I get this question almost every time I send an email about our SAT and ACT tutoring options, and yesterday was no exception. The question:
"Do you even need to submit your SAT or ACT anymore?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' herein...
There is a difference between APPLYING test-optional, and GETTING IN test-optional.
Colleges are a little cute about this. They don't readily release their stats on the number of admitted students who submitted their scores.
They do, however, brag about how many students with great or perfect scores they rejected, like Stanford did last year.
How do you decide whether to submit your scores? Here are my thoughts and hunches:
Something funny dawned on me the other day when I was preparing my notes for our upcoming bootcamp session.
A few months ago, the college advisor multiverse had their you-know-whats in a bunch over the upcoming, predicted use of Chat GPT for college essays. The sky was falling. But now it's like this never happened.
These days, all the buzz is about the Supreme Court's recent decision that the current practice of race-conscious admissions violates the Constitution. Current practice.
I want you to understand something: the Court did not shut the door on underrepresented minorities at the country's elite colleges. Instead, the majority suggested that colleges must recruit differently. Individually, not based on race.
One of the two obvious methods we all expect college admissions departments to implement has to do with supplemental essays. That likely means that there will be more opportunities for students to talk about their cultural and ethnic "lived experiences".
(I can't believe...
It's anyone's guess just "how" diverse colleges will be in 2024-25. My gut feeling is that admissions officers will come up with creative ways to continue to recruit underrepresented minorities and ethnicities, and things won't look that much different.
How will they do this, without getting sued?
My best guess is by using test-optional policies to admit under-resourced students who don't have the ability to hire tutoring. This way, a student with superior scores but who isn't economically challenged can't claim that students with lower scores took his spot and that violates rules, regulations, the Constitution and scripture.
My next guess is that, if a student is not low income or under-resourced, they will not benefit from test-optional the way things worked last year and in previous admissions cycles. Again, this is a guess but it stands to reason.
This doesn't change any of the advice I have given my 1:1 clients for years: get your SAT or ACT as high as humanly possible, then...
Last week the viewership of Fox 5 New York had their lives enriched by two, not one appearances by Yours Truly regarding the Supreme Court rulings on 1. affirmative action in college admissions and 2. President Biden's loan forgiveness program.
(Lockwood would not comment on a rumored talk show deal being in the works.)
Hardy har har. Enough comedy bits. Here's the short version of the advice I tried to impart last week on the air.
Re: affirmative action and diversity in college
• According to researcher and author Richard Kahlenberg, 71% of Black, Latino and Native American students at Harvard … come from college-educated homes with incomes above the national median. Assuming this is basically true, are these applicants the ones we should boost? Or does this argument miss a point that I don't see. (I'm genuinely asking, reply to this email if you'd like.)
• Diversity is not dead. Colleges still...
December is National Early Decision Month, when high school seniors learn whether they got into their top choice, "ED" colleges.
The official party line about how Early Decision works goes a little somethin' like this:
There's only one problem with the above:
It's false. Fake news.
Here's the way things really work with Early Decision, just in case you never hear this from your guidance counselor (more on that below).
First, nothing and nobody can compel you to attend a college, no matter what box you checked on your college application.
Second, the Early Decision agreement is not binding, legally speaking. In...
Apparently college applications as of January are up by 22% compared to last year.
High school seniors are applying to more schools, according to one college consultant (not me, but I'm also seeing the same trend in my anecdotal, micro-universe).
Does that mean that it will be harder to get into college this year? Permit me to make a few comments.
First, more applications does not mean more APPLICANTS applying to college. The number of kids applying is actually trending down, partially due to predicted demographics, and partially because of the pandemic, economy and outrageous cost of college, which has risen every year since the beginning of time.
(Side prediction: next year's increase in college costs will again outstrip the current, also outrageous inflation numbers reported this week.)
Second, as the Common App data weenies point out, more applications does not equate to more enrollments. Colleges will still have to scrap tooth and nail to convince...
I've gotten a fair amount of "what do we do now?" types of questions from clients, so I figured you might want to know how I answer them.
Meaning, kids have worked their tushes off all summer and fall on applications, essays and so forth, and finished up a few weeks or months ago.
It feels like they should be doing SOMETHING!
But the truth is, they're done.
Now it's time to wait, until "mid-December" or "late December" (gee, thanks for the certainty, admissions peeps).
is there anything to do other than sit around with your thumb up your you-know-what?
Of course. Here are a few tips, off the top of the ol' noggin:
Nobody likes to be told "Um, no. Not you." but this is the time of year for Early Denial.
Countless college applicants will be told that they didn't get into the college they "ED'd" to.
Does it matter? Highly doubtful.
Typically, this time of year you'll see articles about famous, successful people who didn't get into their top choice colleges (Tina Fey, Warren Buffet, Antonin Scalia - how's that for an eclectic threesome?). The point of these articles is that the world didn't end for these rejectees, and neither should it end for this year's batch of college applicants.
I wrote about this briefly in my "snail mail" client newsletter, and make these comments annually because I think they're worth repeating. I tell all of my private 1:1 college advising students words the effect of
"You will be successful in life no matter where you go to college, because of your work ethic, intelligence and interpersonal skills. There is no correlation between where you...
I don't think it's me (I never do) but this year has been CRAZIER than ever.
I'm not only referring to the kids we coach through the college application process: parents have gone bonkers too!
On the kid-side, we had in inordinate number of seniors making last minute, final revisions to their essays yesterday for November 1 deadlines...
Re: parents, I cannot begin to tell you how many "helped" their children by stepping in, pushing them aside and completely taking over the essay-writing process. I see it every year, but I've never seen it this bad.
I'm not just griping. There's an important point here, that's all-too-easy to get lost in the shuffle: If you, parent, take over the college applications for your child, you are sending them an unsubtle message...
Not exactly a confidence builder, right?
Trust me, I know how busy our children are, and I understand the impulse to help. ...