The Best Laid Plans are Those that Survive Unplanned Predicaments

In response to the COVID-induced disruption of education, the college admissions process is changing. Many parents and students are now questioning how applicants will be evaluated for Fall 2021 admissions and in years beyond. 

Traditional metrics for evaluating admissions, like GPA, are less reliable, given many high schools implemented Pass/No Pass-style marks in spring 2020, effectively lowering students’ cumulative GPA’s. Furthermore, applicants are unsure about how admissions officers will interpret a “COVID-affected GPA”, especially when the “drop” in grades is a deviation from their academic performance throughout high school, which we first discussed in Fall 2021 Admissions Policies Turned Upside Down.

Furthermore, applicants are concerned that the recent breaks in their extracurricular resume, as activities have been suspended since mid-March 2020 and many summer camps were cancelled, will affect their competitiveness for college admissions. While many teenagers will show breaks in their activities, for a generation of youth and parents who often ask, “How will this activity add strength for college admissions?”, concerns that their carefully curated college admissions plans, executed over multiple years, are potentially now skewed, will need to be resolved.

Most notably, the suspension of the SAT and ACT testing requirements, as discussed in Test Optional Confusion, further compounds concerns regarding a college admissions strategy gone awry. While one admissions official at a highly selective California university, representing a general sentiment amongst admissions directors, justified the test requirement suspension as, “showing support and compassion for prospective students” has not though for many applicants and their parents eased their anxieties.

Now, families are seeking timely counsel to review and possibly recalibrate college admissions plans, to avoid strategic missteps. Yet, this fall, many U.S. K-12 schools will continue existing in a diaspora—with staff, teachers, administrators and strategically important, given their disproportionate role in the college admissions process, high school counselors—sequestered amongst hundreds of homes, only exacerbating the challenge Seniors and their parents face this upcoming admissions cycle. 

To learn more how experts at Creative Marbles Consultancy, a full service educational advisory, help families resolve complex college admissions concerns, click

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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