Candid Conversations Before College Life Commences 

The late summer for a first year college student is often a frenzy of purchasing all the trendiest dorm accessories, while trying to soak in every last minute with friends who will soon walk their own path. Parents trade insider tips about medical/first aid kits and all the legal documents, like health care directives, for their newly christened adult children. …

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See, Speak, Hear no evil monkeys

Post Fall 2022 College Admissions Decisions Analysis

Each Spring, I’m often asked, “Why wasn’t I admitted to _____ University, when others with lower GPA’s (grade point averages) and fewer extracurricular activities were accepted to that same university, believing a particular set of qualifications automatically merits an acceptance, while those “lesser” qualified should be denied admissions, a misconception of the modern academic meritocracy.  In the current K-12 meritocracy, students…

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Advice From One Transfer Admissions Student to Another

Transferring from one college to another is disruptive: moving to a new city, leaving the family home for possibly the first time, establishing new friend networks in a new place. Being 19-20 years old and taking more specialized, upper division courses, typically, transfer students are seeking other older students, but often worry about breaking into already established friend networks.  One…

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Maybe…Letters of Continued Interest

There are three college admissions decisions: admit, deny, and the most confusing of all, Waitlist. Yet, students, choosing to remain on a waitlist by “opting-in” before the deadline posted in the admissions letter, should be sure they understand what the choice entails.  First, understand there is no guarantee that any students will be considered for admissions from the waitlist. But,…

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Comic: I'm more confused than a chameleon in a bag of skittles

Post College Admissions Decisions Drama Unfolds

In the aftermath of high school seniors receiving their Fall 2022 college admissions decisions, many people are acting as amateur college admissions officers, including applicants’ themselves and their families. Many speculate why someone was denied, yet another (who seems less qualified) was admitted.  In the speculative frenzy, often, urban myths are perpetuated:   MYTH: Out-of-state applicants, who pay more tuition, are…

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The Stages of College Admissions Grieving

“I’ve been rejected” is typically how students translate being denied admissions to a college. (Although, in reality, such a view is not true, many students, who have been trained to seek outward validation from teachers, parents, coaches, club sponsors, tutors etc as the arbiter of being “right”, “smart”, or “capable” thus worthy, lump admissions officers in the same category, thus…

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As the legendary Mick Jagger belted, “I ain’t got no…sa-tis-fac-tion.”  Mick’s words of wisdom can apply to many high school seniors and their families as the college decision making season descends.   Robert Barkley via Rick Clark, seasoned Director of Admissions at Georgia Tech, is confronting the possibility for dissatisfaction regarding outcomes in the expectation laden college admissions process.  For many…

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Emotions + Expectations + Misguided Direction (can) = Malinvestment in College

Spring of senior year is a critical time in the college admissions process, in some sense, more pivotal than the application period, for a strategic blunder can be costly: misallocating 17 years of preparation for higher education, malinvestment of tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, and economic malaise that could last a lifetime.  Seniors and their families are selecting—carefully…

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Panic in California

Many Fall 2022 applicants to the University of California Berkeley (Cal) received an unexpected Valentine’s Day greeting—an email announcement that by court order, up to 5100 less acceptance letters may be issued for Fall 2022.  Olufemi Ogundele, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions at UC Berkeley writes:  On Thursday, Feb. 10, a California Court of…

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Reason #45,693 Why College Applicant Portals Are Important

The applicant portal is an online dashboard assigned to students by each college’s admissions officers to track their application, be notified of any missing information, possibly alerted to scholarships as well as likely most important to students: receive admissions decisions.  Typically, admissions decisions are sent through the applicant portals or email, fewer admissions officers send responses using US Postal Mail.…

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Failure (in college admissions) is not supposed to be an option

Students applying to college worry about being denied admissions, a seeming failure at the end of a twelve year long competition in the modern academic meritocracy. They’re frustrated that no guarantees exist, despite being taught that everyone has equal opportunity to compete in the modern academic meritocracy.  As Michael J. Sandel, Harvard professor, argues in his most recent book, The…

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Live Long & Prosper, Class of 2021!

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 students we had the great pleasure of advising during Winter 2020, who will be proudly attending the following colleges starting in Fall 2021:  On the West Coast: Cal Poly, Pomona California State University Fullerton California State University Monterey Bay Chico State University Cosumnes River College Gonzaga University Oregon Institute of Technology Reed College San…

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COVID Effect On Colleges Extends to Fall 2021

Every day, college administrators are announcing Fall 2021 COVID vaccine policies, stoking lively conversations on social media about the requirement to be vaccinated, as well as continued social distancing protocols.  While many colleges continue debating how they’ll conduct the business of education in Fall 2021, and others have announced that they’re re-opening campuses for business as usual, students should be…

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Why the May 13, 2021 10 Year Treasury Auction Matters to Student & Parent Loan Borrowers

Federal student loan interest rates, the cost of borrowing money to be paid at a fixed rate over the life of the loan, are set by adding 2.05% for undergraduate loans to the 10 Year Treasury Rate after the last May auction each school year. [For the upcoming 2021-22 school year, loan interest rates will be set after the May…

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How do I choose a college when I can’t visit the campus?

Although its difficult in the age of COVID to visit campuses, in no way should that diminish one’s effort to gain as much information as possible to make an effective decision when choosing a college from those which you’ve been admitted to diminish the risk of malinvestment.  Admitted students should use every virtual resource available from attending the special admitted…

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