to do list

Where do I start the process of applying to college?

While making a list of colleges is essential in the college application process, without knowing oneself and why one seeks a college experience, then generating a list may not be the most effective first step.  Instead, rising seniors and transfer applicants on the cusp of applying to college can:  1. Engage rigorous self-reflection: Preferably in…

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What’s the value of an Ivy League education?

Is an Ivy League education worth the nearly $90,000 per year cost of attendance, which includes tuition, room & board, fees, average estimates for books, personal expenses + transportation?  The following is the current estimated cost of attendance at all eight Ivy League institutions:  As inflation erodes the average middle class standard of living, while…

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Should I take the SAT or ACT more than three times? 

While college admissions officers don’t diminish a student’s evaluation for having taken the SAT or ACT multiple times, students would be prudent to pause and reflect before taking either test more than three times each.  To make a more informed choice, students can:  Also, if students have purchased the score reporting services, like “Requesting a…

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Quote: Steve Jobs

A Contrarian View of “Reach”, “Target”, and “Safety” Colleges

Sorting a potential college list into “Reach”, “Target”, and “Safety”, as an indicator of the likeliness of an acceptance, sets a dangerous precedent.  The applicant essentially imagines themselves at the whims of the admissions officer, devoid of agency, a poverty-like mindset, begging for the charity of an acceptance letter. Applicants seek seeming validation of their…

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Graph: Recent Admissions Rates of Candidates from the Waiting List for Georgetown Catholic and Jesuit University

More about Georgetown University Waitlists

High school Seniors offered a position on university waitlists, often first wonder, “Why wasn’t I chosen?”, typically followed by, “What are my chances of being admitted from the waitlist?” For Fall 2023, Georgetown University admissions officers actually offered information for students to make a more informed decision about choosing to or not to opt into…

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AP Exam Scores & The College Admissions Process

High school students throughout the US are likely spending the weekend, cramming the most amount of information possible in their memory banks, before Advanced Placement (AP) exams start on May 1, 2023.  In their anxiety, many mistake the highest score as strengthening their applications for college. SPOILER ALERT: College admissions officers don’t consider AP exam…

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The When, Where and Why of the College Admissions Decision Process

Choosing a college is a culmination of a childhood, marking the gateway to adulthood. Thus, Moms, Dads, and teens (and sometimes also stepparents) enter a complex series of negotiations—varying from dialogue to bickering to bargaining to ultimatums—requiring skilled diplomacy, often objective mediation to broker a consensus.  Many families are also contending with potentially competing interests…

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“REJECTED”: Grieving College Admissions Results in Six Parts

Being denied college admissions can feel like one’s identity and experiences are wholly inadequate. However, remembering that college admissions officers’ decisions are not a measure of one’s worth or defining of one’s potential. Here are some possible ways to cope with the inevitable emotion of being denied admissions:  Being frustrated, disappointed, numb, jealous of others…

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The Hope Endures – More about College Admissions Waitlists

One parent of a high school senior likened college admissions waitlists to “the extended torture of hope”, wishing to simply to move beyond decisions and let the grieving begin. And, in some ways, the institution gains more from waitlisting than the applicant, having a reserve should their first choice candidates choose to attend another college. …

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