In Transitional Year, SAT Scores Drop on Old Test

The College Board today announces average scores on the SAT for last year’s high school graduating class — and such announcements are typically a time of debate over the state of education, the value of standardized testing, educational inequities and more. This year’s results are somewhat difficult to analyze, because some students took the old version of the SAT and others the new. The College Board reported declines in the average scores from the class, but those averages are for those who took the old SAT. The ACT also reported declines this year, noting that more students are taking the test. Both the College Board and the ACT are pursuing more contracts with states to require high school seniors to take one test or the other, and that means more test takers may not in fact be prepared for or preparing for college.

In comparing the old SAT’s scores for the class of 2016, compared to 2015:

  • The average for critical reading was 494, down from 497.
  • The average for math was 508, down from 512.
  • The average for writing was 482, down from 487.

Full results are available here, but readers are cautioned by the many caveats about comparisons because of the transitional year.

Early Admission Stats – Class of 2020

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As you determine if you are going to apply to a school ED, or a few schools EA or REA, it may be helpful to know last years early admit rates. Early admit rates tend to be much higher than RD admit rates.  Check out where the schools on your list stand, below!

Class of 2020 Early Admission Results

Institution (Plan) Applied Admitted Rate Link
Amherst (ED) 454 180 40% Link
Boston College (REA) 8,600 2,700 31% Link
Boston University (ED) 3,461 1,050 30% Link
Bowdoin (ED1) 614 207 34% Link
Brown (ED) 3,030 669 22% Link
Columbia (ED) 3,520 Link
Cornell (ED) 4,882 1,337 27% Link
Dartmouth (ED) 1,927 494 26% Link
Davidson (ED) 692 290 42% Link
Dickinson (ED1) 251 220 88% Link
Duke (ED) 3,455 818 24% Link
George Washington (ED) 1,373 841 61% Link
Georgetown (REA) 7,027 892 13% Link
Georgia Tech (EA) 14,861 4,424 30% Link
Hamilton (ED) 578 240 42% Link
Harvard (SCEA) 6,173 918 15% Link
Harvey Mudd (ED) 464 77 17% Link
Johns Hopkins (ED) 1,907 559 29% Link
Kenyon (ED) 378 240 63% Link
Middlebury (ED) 954 398 42% Link
MIT (EA) 7,767 656 8% Link
Northwestern (ED) 3,022 1,061 35% Link
Pitzer (ED) 423 117 28% Link
Pomona (ED) 914 177 19% Link
Princeton (SCEA) 4,229 767 18% Link
Scripps (ED) 236 113 48% Link
Stanford (REA) 7,822 745 10% Link
Tufts (ED) 2,070 663 32% Link
Union College (ED) 400 228 57% Link
University of Georgia (EA) 14,516 7,500 52% Link
UNC – Chapel Hill (EA) 19,682 6,948 35% Link
Notre Dame (REA) 5,321 1,610 30% Link
UPenn (ED) 5,762 1,335 23% Link
Virginia (EA) 16,768 5,203 31% Link
Vanderbilt (ED) 3,400 800 24% Link
Wesleyan (ED) 1,009 381 38% Link
Williams (ED) 585 246 42% Link
Yale (SCEA) 4,662 795 17% Link

 

Source: College Kickstart

Tags: Boston College, Brown, Class of 2020, Colorado College, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Davidson,Dickinson, Duke, Early Action, Early Admission, Early Decision, Georgetown, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Hamilton,Harvard, Harvey Mudd, Johns Hopkins, Middlebury, MIT, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Pitzer, Pomona,Princeton, Scripps, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wesleyan, Williams,Yale

Book Recommendations from IECA Members

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Recently, some fellow IECA members sent around a compilation of books, and I want to share them. I have read many of these books, and suggest students and parents take a look! Enjoy!

Helping Teenagers & Parents Deal with the Pressures and Stress of the High School Years:

