their...
Once upon a time, there were unwritten rules about writing college essays. Here are a few that many students have been told over the years:
Do NOT write about being in love or having a “significant other.” A college essay is not where you should talk about sex or how deeply you may have been hurt by young love.
Do NOT use an essay to complain about your parents, teachers, school, rules, etc. Teenage angst is so tired and no one wants to hear about how bad people treat you.
Do NOT write about religion and politics. Too controversial and you never know who is reading it on the other side and how they might interpret it.
Even today, I am in full agreement with numbers 1 and 2....
As students wind down the school year and are starting to look at what’s ahead for their 2020-21 application cycle, they must know more than just the basics. Yes, colleges will start grades, scores, resume, recommendations and essays, but how much each will weigh in the process is still, like almost everything, uncertain.
Historically, colleges have focused on 13 key factors in terms of admission:
Writing a college essay is hard. Very few students go into the writing process “pumped” to sit in front of a computer to tell a story. It's part laborious, oftentimes frustrating and occasionally embarrassing. The most common thing I hear is “I don't know what to write!” and then it becomes my job to help the student to brainstorm and believe in the idea that we have thought of together.
Know what's far easier? Documenting life. Instead of trying to devise some cleverly creative epiphany that they think will change the landscape of college admissions and help them get into the college of their dreams, students should simply share what has happened in their lives or what is...
I’ve been on a rampage over the past week on social media decrying the need for any school to give students “grades” this spring. In the midst of all that we’re going through as a country and even as a world, As, Bs, 92s, 87s and Cs, seem pointless.
No teacher who is new to teaching online can grade as fairly as they are accustomed to. No student who is new to taking classes online can offer consistent maximum effort on a digital platform while being distracted and possibly confused. And most of all, let’s not forget that we, all of us, are in a CRISIS and have had to make a ton of life adjustments that are disruptions to our normal routines. This COVID-19 thing is...
College admissions offices are almost done with the class of 2020 and will quickly turn their attention to the class of 2021. When you and your child cannot visit in person, there are many ways to engage with the admission office via technology:
Parents, please share this with your kids:
Follow the colleges’ social media accounts (but make sure that YOUR accounts are clean first!)
#1 Subscribe to and comment on admission offices’ blogs.
#2 Sign up online for recruitment emails. This identifies you as a prospective student and puts your information in the college’s database.
#3 Open and, if appropriate, reply quickly to any emails you receive from colleges. Click through on the...