(Late) News of the Week!

(Late) News of the Week!

Harvard, Yale,  and other Ivies report near-record numbers of early-admission applications…and on another planet (New Jersey), Princeton joins a small group of schools not releasing admissions data, citing impact on applicants’ anxiety. Side note: This is not how to solve anxiety around college admissions. 

Harvard extended its test-optional policy for four more years. But the main reason Harvard and its counterparts are dropping the test is that it’s in their interest to do so.

A news flash? Binding admission offers do not, in fact, oblige you to attend. If you can’t afford to go at the price that the college has asked you to pay, you can back out.

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Our Early Admit List (12/22)

Our Early Admit List (12/22)

Whoa. Our students rock! We are grateful they chose to have us along for the ride, and this year, an extraordinarily tough year, we are so so proud of the work they put in. Their efforts did not go unnoticed by colleges either. Although we are believers that the journey is just as sweet as the reward, we are celebrating the reward (acceptances) in this post. 

Below you will find some of the schools our students gained acceptance to so far this year!

The Ivy+ Set:

University of Pennsylvania – multiple students
Cornell – multiple students
Dartmouth – multiple students
Duke – multiple students
University of Chicago

Our Fan Faves:

Boston College
Claremont McKenna
Colorado College
Miami Ohio – multiple students
St. Andrews – multiple students
Southern Methodist University
Tulane – multiple students
University of Rochester

All About Early Action:

Baylor – multiple students
Clemson – multiple students
Coastal Carolina – multiple students
College of Charleston – multiple students
Fairfield – multiple students
Fordham – multiple students
Indiana University Kelley School of Business – multiple students
Loyola Chicago – multiple students 
Penn State – multiple students
Ohio State – multiple students
Santa Clara – multiple students
Sarah Lawrence
University of Delaware – multiple students
University of Massachusetts, Amherst – multiple students
University of Pittsburgh – multiple students
University of South Carolina – multiple students
University of Tampa – multiple students
University of Vermont – multiple students

…and many more on the way for the class of 2022 (college class of 2026)!

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News of the Week!

News of the Week!

Test Optional May Not Apply to Homeschooled Students. Even some colleges that have gone test optional still require homeschooled applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. Admissions officials say test scores are a valuable metric for homeschooled students, who can be challenging to evaluate.

Twenty education groups are issuing an open letter to college presidents and boards urging them to abandon legacy admissions, which remains popular among private colleges and some public institutions. “As Jerome Karabel details in his book, The Chosen, legacy preferences arose at elite institutions in the 1920s and 1930s as a way to limit the enrollment of Jewish immigrants whose qualifications outstripped those from long-standing well-to-do families that Ivy League colleges preferred to see on campus,” the letter says. To this day, the legacy preference continues to favor wealthy, white families. 

Ten Higher Education Stories of 2021

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We’re Grateful For…

We’re Grateful For…

The chance to help students and parents tackle the process of applying to college. It means a lot to us! 

Seniors: if you recently applied or are in the process of applying to college, my guess is you didn’t do it alone. Show some gratitude by sending a heartfelt thank you to the people who helped you make it happen, such as parents, guidance counselors, teachers, letter of recommendation writers, admissions officers who hosted special events at your high school, friends who read your essays, and test prep tutors, just to name a few!

Why do we think this is important? An attitude of gratitude is—according to positive psychology research—strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Harvard agrees

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Early Decision and Early Action Notification Dates

Early Decision and Early Action Notification Dates

Early admission decisions start to release soon, so it’s about that time of year when College Kickstart starts tracking the latest early decision and early action notification dates. They post over 100 schools, and update frequently, so you will want to bookmark their page and check back. 

They also very nicely include actual notification dates from last year where available. That said, many schools notify applicants in advance of their official dates, so stay tuned to your email. 

Thank you College Kickstart!

PS — Class of 2026 is also known as the high school Class of 2022

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Are You Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Child During the College Admission Process?

Are You Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Child During the College Admission Process?

Intense achievement pressure, particularly in affluent communities, can generate high levels of stress, anxiety, and/or depression in young people. We are sharing this from MCC, and hope you give it a read!

The questions and short quiz created by the team at Making Caring Common can help parents and caregivers (and even counselors like us!) be alert to red flags that they may be putting too much pressure on their student in the college admissions process.

College Admissions Red Flags: Quiz and questions for consideration

  1. During dinner conversations, do you often talk about your child’s grades and college applications, forgetting to ask your child what they find interesting and fun about school?

  2. When you meet with or contact your child’s teacher, do you ask primarily about grades and test scores? Do grades and test scores tend to crowd out discussions of whether your child seems to be enjoying school, is a good friend to others, and contributes to the classroom?

  3. Do you email or call your child’s teacher about assignments or grades more than once a month, even when your child is not having any problems (e.g., trouble completing homework, absence due to illness, etc.)?

  4. Does your child sometimes not eat or sleep well because he or she is worried about not performing at a high level in school?

  5. Do you press your child to take certain courses or participate in extracurricular activities in which they have little interest, or which are stressful for them, for the sake of college applications?

  6. Do you encourage your child to do certain community service projects that they are not interested in because you think these projects will be helpful for their college application?

  7. Do you sometimes allow your child to exaggerate or lie about the extent of their community service because it will help them get into a selective college?

  8. Do you ever encourage your child to apply to selective high schools or colleges based on prestige or commercial rankings, such as the U.S. News & World Report ranking, without considering whether the school is a good fit for your child’s personality and interests?