  • How To Be a High School Superstar by Cal Newport
  • College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family by Steven Roy Goodman & Andrea Leiman
  • Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni
  • You Are Not Special: …..And Other Encouragements by David McCullough
  • Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel
  • Your Defiant Child: Eight Steps to Better Behavior by Russell Barkley
  • Parenting with Love and Logic by F. & J. Fay Cline
  • Parenting Teens with Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood by F. & J. Fay Cline
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by S. Covey
  • Parenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting by D. Dinkmeyer & G. McKay
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by A. Faber & E. Mazlish
  • Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots & Wings by M. Kenneth & R. Ginsburg
  • Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People, by S. Glenn & J. Nelson
  • Boys and Girls Learn Differently: A Guide for Teachers and Parents by Michael Gurian
  • The Wonder of Girls by Michael Gurian
  • The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian
  • Second Shelter: Family Strategies for Navigating Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Residential Treatment Centers by R. Haid & E. Donnelly
  • Attachment-Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children by Daniel Hughes
  • The Parent Playbook by Russell Hyken
  • Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by G. Keck & R. Kupecky
  • Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishment to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids by Madeline Levine
  • How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
  • Teens in Turmoil: A Path to Change for Parents, Adolescents and their Families by C. Maxym & L. York
  • An Unchanged Mind: The Problem with Immaturity in Adolescence by John McKinnon
  • To Change a Mind: Parenting to Promote Maturity in Teenagers by John McKinnon
  • When Parents Love Too Much: Freeing Parents & Children to Live Their Own Lives by M. Meyerson & L. Ashner
  • The Blessings of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children by Wendy Mogel
  • Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers by Wendy Mogel
  • Positive Discipline for Teenagers: Empowering Teens and Yourself through Kind and Firm Parenting by J. Nelson & L. Lott
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by K. Patterson
  • Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack
  • College that Change Lives: 40 Schools that Will Change the Way You Think About College by Laren Pope
  • Power and Compassion: Working with Difficult Adolescents and Abused Parents by Jerome Price
  • The Journey of the Heroic Parent: Your Child’s Struggle and the Road Home by Brad Reedy
  • The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins
  • Raising NLD Superstars: What Families with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities Need to Know About Nurturing Confident, Competent Kids by Marcia Rubinstein
  • Boys Themselves by Michael Ruhlman
  • The Good Enough Child: How to Have an Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied by Brad Sachs
  • The Good Enough Teen: Rising Adolescents with Love and Acceptance (Despite How Impossible They can Be) by Brad Sachs
  • Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences by Leonard Sax
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men by Leonard Sax
  • Girls on the Edge by Leonard Sax
  • Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager: 7 Steps to Reestablish Authority and Reclaim Love by Scott Sells
  • Parenting from the Inside Out: 10th Anniversary Edition: How a Self-Understanding Can Help you Raise Children by D.J. Siegel & M. Hartzell
  • Not By Chance Tim Thayne
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
  • The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development by Richard Weissbourd
  • Parenting Your ADD Child: A No-Nonsense Guide for Nurturing Self-Reliance and Cooperation by Craig Weiner

The Transition from High School to College:

  • For Students:
    • The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen
  • For Parents:
    • Letting Go by Karen Coburn
    • When Your Kids Go To College – A Parent’s Survival Guide by Carol Barkin
    • Almost Grown – Launching Your Child From High School To College by Patricia Pasick
    • Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success and Self-Reliance by Brad Sachs
    • The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only: A Parent’s Guide to the New College Experience by Harlan Cohen

Susan Cain Episode 8 – Quiet at College

Quiet-Power-of-Introverts-with-Susan-Cain_PodcastPoster-300x300

Susan Cain’s podcast is fire. As a self-proclaimed introvert and somewhat quiet person myself, I liked Episode 8: Quiet at College. I mean, I enjoyed them all, but given my role as a college counselor, #8 was particularly ear-catching.

It’s no secret that getting accepted to your dream college or university takes a lot more than good grades. What are the best ways for introverts to prepare for college and adjust to campus life? Susan Cain talks with students and university advisors about how to help introverted students find the right school environment that will help them thrive.

Guests include Lisa Kaenzig, Associate Dean at William Smith College; college advisor Steve LeMenager; and Jake Millman, college freshman and Quiet Diarist.

Disclaimer, I am a total Susan Cain fan-girl. I not-so-secretly would love to talk all things education and parenting with her 🙂

Check it out! #QuietPodcast

College Admissions Summer Reading

Summer Reading Logo

Brennan Barnard, Director of College Counseling at The Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire, annually asks college admissions deans and high school counselors to send him recommendations of books that are “great” summer reads. You can see last year’s list here; the 2014 list here, the 2013 list here in the New York Times, and the 2016 list, below. Some solid reads on this list, and many that I have read!

For Parents:

“Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood” by Lisa Damour
Recommended by: Sally Diehl, Director of College Counseling, Roland Park Country School, MD

“Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity” by Andrew Solomon
Recommended by: Suzi Nam Director of College Counseling, Germantown Friends School, PA

“Pressured Parents, Stressed Out Kids” by Wendy S. Grolnick, Ph.D. and Kathy Seal
Recommended by: Beth Ann Burkmar, The Hun School of Princeton, NJ

“Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” by Robert D. Putnam
Recommended by: Carrie Brodsky, Associate Director of College Counseling, Westtown School, PA

“Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence” by Laurence Steinberg
Recommended by: Amelia Johnson, Assoc. Dir. of College Counseling, Baylor School, TN

“American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers” by Nancy Jo Sales
Recommended by: Meg Scott, Associate Director of College Counseling, The Agnes Irwin School, PA

