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Why I Think This is the Best Time to Apply to College

Despite all the forewarning that the COVID 19 pandemic will be the “death of college,” as we know it, I beg to differ. I think that the college experience will change, yes, and college admissions and how students are evaluated will be adjusted to our changing times, but I do not think that the classes of 2021, 2022, 2023 and beyond are doomed. In fact, I think they can capitalize on the shifting climate and possibly get into schools that they never thought they have a chance of being admitted to.

Why?

  1. Current college students may never return to campus. Enrollment management is dependent on many things, and if a rising junior or senior in college does not feel like the last one or two...
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How Cancelling College Sports Affects More Than Just The Athletes

By now, you may have heard that a few HBCUs and the Ivy League schools have canceled their fall sports programs due to COVID 19. It's a smart move given their desire to slow the spread of the virus and doing as much as they can to protect their athletes, coaches, athletic staff and "regular" students. These schools are choosing "not to risk it" and by making this announcement now, in mid-July, are giving all parties involved more time to make a bunch of necessary decisions about education, health and life.

And of course, money.

Some Division 3 NESCAC (New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference) schools have also already canceled and more will come in the coming weeks. Those that have not are...

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Should My Child Write About COVID 19?

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...

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“Test-Optional” is Not For Everyone

 

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...

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Does My Child Need a Resume?

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...

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Is It Ok to Write About Race, Religion or Politics in a College Essay?

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....

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HS Class of 2021 Parents: Here's What Colleges Will Be Looking For From Your Kid This Fall

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:

 

  • Rigorously appropriate curriculum with Honors, AP and IB classes
  • Highest grades possible
  • Solid ACT or SAT scores that is consistent with high school performance
  • Strong, well-written personal and supplemental essays
  • Diverse resume with activities that show passion and purpose 
  • ...
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Parents - Writing a college essay is hard!

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...

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Opportunities for New Homeschooling High Schoolers

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, several camps, colleges, and universities are canceling their on-site summer programs. Many people are even speculating that colleges will not even start in the fall. Craziness.

What I do know is that for students applying to college in the fall, essays and resumes, their stories, will play a significant contribution to their process.

Stories, not stats, will play a big part of college admissions 2020.
I’m willing to say that students who are creative and innovative will stand out tremendously this year and I’m willing to bet all the way through 2023. Yes, freshmen in high school will have more emphasis on their stories, not solely...

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Testing Will Change Forever

Over a month ago, I released two blog posts about how standardized testing - the ACT and SAT specifically -- are changing given COVID. Test dates were being cancelled or postponed for much of the spring. As of today, the summer dates of June ACT and SAT have also been canceled and both agencies are looking into summer and fall alternatives.

What's Going on With Standardized Tests?

SAT and ACT Tests Are Being Canceled, Now What?

Uncertainty and fear rule our world right now, and to imagine a mass of teenagers crowding into a building to sit next to each other for three or more hours. To me, that sounds, well, dangerous. We have no idea who’s infected and who’s not, and even when we do...

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