Final Days of Regular Decision

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As Early Action and Early Decision results roll in, students all over the country and world are still working hard. There are now less than two weeks to write, revise, and think about their remaining Regular Decision applications. For students who receive good Early Action news, it may feel difficult to keep up the momentum. Most Regular Decision deadlines are … Read More

Hampshire College says “no more” to SAT/ACT tests

Jackie SizemoreNews Hampshire College is not the first school to step away from using standardized tests as part of a holistic college application process. One potential downside is becoming ineligible to participate in many of the “official college rankings” lists. But these lists tend to represent a number of factors, including alumni donations, that don’t necessarily provide insight into the academic … Read More

For-profit schools & the Academy of Art University

Jackie SizemoreAdvice

The risk of going into (some) student loan debt in exchange for a chance at specific jobs, salaries, lifestyles, etc is one that may not seem like much of a decision to many people. But when I read stories like this article about for-profit schools that take advantage of a lack of knowledge about higher education and prey upon people’s … Read More

NYT opinion article on impact of highly competitive atmospheres

Jackie SizemoreAdvice

I came across this article today, interestingly timed in that May 1st many high school seniors were picking which college they would enroll in. Articles like this leave me feeling incredibly sad. More frequently, I hear the sentiments expressed and quoted in this article from not just college or high school students I work with, but even younger students as … Read More

Video applications instead of grades

Jackie SizemoreAdvice There are a small number of schools looking to enter the territory beyond transcripts, grades, and essays. Is this a reflection of an increasingly multi-media centered culture, or a way to allow students (and only students) to speak for themselves? I was certainly curious reading through this article, and wondered about what narratives or cliches video-watching admissions counselors might … Read More

The Competition Complex

Jackie SizemoreAdvice

Warning: some angry language in the article My main takeaway from this article is something I try to convey when I speak with students about college admissions. No one is unique. This is not a bad thing. To be unique means to be truly different from everyone else. You can be a special, hardworking, and determined student… this does … Read More

Finding good advice on writing the personal essay

Jackie SizemoreAdvice

It is truly overwhelming how much information there is out there on the college application process. From student-driven sites to official college websites, how can you know which information to trust? I have read many articles online with advice on writing the college essay only to get to the bottom and read that the author of the article has no … Read More

2014-2015 Common Application Essay Prompts

Jackie SizemoreNews

It’s almost that time again, and it looks like the Common Application is having good results with the newer prompts introduced last year. Here are some initial details about the Common Application personal essay for 2014-2015. 650 word limit Choice of 5 Prompts: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe … Read More