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What they don’t say about test scores

The SAT and ACT are in the news a lot these days. Maybe that's just my world because of this thing I do. Harvard recently announced that it would not require test scores through at least the class of 2026 and the University of California system…

The Most Important Conversation to Have about College

You can come up with a lot of reasons that the cost "makes sense" right now. However, those decisions are setting students and families up for huge burdens down the road. That's why having the conversation early about what the college will cost and how to pay for that cost is so important.
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8 steps to completing your college applications

When you have a list of things you have to do, tackle the least pleasant one first. If you have a plate full of delicious food and this one thing you don't want to eat, eat it first. You'll get to enjoy the rest of the food so much more than if you save the unpleasant part for last.

Some scary events in college admissions

Colleges are automatically placing students who applied without test scores in the developmental classes, classes for which they will not get any credit but will pay full price.
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What you need to know about National Merit awards

National Merit. School counselors talk about it. School districts publicize it. However, many parents and students aren't really sure what it is beyond some sort of academic honor that smart kids pursue. Check out this post for ideas about…
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“Test Optional” wasn’t intended to help students

One of the many impacts of COVID19 has meant a drastic change admissions policies related to the SAT and ACT. Colleges and universities have sold it to applicants as "test optional", and students and parents have taken that to mean that they…
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5 things high school Juniors should do right now

The June SAT has been cancelled, as were the March and May tests before it and the April ACT as well. At the time of writing this, ACT is adamant that they will be offering tests in June and July, even adding test dates to both months to accommodate…

5 Steps for Getting Letters of Recommendation from Your Teachers

It's the time of year when high school juniors are starting to look at the long slog between Spring Break and the end of the school year with something between sighing resignation and outright panic. AP and IB exams will take up May with Final…
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What you should know about Test Optional Policies

The typical press release from colleges who make the decision involves statements about how they recognize that students are more than a test score. That the college is committed to taking a look at the whole student. Those platitudes are noble, and in cases like the UChicago or Wake Forest or Bates,  they seem sincere. I'm not entirely convinced that the motives behind some of the recent announcements from Northern Illinois and Lourdes are quite as high-minded.

The problem with student debt

It's a tough conversation, but there are likely other, better options. At first it probably seems unfair. The student did all the right things. Isn't the reward supposed to be going to the school of their dreams? When they graduate with $75,000 of student debt, the dream becomes a nightmare.