There are so many ways to ace a college admissions interview; however, two parts of the interview are most crucial: the beginning and the end. Whether you interview in person or virtually, you should implement as much as possible of the advice in the video below into your college admissions interview game plan. Good luck!
Taking and doing well on Advanced Placement Exams could earn you some college credits, but they shouldn’t influence the grade you earn in your AP Classes and they rarely are factored into college admissions decisions.
Sadly, many high schools pressure students to freak out about these exams; yet, the exams themselves have limited utility to the vast majority of high school students. These exams do make the College Board and schools a lot of money.
It’s summertime, which means that many rising high school seniors are pondering the best way to spend a couple of months away from schoolwork.
For some answers, we turn to college admissions expert and college application coach Craig Meister – on location on the beach – for five important oceanside advice videos for rising high school seniors to ensure that they make the best personal choices for how to make the most of summer break.
1. Best Summer College Application Completion Advice
2. Summer Job vs. Summer Internship
3. Pre College Programs vs. Local Options
4. Is Summer SAT or ACT Prep a Smart Use of Time?
5. Don’t Forget to…
Craig is a college admissions coach and founder of CollegeMeister. He previously held university admissions and high school college and career counseling positions in Baltimore, West Palm Beach, and Rio de Janeiro.
The ups and downs of the quarantine gave college admissions officers and school counselors a taste of application life to come, as the birth rate for high school graduates continues to slide, and the need to develop new approaches to recruit students increases. As the profession continues to try and improve college access, and knowing that small differences can make a big difference, here are some considerations for both sides of the desk to ponder this summer over a well-deserved glass of lemonade:
Colleges—move your deadline dates. November 1 (early applications), January 1 (regular applications), and May 1 (many deposits) are all big dates in the college application world—and they all fell on a Sunday or a holiday this year. I don’t understand this, since the admissions offices weren’t open, and the vast majority of high school seniors had no access to counselors or other application helpers the day of and before the deadlines.
This needs to change. Yes, students need to be responsible, and should learn to plan ahead—but perhaps that lesson is better applied to deadlines for things they’ve done before (like papers), not with things they are doing for the first time (like applying to college). The first Tuesday in November, the second Tuesday in January, and the first Tuesday in May would solve this problem nicely, increasing the quality and quantity of applications to boot. Georgia Tech made the move, and they get kaboodles of applications. It’s an easy, but important, change.
High Schools—stop working holidays. Moving the January 1 deadline to a date when high schools are in session is also overdue for school counselors, who have taken a serious shellacking this year with all the student mental health issues arising from COVID. School counselors have always been overworked, but never able to use the December holidays to recover, since they were expected to help their students make January 1 college deadlines.
It’s time to take a stand. Assuming the colleges move their deadlines, counselors need to learn to let go. Send a note to all senior families early in November, letting them know your vacation is—well, a vacation. If you really can’t let go of your students for that long—or if the colleges unwisely cling to January 1– set two days of vacation for online office hours, and take a breath all the other days. You have mastered online office hours this year. Let them be your friend.
Colleges—keep innovating. One (and perhaps the only) upside of the quarantine was the ability of college admissions offices to adapt major chunks of their traditional approach to recruitment. Test optional, drive-thru tours, and online high school visits suggested it might be OK for everyone to get their hopes up, that some real college admissions reform was in the air.
In a post-vaccine world, we see more signs of returning to “normal” than creating new normal. Reinventing the entire admissions process is no easy feat, to be sure, but how hard might it be for admissions offices to spend half a day this summer doing “What ifs” to one part of the application process? Do that for five years, and you have a new admissions paradigm, and a more accessible one—the thing you say you keep wanting.
High schools— mental health and college access aren’t either/or. I will legitimately blow my top if I read one more post from a high school counselor insisting that the increase in COVID-related mental health needs makes it impossible to do any effective college counseling.
School counseling as a profession has long been showing a mental health bias at the expense of quality college counseling, and this year just seems to have widened the gap. Counselor training programs plant the seeds of this bias— training programs devote about 7 classes to mental health training, and none to college counseling—and all of this must stop, if only because the dichotomy is a false one.
Discouraged, depressed high school students light up like a hilltop church on Christmas Eve when I tell them college gives them a fresh start to life and learning, proof enough that college counseling affects mental health. That, plus the American School Counselor Association says college counseling is part of the job. Counselors truly are overworked, so they can’t do everything they want in any part of counseling. That said, college can still be part of a key to a better self. More counselors need to see that, and act on it.
Everyone—stop beating up on the Ivies. The Ivies and their equally tough-to-get-into institutions largely decided to go test optional this year. For some reason, this gave a lot of students with B averages the hope that they too could pahk the cah in the yahd, now that they didn’t have to reveal their test scores.
So—more students applied to the Ivies this year than last year. The Ivies didn’t admit more students this year than last year. That means their admit rate had to go down, and more students were denied.
