Do We Want You in Our College Community?

College admissions readers have that question. What question do you have of colleges?




Summer's in full swing. Whether they're lifeguards, wait staff or camp counselors, students get a chance to unwind from the pressures of school, enjoy their friends and make some extra money. As usual, the burden is on rising seniors, who are hopefully hard at work writing Personal Essays in anticipation the August 1, 2022, release of college supplements.

I've been enjoying my student meetings of late, particularly as I listen to their ideas for the Common App Personal Essay. I remind applicants that admissions readers are asking:

Summer's in full swing. Whether they're lifeguards, wait staff or camp counselors, students get a chance to unwind from the pressures of school, enjoy their friends and make some extra money. As usual, the burden is on rising seniors, who are hopefully hard at work writing Personal Essays in anticipation the August 1, 2022, release of college supplements. I've been enjoying my student meetings of late, particularly as I listen to their ideas for the Common App Personal Essay. I remind applicants that admissions readers are asking:


Do we want [name of student] in our college community?


Admissions staffers aren't the only people with college-related questions. You, as parents, counselors or followers, also have questions, which may include: THE Ohio State University: For Real? If you haven't heard, Ohio State has owned up - to owning THE! Yes, the popular public research university in Columbus has trademarked the widely used definite article (i.e, THE). As explained in the Wall Street Journal, "stating the full name of the school has become a point of pride for Ohio State’s athletes when introducing themselves on television during games. The three-letter article 'THE' has also become an important part of the school’s merchandise and apparel." OSU applied for the trademark after designer Marc Jacobs wanted to use THE on ITS clothing.


Can a University Only Take Students in the Early Rounds? Students of unCommon Apps frequently put Tulane on their college list. And why not? The university has leading-edge research, honors programs, a winner of a location and merit aid. But there's a catch, which my students know: Students must show their love and apply ED I, ED II or EA. The other day, Inside Higher Ed reported that the Green Wave used the Early rounds in record fashion in 2021-22, taking just 106 students via Regular Decision. Tulane's overall admission rate was 9.8 percent, and two-thirds of the students came from ED. (Other elite universities may accept just over half their entering class Early.) In the article, a college counselor praised Tulane for being "aboveboard in their practices." I remember a student telling me what she heard from her Tulane rep: "If you don't apply Early, you won't get in!"


Here's what Owen Knight, Tulane's Director of Engagement, had to say in a recent webinar: “Engagement to us is about how much legwork the student has done. [We are] trying to find students who are serious about Tulane and have a chance of coming to Tulane if we admit them.” Is Everything Really Bigger in Texas?

Bigger football, a longer resume, an extensive review process - that's what prospective UT Austin students can expect. Last week, Arch Manning, grandson of Archie and nephew of Peyton and Eli, committed to play at UT. As pointed out in the WSJ, "Manning will also head to college during an era when he can capitalize on his fame financially. College athletes are now able to score deals and profit from their name, image and likeness—and few will have the star power of a Manning." Arch, Cooper's son, worked for his ticket to UT, gaining admission when academic out-of-state applicants are frequently shut out.


As your students look to 2022-23, know that UT will finally accept the Common App. But it won't be so simple. We again expect supplemental essays in which students will have to prove their fit to major, not unlike what's done for admission to U.K. institutions. They will need to attach longer-than-normal resumes (as if UT Admissions will read all the details). What's more, everything must be in by December 1, 2022.



Will College Board Outshine ACT? If you're a parent of a prospective applicant, you've heard about the digital SAT. This may or may not be a factor in your student's candidacy. As explained by Compass Prep, “Almost all students in the class of 2024 will finish their testing before the arrival of the digital SAT. It’s far more complicated for the class of 2025.” For years, counselors and test-prep specialists have had a good handle on which test might fit which student, but that's all changing with the digitization. The SAT will go from a three-hour to a two-hour exam, though it will have the same scoring. Reading passages will be shorter - I hope they're still interesting - and students will be allowed scratch paper. Forget about leaving the calculator home; it will be built-in to the mechanism. They'll also can get an overview of their answer sheet. The ACT: as far as we know, will remain the same.

Will There Really be Metauniversities? Meta is woven into every discussion these days. So what about colleges? We learn in EdSurge that "With Money From Facebook, 10 Colleges Turn Their Campuses into ‘Metaversities." That's right; 10 universities will pilot "digital twin" campuses in which "students will be able to get online and interact with each other using avatars while navigating replicas of their college quads and classrooms." According to Meta's head of Immersive Learning, a "tri-brid” model will enable the partner institutions to move “seamlessly between online, in-person and simulated, without the limits of time, travel and scale.”



This YouTube reveals some of the players, including Morehouse, Fisk, U Maryland, South Dakota State and Kansas, in a partnership between Meta and VictoryXR.


Does the Big Ten Really Consist of 10 Colleges?

This morning, I read that USC and UCLA will leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024-25. According to the Wall Street Journal, it's all about contracts for broadcast rights. As a consumer, I'd like to better understand how many colleges are really in the Pac-12 and Big Ten, not to mention the Big 12. As for USC and UCLA, they continue to attract record numbers of applicants, and the interest from East Coast students hardly wanes.


And, of Course, Should Your Student Submit Test Scores?

There's no more common question. Who can blame parents or students, who expend so much energy - and spend so much - on standardized testing? Last year, I shared with families that students should submit scores if they were in the reported midrange. Last week, a webinar hosted by Bari Norman of Expert Admissions featured the highly selective Penn and Vanderbilt. Their take: Students in the upper end of the midrange should report scores.


It's time for rising seniors to rise up and get their Common App Personal Essay done! Get in touch to set up a meeting. Questions regarding the college process? Bring them on!



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