ACT Postpones Section Retesting

Posted by Neal Schwartz on June 23, 2020





ACT postpones section retesting


The June ACT was far from the typical testing experience. With testing centers in 45 states practicing physical distancing and adhering to CDC guidelines, students were given a taste of the new reality of standardized testing, and it’s quite complicated. 

Due to COVID-19, this testing season in general has been chaotic and stressful, to say the least. With test dates cancelled and futures uncertain, students taking the ACT now have to face a new challenge. According to the ACT’s blog, CEO Janet Godwin has decided to postpone section retesting for 2020. This means that students who already took the ACT will not be able to retake sections to improve their superscores until some time later in 2021. 

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Topics: ACT, college admissions, ACT prep, college counseling, college test prep

College is Undergoing an Existential Crisis

Posted by Neal Schwartz on June 09, 2020




Why the humanities matter now more than ever


We need Homer,” writes New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, in his recent article, “The End of College as We Knew It?”. Homer, the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, two epic poems widely studied in core college curricula, is according to Bruni, just as important as the doctors and scientists keeping our civilization afloat throughout this pandemic. He continues, “We need writers, philosophers, historians. They’ll be the ones to chart the social, cultural and political challenges of this pandemic — and of all the other dynamics that have pushed the United States so harrowingly close to the edge. In terms of restoring faith in the American project and reseeding common ground, they’re beyond essential.” 

Colleges have been among the major institutions to flounder from consequences of the pandemic, leading to an existential crisis. The college identity is now up in the air. With revenue, budget and resource reductions, colleges are forced to either imperfectly adapt the college experience into an online one, or crumble under the pressure. Students are changing their attitudes, too. What used to be for some an opportunity for personal as well as academic exploration and growth, has now become a question of practicality and job-market preparedness. But this pandemic is raising exactly those big questions that the great philosophers and writers of human history mulled over for centuries.

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Topics: college admissions, college counseling, college value proposition, emotional intelligence, college identity, academic exploration, classic literature, humanities, literature, college crisis, attitude towards college

To defer or not to defer?

Posted by Neal Schwartz on June 02, 2020



High school seniors are facing the dilemma of the century. But is deferring their freshman year in favor of a gap year the right choice?

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Topics: college admissions, online learning, distance learning, college counseling, college plans for the fall, gap year, college freshman

US Colleges are facing a pivotal moment, will they change?

Posted by Neal Schwartz on May 05, 2020



How will the pandemic transform college as we know it?


As the uncertainty about the pandemic’s impact on the future of college continues to unfold, there is a wide range of speculation, starting with school this fall. Should colleges plan for an online fall, delay the whole semester, or just plan for a regular semester?

Should social distancing be enforced by individual states, there could be a potpourri of fall openings. Such measures for a successful fall opening would involve getting students, faculty, and staff tested, reducing the number of students per class, integrating rotating schedules, offering a hybrid of online and in-person classes; the list goes on and on.

But underneath all of the operational questions for each college lies the financial question. What is the financial health of the college? Even though no one was prepared for anything like the pandemic, some colleges will be hit harder than others. That's because of three factors:

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Topics: college admissions, online learning, distance learning, online college counseling, college financial health, college counseling, college plans for the fall, international college students, college affordability, college value proposition

Changing the College Plan: Has Competitive college admissions peaked?

Posted by Neal Schwartz on April 20, 2020


As we deal with the current shutdown of the majority of our society due to the virus, what's next when it comes to the college process?  Many things are changing radically, but it would be premature to say that a college degree will become worthless; college is still the brass ring for most Americans. So what can you do during this time? I suggest that students and parents think out of the box.  Sure, short-term, it is pretty chaotic right now, with information changing rapidly. But, keeping a level head through this situation can help. For example, parents of Juniors could flip the "normal" college-prep sequence and start key aspects of the application process a couple of months early.  

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Topics: College Essays, College Applications, college admissions, online learning, online SAT Prep, online ACT Prep, onlline college counseling, distance learning, common app


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