  9. Do you ever see your child’s peers as competition in the college application process—for example, telling your child not to let others know where they are applying to college because others might apply to the same school and hurt your child’s chances of getting into the same college?

  10. Do you sometimes pressure your child to engage in substantial college preparation while they are on vacation (e.g., intensively studying vocabulary cards or math problems), instead of ensuring that they have ample time to relax or play?

  11. Did you or do you plan to hire an SAT/ACT tutor or have your child take an SAT/ACT preparatory course before junior year of high school?

  12. When you visit colleges with your child, do you sometimes ask more questions than your child does on the tour or at the info session?

  13. If your child was not accepted at a selective high school or college, would you be embarrassed? Would it affect your self-esteem?

  14. If your child received a bad grade on a test or assignment, would you feel responsible or like a failure?

  15. Do you primarily visit and talk about highly selective colleges with your child, rather than a wide variety of colleges, including less-selective ones?

  16. Do you frequently think about whether your child is performing at a high level or will be accepted at a high-status college?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to take a look at the messages you may be inadvertently sending your child, and to talk with those you respect and trust about how you might reduce college admission pressure. Learn more about our Turning the Tide Initiative and use our tips for dialing down achievement pressure and raising caring kids.

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News of the Week!

News of the Week!

New NCAA eligibility guidelines released! 

Admissions as a Game of Chance? New Research Says Lotteries Could Decrease Diversity.

High School Students and Counselors Are Burned Out. We feel this. 

One response: “Our kids are really burnt out. Their usual ability to persevere is significantly lower. They are needing schools to come to them not the other way around. Doing virtual events is NOT helpful as they don’t even want to look at a screen.”

Another response: “Students are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety with being back in person. Even the brightest students are struggling with completing homework and being present.”

And another: “Our students are markedly less mature this year, and moving through the college application process slowly. I don’t know that Ursinus can help, but the pandemic definitely hurt the students’ development and maturity.”

This article is definitely worth a read as we all need to keep mental health and wellness at the top of our to-do lists with our students. 

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How to Ace the Essay with Brittany Maschal

How to Ace the Essay with Brittany Maschal

Our friends at GenHERation have a post up from our Fireside Chat! Read more here, and check out their programming while you’re at it!

And for all things college essay, check out our book, The Complete College Essay Handbook!!!


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Four Mini Guides to Navigating Your College Search from UPenn!

Four Mini Guides to Navigating Your College Search from UPenn!

Penn Admissions has shared four great informative guides to help students with their college application process—and they are NOT Penn specific (although the samples they provide are)! 

Narrowing Down Your List

Fill out a worksheet for each school on your list while visiting school websites, exploring virtual tours, and attending information sessions. Compare worksheets and see which schools match your must-haves. Download Guide 1

Curriculum & Majors

This second guide will help you narrow down which colleges will be the best fit for you based on academics offered. Use this worksheet to learn more about a school’s curriculum, majors, and learning opportunities. Download Guide 2

Tracking Application Requirements & Deadlines

There’s a lot to keep track of when you’re applying to multiple colleges. Use this worksheet to stay organized and take some of the stress out of the application process. Download Guide 3

Highlighting Your Extracurriculars & Activities

This worksheet will prepare you for the activities section of your college applications. Think of this guide as a way to brainstorm what you’ve been involved in through high school, what your commitment looked like, and how things may have changed in the past year. Download Guide 4

Bonus: Watch this video for even more tips on activities!

Thanks, Penn! Pair this advice with The Complete College Essay Handbook and get ready to apply! 

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“Best of the Best” Colleges & Universities for LGBTQ Students

“Best of the Best” Colleges & Universities for LGBTQ Students

Campus Pride’s 2021 BEST OF THE BEST Colleges & Universities is online at https://campuspride.org/BestoftheBest

Campus Pride, the preeminent resource for LGBTQ leadership development, diversity inclusion and advocacy within higher education, recently announced the annual Best of the Best Colleges and Universities for LGBTQ students in the United States. 

“More than ever colleges today want to be viewed as LGBTQ-friendly and a welcoming place for all students. LGBTQ students and their safety impacts the recruitment efforts of the entire campus,” said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride Executive Director. “Upper-level administrators are now understanding how LGBTQ-friendliness is key to academic success of students and the future institutional success of the campus.”

The announcement features 30 four-year campuses from across the country that have shown themselves to be deeply committed to LGBTQ students, earning a perfect score of 5 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride Index, the definitive national benchmarking tool tracking LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs, and practices.

This year, Campus Pride is putting a spotlight on two-year colleges and religious schools with two separate lists focused on community colleges that are leading the way on LGBTQ inclusivity, and religious schools living up to LGBTQ-inclusive values.  These campuses were selected by the Campus Pride Index team showcasing campuses with inclusive policy, program and practice and who scored 3.5 or higher stars in their respective categories.

“Seeing the representation of schools from every corner of the country, and highlighting the efforts of community colleges and even religious institutions really underlines the successes Campus Pride has had over our 20 years,” said Tom Elliott, Campus Pride Board Chair. “The work we’ve done with student leaders, and the resources Campus Pride continues to provide them, is making the higher education experience safer and more welcoming to LGBTQ students nationwide.” 

The Campus Pride Index, cataloging more than 430 LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities, is available at https://www.campusprideindex.org/