“The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults” by Frances E. Jensen
Recommended by: Peter Jennings, Director of College Counseling, Concord Academy, MA

“How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” by Julie Lythcott-Haims
Recommended by: Debra Shaver, Dean of Admission, Smith College, MA

“The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence” by Rachel Simmons
Recommended by: Debra Shaver, Dean of Admission, Smith College, MA

“The End of American Childhood” by Paula S. Fass
Recommended by: Susan Zarwell, Director of College Counseling. University School of Milwaukee, WI

“The Gift of Failure” by Jessica Lahey
Recommended by: Jed Stuart, Associate Director of Admissions, The Gunnery, CT

“Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through The Seven Transitions Into Adulthood” by Lisa Damour, Ph.D.
Recommended by: Scott Orvis, Director of College Counseling, Saint Mary’s School, NC

 

Education-related Reads:

“Heroic Leadership” by Chris Lowney
Recommended by: Mike Sexton, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Santa Clara University, CA

“The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College” by Harlan Cohen
Recommended by: Bruce Berk, Associate Director of College Counseling, The Derryfield School, NH

“The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way” by Bill Bryson
Recommended by: Michael Stefanowicz, Assistant Director of Admission, Saint Michael’s College, VT

“Class and Campus Life” by Elizabeth M. Lee
Recommended by: Jenni Pfeiffer, Associate Director of College Counseling, Rye Country Day School, NY

“Creating a Class” by Mitchell Stevens
Recommended by: Jenni Pfeiffer, Associate Director of College Counseling, Rye Country Day School, NY

“Where Everybody Looks Like Me: At the Crossroads of America’s Black Colleges and Culture” by Ron Stodghill
Recommended by: Jennifer Beros, Director of College Counseling, University School, OH

“The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less” by Barry Schwartz
Recommended by: Carrie Horsey, Associate Director of College Counseling, Head-Royce School, CA

“U Chic, The College Girl’s Guide to Everything” by Christie Garton
Recommended by: Barbara Conner, Director of College Counseling, Foxcroft School, VA

“Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined: The truth about talent, practice, creativity, and the many paths to greatness” by Scott Barry Kaufman
Recommended by: Susan Tree, Director of College Counseling, Westtown School, PA

“The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown
Recommended by: Alice Cotti, Director of College Counseling and 11th/12th Grade Dean, Polytechnic School, CA

“There Is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow” by Jeffrey J. Selingo
Recommended by: Bernadette Condesso, Director of College Counseling, Poughkeepsie Day School, NY

“Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom” by Lisa Delpit
Recommended by: Liz Pleshette, Director of College Counseling, Latin School of Chicago, IL

“Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts” by Edited by: Rebecca Chopp, Susan Frost, Daniel H. Weiss
Recommended by: Karen Bartlett, Assistant Director of Admissions, Middlebury College

 

For Fun and Thought:

“The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach
Recommended by: Eric Ahlstrand, Assistant Director of Admission, Furman University, SC

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Recommended by: Chemeli Kipkorir, Director of University Guidance, African Leadership Academy

“Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals” by Mark Edmundson
Recommended by: Matt Struckmeyer, Director of College Counseling, Laguna Blanca School, CA

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Recommended by: Elizabeth Jamett, Director of College Guidance, University Liggett School, MI

“Where Am I Wearing?” by Kelsey Timmerman
Recommended by: Tracy Stockard, Director of College Counseling Gilmour Academy, OH

“Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise” by Andres Ericson and Robert Pool
Recommended by: David Bonner, Dean, King Low Heywood Thomas School, CT

“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini
Recommended by: Moira McKinnon, Director of College Counseling, Berwick Academy, ME

“Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything” by Victor J. Strecher
Recommended by: Mr. Nicholas Kourabas, Director of College Counseling, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, NY

“Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People” by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald
Recommended by: Stephanie Balmer, Head of School, Harpeth Hall School, TN

“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
Recommended by: Jody Sanford Sweeney, Associate Director of College Counseling, William Penn Charter School, PA

“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Recommended by: Scott Herrmann-Keeling, Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School, MO

“Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth
Recommended by: Chadwick Fulton, Associate Director of College Counseling, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, TX

“Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson
Recommended by: Janelle Holmboe, Vice-President for Enrollment, Warren Wilson College, NC

“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Happens in the End” by Atul Gawande
Recommended by: Matthew DeGreeff, Director of College Counseling, Middlesex School, MA

“David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell
Recommended by: Ivar Moller, Director of North American Admissions, The University of St. Andrews, Scotland

“Creativity, Inc., Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull
Recommended by: Rhody Davis, Director of College Counseling, Viewpoint School, CA

“Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work (A StoryCorps Book)” by Dave Isay
Recommended by: Mindy H. Rose, Director of College Counseling, Peddie School, NJ

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr
Recommended by: Bruce Barton, Director of College Counseling, Holderness School, NH

“Straight Man” by Richard Russo
Recommended by: Corie McDermott-Fazzino, Director of College Counseling, Portsmouth Abbey School, RI

“City on Fire” by Garth Risk Hallberg
Recommended by: Carl Ahlgren, Director of College Counseling, Gilman School, MD

“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough
Recommended by: J. Carey Thompson, Vice President for Enrollment and Communications/Dean of Admission, Rhodes College, TN

 

Full article by Valerie Strauss/Washington Post here.