That isn’t news—it’s math. And if you want to blame the Ivies for encouraging students to apply who didn’t really stand a chance of getting in, you’re going to need to make a thousand more jackets for that club. If you think the Ivies take too few Pell-eligible students, say that. If you think they admit too many legacies, stay that. But don’t beat them up for proving the laws of basic ratios. Any other college in their shoes would have to do the same thing. (Besides, it’s the national media who has left our society with the impression that there are only 25 colleges in America.)
Everyone—about Kiddos. It’s no secret that college is largely a time of youth, especially with the expansion of adolescence into the early twenties and beyond. But college is also a time to help young people embrace the opportunities of adulthood, skills and attitudes that sometimes require setting the desires of self to one side.
This goal would be more easily achieved if we saw students—and if they saw themselves– as capable of embracing a larger sense of self by referring to them as students, not Kiddos. They don’t need to grow up in a hurry or, with the right kind of help, succumb to the media images of college choice as a high stakes pressure cooker. But they also need something more than just a pat on the head and a verbal affirmation that’s the equivalent of a lollipop. Let’s try calling them students.
Our news articles and guest columns are regularly viewed by thousands of site visitors each day, and we are now seeking to amplify the student voice. We have summer internship openings for the roles of News Writer and Guest Writer/Columnist.
Do you love conducting research and writing and wonder how you can start to/continue to develop your published news writing portfolio? Well, you’re in luck, because we could really use someone like you! We are seeking someone interested in serving as an intern reporter (writing guest articles about the latest admissions news and stats). To learn more and apply click here.
Are you a high school senior who has just completed the college admissions process or a high school junior who is now beginning it in earnest who has something to add to the conversation revolving around the ever-changing and highly subjective college admissions process? Did you get into your dream college? Did you get rejected from every college on your list? Do you feel as though you are getting the short end of the stick in the college admissions process? Do you have a strong opinion about how the admissions process could be reformed to be more student-centered? If you answered “Yes!” to any of the questions above, we may very well want to publish a guest column written by you on our site. To learn more and apply click here.
When high school students apply to the University of Arizona for the 2022-23 academic year, SAT and/or ACT scores will not be required for admission or merit aid consideration. In addition to university admissions, neither the ACT or SAT will be necessary for application to Arizona’s selective academic colleges, including its Honors College.
How will University of Arizona award merit scholarships? Merit scholarships for the upcoming academic year will be awarded based on students’ core, unweighted GPA (Core GPA is based on ABOR’s academic coursework competency requirements) through their 6th semester of high school.
What if students want to submit their test scores? If they like, students can still submit test scores to supplement their application for admission. These scores may help clear any application coursework deficiencies and will be used to help, not hinder, an admission decision; however, including them is entirely optional.
How will course rigor be recognized? Arizona values the rigorous curriculum that students take to prepare for collegiate academics. Through the application process students have the opportunity to report a level of rigor for the sixteen core competencies and may also be eligible for the Dean’s Exemplary Award.
When can students begin applying for admission? University of Arizona’s application for summer/fall 2022 will open in just a matter of weeks – July to be exact. Arizona offers Rolling Admissions, which means that the sooner students apply the sooner they will receive their admissions decisions. Every year I work with students who apply to Arizona in August and get an admissions decision no later that early October, and every year some of my students are be happy to learn that all they have to do is apply to Arizona to be considered for one of its merit scholarships. No extra applications are required.
There were only eight in the box, but Billy didn’t see it that way. To him there wasn’t anything he couldn’t draw. Especially anything red. Shoes. Birds. Strawberries. Even dogs. Look at it the right way, and anything could be red.
Mrs. Struthers understood that, and loved to see Billy in class every day. Together, they discovered all kinds of things that turned out to be red. As the year went on, Mrs. Struthers showed Billy how many other things were a mix of red and one of the other colors in his box of crayons. By May, Billy was working with just green, and just yellow, and just about every other color. But once kindergarten was over, it was the red crayon that had been worn down to a stub.
Coloring somehow became both less important and more important as school went on. By second grade, the box had grown from eight to twenty-four, but there was less time to color in school. Billy had rearranged the box to keep his favorite eight colors together, in the front row.
During one of those rare times drawing was allowed, Billy was relishing the chance to draw another cardinal, when Mr. Tyler walked by his desk.
“Cardinals aren’t really red, you know” he said.
Billy kept drawing, and looked up. “What do you mean?”
“They’re actually their own color. Cardinal red. You have that in your box. It’s in the top row of colors.”
Mr. Tyler walked away. Billy kept drawing with red.
The last time Billy saw a box of crayons in school was fourth grade, when the box had grown to 64. Billy had no idea what to do with a crayon named Salmon—wasn’t that a fish?—and the two named Yellow Orange and Orange Yellow looked exactly the same. Why take up space with two crayons of the same color? Billy brought his box of eight crayons from home. The red was getting very small.
There wasn’t time for coloring again until eighth grade, when Billy took an art class in middle school. The crayons had been replaced with pastels that were thicker, and moved across the paper differently than crayons. Suddenly, Billy’s crisply drawn cardinals were fuzzy, and smeared, and looked a little more like smushed raspberries. Billy waited until the end of class to ask his teacher about this, and how could he draw crisp cardinals with pastels.
