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College Talk Blog

Sheltering in place-what to do?

Talking to students daily since covid-19 stopped us from circulating in the usual ways in our communities and schools, I find that many of them are wondering what to do. Unfortunately, too many of them report that they are sleeping more than needed because they are bored. The good news is that there is much that students can do from home for their college process. 

To-Do List for Self as a High School Junior:

  • prepare for the SAT or ACT using an online resource such as Khan Academy
  • prepare for at home AP tests by using school online classes/videos or YouTube.

Colleges and Others Giving Students a Virus Break

Safety precautions related to Covid-19 have caused anxiety among high school juniors and seniors about being able to complete their college process successfully. 

Cancellation of SAT and ACT tests puts juniors in a bind trying to take tests required for admission.

The cancellation of accepted student days means that seniors lost the chance to take one last look at their top schools before making a final choice.

Not knowing what to expect has produced concern that keeps students awake at night and make them feel that their fate could be left to chance.

Take the Leap!

A pattern I keep seeing among students I know is the tendency to apply to colleges where friends are applying. That's a natural instinct at a kind of scary time in the late teens because it is becoming clear to students that they really are LEAVING HOME!!!! 

It is comforting not to be the only person taking a path. However, there are rewards for those who dare to go in different directions. 

Students should consider that colleges, in their mission to have a diverse student body, often accept a limited number of students from each high school.

The Competitiveness Incline

As a college consultant for over a decade, I have been waiting for the promised decline in admission competitiveness due to predicted changes in population patterns. Specifically, the prediction was that admission will become less challenging at more competitive colleges when the predicted decline in teenaged population occurs.

What researchers did not take into account is the college-going rate increase. Once upon a time, a minority of students went to college while most others took other opportunities.

Penny Wise But Pound Foolish

I've always heard the cliche', "penny wise-pound foolish" and never thought much of it until the last few years. I think of it when a parent asks me if I will work "hourly" with their child. I don't do that because it does not serve the student or parents well.

Early in my educational consulting career I did work on an hourly basis. That meant that the client was deciding how many hours to work with a professional on college admissions. The problem with that was that parents did not know the process and would skip important activity with me and leave it up to their student who also did not understand the process.