Coalition Application Users Posted

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The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success is unveiling a new college application this summer and has announced which of its members will be using it in the next admissions cycle and which are holding off a year. Fifty-eight will use the new application and 36 will not. The list may be found here.

The (58) schools planning to accept the Coalition application for 2016/2017 are:

American University
Amherst College
Bowdoin College
Bryn Mawr College
CalTech
Carleton College
Claremont McKenna College
Clemson University
Colgate University
College of the Holy Cross
College of William & Mary
Columbia University
Connecticut College
Davidson College
Denison University
Duke University
Emory University
Hamilton College
Harvard University
Indiana University – Bloomington
Johns Hopkins University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
Pomona College
Purdue University
Reed College
Rice University
Rutgers University – New Brunswick
St Olaf College
Stanford University
State University of New York – Binghamton University
State University of New York – College at Geneseo
Swarthmore College
Texas A&M University
Tufts University
Union College
University of Chicago
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Iowa
University of Maryland – College Park
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of South Carolina
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Vanderbilt University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wake Forest University
Washington University in St. Louis
Williams College
Yale University

The (36) additional member schools that will accept the Coalition application for 2017/2018 are:

Bates College
Brown University
Colby College
College of New Jersey
Colorado College
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Florida State University
Franklin and Marshall College
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Grinnell College
Haverford College
Illinois State University
James Madison University
Miami University – Ohio
Michigan State University
Middlebury College
Mount Holyoke College
Oberlin College
Princeton University
Ramapo College
Skidmore College
Smith College
State University of New York – University at Buffalo
University of Georgia
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Mary Washington
University of Michigan
University of Missouri
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Vermont
Vassar College
Wellesley College
Wesleyan University

More Schools Added to The Common Application

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So happy Indiana and Wisconsin will now be on the CA. It is always helpful to students (and counselors) to have one less school specific app to proofread. Big time-saver!

New Members of The Common Application

United States

Alvernia University
Antioch College
Baker University
Bard College at Simon’s Rock
Baylor University
Benedictine College
Benedictine University
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
Carthage College
Concordia College at Moorhead
Concordia University Chicago
D’Youville College
Dean College
Eastern Kentucky University
Edgewood College
George Mason University
Goddard College
Hastings College
Indiana University-Bloomington
Keiser University Flagship Campus – West Palm Beach Florida
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Middle Tennessee State University
North Park University
Northwest Nazarene University
Ohio University
Paul Smith’s College
St. Andrews University (NC)
Stephens College
The Culinary Institute of America (CA)
The Culinary Institute of America (NY)
The Culinary Institute of America (TX)
Touro College
University of Akron Main Campus
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Bridgeport
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Western Illinois University

International    

Birmingham City University
Bishop’s University
Doshisha University, The Institute for the Liberal Arts
IE University
Quest University Canada
Saint Louis University-Madrid
University of East Anglia
University of Hong Kong
University of Lincoln
University of Warwick
University of Worcester

College Planning Tips – Counselor Connection

I opted in to receive emails from the College Board via their Counselor Connection listserv. The newsletters (emails) typically include links to upcoming webinars and other online resources for high school counselors. Right now, I am in China, so only had time to skim the most recent email, but I saved it because the College Planning Tips section caught my attention. I was a bit surprised that the first set of tips was for students grades 6-8. I was also surprised to see them promoting both volunteer and summer enrichment activities, in addition to the use of Khan Academy.

I honestly wonder how many high school counselors are pushing any of these activities (service, summer enrichment, and pre-college planning) in grades 6-8. I fear many of my students (even those at elite private high schools in NYC) are not hearing much of this messaging or at least consistent messaging of this nature this early on (middle school). Some come to me with little or no summer enrichment activities related to academic interests, very light service history, and no knowledge of Khan Academy (a resource I am a fan of, but have no formal affiliation with). I guess they could be hearing it and just not acting on it?

I would love for more students to place an emphasis on service early on in their high school careers, as well as begin exploring their academic interests via summer enrichment programs and modules via Khan Academy. So, I support this message from the College Board and hope more high school counselors pass these resources along to their students and their student’s families.