The teacher frowned. “We didn’t draw cardinals today” she said, “we were drawing mosaics. Did you draw mosaics?”
Billy put his head down. After school, he took his crayons home, and put them in the back of a desk drawer.
The counselor opened up the file on his lap and smiled. “The career tests suggest you have an exceptional talent for art. Have you considered a career in graphic arts?”
The student across from him stared at his blank phone screen.
“Billy, did you hear me?”
“Yeah” Billy said, not looking up.
“Your records say you haven’t taken an art course since eighth grade. There’s room for one in your schedule next year as a senior. What do you say?”
Billy’s eyes were frozen on the ground.
“Mrs. Jefferson is a great art teacher. She taught me how to cross hatch. Have you ever tried that?”
The counselor pulled out a blank piece of paper, and opened the top drawer of his desk. It was filled with crayons.
The squeak of the drawer made Billy look up. “They’re all green” he said.
“Yeah” the counselor chuckled, “I had this thing for green crayons when I was a kid, and it’s stuck with me all these years. I had a couple of teachers try and talk me out of it, but when you love something, you just stick with it, you know?”
Billy looked away for a minute, then pulled out what looked like a pack of cigarettes from his pocket.
“Uh, Billy—” the counselor said.
Billy flipped open the top of the box, revealing a dozen crayons of different heights. All red.
“Do they teach art in college?”
Yale has shared news summarizing its 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
After going test optional for this admissions cycle the university saw a dramatic increase in first-year applications this cycle; while last year roughly 35,000 students applied for first-year admission, this cycle roughly 47,000 students applied. Even with this increase in applications, Yale has accepted about the same number of first-year students this cycle as last cycle despite 300 accepted students from last cycle deferring to this fall.
Overall, Yale accepted fewer than five percent of those who applied for Fall 2021 first-year admission. The exact acceptance rate is 4.62 percent for all applicants, but that number will change slightly depending on what happens with Yale’s waitlist.
For the Regular Decision round of admission only, Yale admitted 1,332 students out of a pool of 38,966 applicants. This means Yale’s Regular Decision acceptance rate this cycle was 3.42 percent. Meanwhile, Yale’s Early Action acceptances totaled 837 out of a record high 7,939 who applied. This means Yale’s Early Action acceptance rate this cycle was 10.5 percent. Yale also admitted nearly seventy-five Questbridge students in December 2020 and offered a spot on its waitlist to 1,030 applicants, though considering how many students deferred admission to this fall, it’s dubious many students will come off of that list.
Interestingly, most applicants to Yale this cycle never visited Yale’s campus before applying.
Jeremiah Quinlan, Yale’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions & Financial Aid shared, “Reading the stories of 47,000 adolescents who experienced the events of 2020 has had a profound effect on every member of our team, and I believe this group of students will make an indelible mark on history.”
Though teenagers are at minimal risk of current strains of COVID-19, Yale recently announced that its test-optional policy will be extended for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.
Colgate University’s Class of 2025 is going to look a bit different than its Class of 2024 thanks in no small part to Colgate’s decision to go test-optional. Colgate is happy to brag that total applications for the incoming fall class shattered all previous records: 17,537 (a 104% increase over last admissions cycle) students applied and thirty percent of these students identified as “domestic multicultural” otherwise known as applicants from inside the U.S. who didn’t check “white” on the Demographics page of the Common App.
Here are some more “highlights” from Colgate’s 2020-2021 admissions cycle (as of 3/25/21, thus action taken on waitlisters in the weeks since late March won’t get counted below):
17,537 total applications
30% identify as domestic students of color
41% included test scores
3,011 admitted (17% acceptance rate)
60% of the class was admitted EDI or EDII
3.88 is the average GPA
60% included test scores
32% identify as domestic students of color
50 states + D.C. and 53 countries (citizenship) represented
Thus, Colgate remains a heavy user of ED to lock in super fans. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Get the admissions insight you want – any weeknight! After a multi-year hiatus, College Counseling Tonight is back. If you are a student (or a parent of a student) who wants to proactively and wisely tackle every challenge high school throws your way and reach your college admissions potential, the best advice I can give you is to join me for College Counseling Tonight, which is the perfect fit for students or parents in search of speedy college admissions coaching.
College Counseling Tonight, available from 9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time (US) any weeknight starting April 5, 2021, gives a maximum of three high school students (or their parents) a virtual audience with me during which participants are encouraged to ask their current college admissions questions and discuss where they are in the process.
As a College Counseling Tonight participant you’ll learn how to make the right moves regarding academics, testing, extracurricular activities, and college applications in order to meet with future college admissions success. Along the way you’ll gain exclusive access to insider admissions news and information and my timely best-in-class college admissions counseling.
To top it off, joining me for College Counseling Tonight only costs a very reasonable $49/session. Consider it an amazing insurance policy to protect against the lack of college guidance or downright poor college counseling many students experience during their four years – but especially during their first two years – in high school. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure – especially if that cure comes too late (which from my experience is too often the case with students who only start getting good or better college counseling in 11th grade or later).