Tag Archives: admissions

Anyone who tells you that the college admissions process doesn’t involve at least some anxiety and effort probably applied to an open-admit school. Everyone else accepts a risk, no matter how slight, of rejection. Putting yourself out there can be scary. The most constructive way to mitigate that fear and risk is to make sure you meet the highest academic, extracurricular, and testing standards of the institution to which you seek admission. In fact, treating the college application project as a transformational journey designed to clarify your goals for life after high school graduation is the smartest way to approach this crucible. Yet, when all is said and done, your best may not be good enough. My insightful friend and colleague Aly Beaumont has a lot to say about how The Admissions Process Is Not Necessarily About You! At this time of year, social media is filled with posts of…

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What are the SAT and ACT, why do they matter, and what can and should teens and their families do about them during this dynamic moment in college admissions history? The admissions landscape has shifted dramatically over the last five years, so make sure you stay on top of the newest developments: — Why do the SAT & ACT still matter in the test optional era? — Does it make sense to take the SAT or ACT if a student has a strong GPA? — What does test optional really mean? — When is the best time to take the SAT or ACT? — What is the best preparation for the SAT, ACT, or PSAT? — When will the SAT be moving to a digital adaptive test?

No one who knows me or my work would be surprised by my unequivocal endorsement of the value of properly designed and administered standardized tests. Nor would a single soul be shocked by my convictions about the value of the right tests in academic admissions decisions. My support for testing doesn’t spring from my profession as an educator. In fact, the opposite is true. Testing acumen opened access to the kind of high quality high school education most Bronx kids just don’t get. Test scores also secured special scholarships that made a SUNY degree at least somewhat affordable. My experience is, by no means, unique, but neither is it the narrative we’ve heard about testing over the last several years. The SAT was explicitly introduced to open doors to higher education that were previously closed to certain cultural, religious, and ethnic groups. The SAT and ACT still fulfill that mission,…

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Over nearly thirty years as an educator and much longer than that as someone who had to take tests that mattered, one truth about tests has always been evident: entrance exams to academic institutions have too often been seen as obstacles rather than opportunities. This sentiment continues to surprise me in a society where we value both hard work and winning. After all, admissions tests are, by nature of scarce access to institutions, competitions. What Americans don’t like competitions?! That said, I’ve always excelled at tests, so my opinion may be considered biased. I’m far from the only advocation for good entrance exams, though. I found the unattributed quote below in 2021 and have held it back while searching for authorship. Even without knowing what teenager wrote these words, the message tells us a lot about both the messenger and their fundamental understanding of how the opportunity offered by entrance…

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A hook is useful to have on hand (definitely not in hand, though) in all manner of scenarios from fishing to songwriting. Surprisingly, the newest market for hooks happens to be in college admissions. This begs, the question, of course, “What is a hook?” Hooks are basically all the factors beyond grades and test scores that might engage interest and secure college admission. We’ve always recognized that certain traits or activities helped applicants stand out from the crowd. What may surprise you is just how many hooks there are. College expert Aly Beaumont of Admissions Village joined me on the Tests and the Rest podcast to share what may be the world’s most thorough inventory of application hooks: Okay, so let me start first with what an institutional priority or a hook is. So I think of things that are beyond academics, test scores. There’s both inherent ones that are…

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Have you even been to a college fair? Basically, reps for a bewildering array colleges, universities and military services flood malls or other large venues so that students and families can gather information, brochures, and lots of first impressions. Is that all there is to the admissions process? Obviously, determining where you want to go is important. Equally essential is learning how to get in. The first Greater Rochester Getting-into-College Fair at the Pittsford Library in October was a great success, but we expect the next one to be even better. How is this different from a conventional college fair? Instead of campus reps, you’ll meet amazing local experts with answers about every aspect of college admissions. Perinton Community Center — Thursday, November 3, 5-8pm 1350 Turk Hill Rd, Fairport, NY 14450 The Getting-into-College Fair is free, and no registration is required. Come for guidance and insights for high school…

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