Is a pivot on the horizon for selective college admissions?

Posted by Neal Schwartz on April 05, 2022

When it comes to college, competition seems only to be getting more intense. Students are pressured by expectations to get perfect test scores, have unique and incredible talents and be accomplished and successful just by the age of 16 or 17. How long will students be able to live up to these expectations? According to a recent article by Jeffrey Selingo in the Atlantic, “The College-Admissions Process Is Completely Broken, but it doesn’t have to be”, the college admissions system might not be able to hold up for long.

Colleges already responded to the pandemic with measures meant to ease minds like test-optional policies, but in the long run that didn't eliminate competition, just changed it temporarily. (Note that M.I.T. just went back to a test required model)

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Topics: college counseling, test optional, college application, holistic college admissions review, teacher recommendations, college planning, college acceptance, college rejection, college fit, college waitlist, jeffrey selingo

How to truly stand out on your college application

Posted by Neal Schwartz on November 14, 2021

To say that this generation of future college students is having a harder time than in the past would be an understatement. The impacts of a still-present pandemic have changed the way students learn and has certainly had an effect on even the strongest students. Online learning has expanded academic and social gaps, and that means that the future promises to be even more challenging to those trying to keep up.

The pandemic’s impact on colleges is that it has decreased enrollment at the lesser known schools and increased competition at the well-known ones. With testing requirements shifting to nearly universal test-optional policies at the majority of institutions, admissions criteria is increasingly pivoted toward essays, recommendations and extracurriculars. Some students are no longer being judged solely on their scores, but on the deeper content of their written work.

This all means that students have to re-strategize when applying and no longer think in terms of “well-roundedness.” Previous generations of college applicants used this as their key word, but according to some admissions officers, being well-rounded is no longer good enough. So how can students truly stand out in this unprecedented context?

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Topics: College Essays, College Applications, college preparation, college counseling, high school senior, high school junior, recommendations, teacher recommendations, extracurricular activities


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