Congratulations to all our Seniors! I’m so proud of everyone – college acceptances, lucrative scholarships and invitations to participate in research/honors programs. Bravo! Most Seniors have spent the last month making difficult decisions on where to attend – made even more difficult as visiting campuses to evaluate the “Fit” was precluded. Several families are uncertain about their employment and we’ve been engaged in negotiating financial aid awards. Seniors–if you need assistance evaluating your options, please Schedule an Appointment to explore your college admissions options relative to your emerging academic/career interests.
In my last blog on Placing Your Enrollment Deposit, I wrote about requesting extensions to place enrollment deposits, and discussed the process for considering a gap year/deferral of your admissions offer.
ENROLLMENT DEPOSITS DURING COVID-19- WHAT’S CHANGED?
Given the uncertainty of our public health crisis, most colleges appreciate that many families may not yet be able to make an enrollment decision by the traditional date of May 1. Whether it be a desire to keep students close to home or concerns over parents’ employment, colleges know that May 1 is simply too soon — this is our second year in this situation. Many universities have already extended the enrollment deposit date. Admissions panelists urged families who are unable to render a decision by May 1 to contact college admissions officers to request an extension to leave your enrollment deposit later in June. I concur and would highly recommend waiting things out – especially if you are unable to finalize any financial aid appeal that is underway. In the past, my clients routinely ask for extensions and these are granted for a variety of reasons. Again, as noted previously, DO NOT double deposit.
Unable to attend a campus, I noted the importance of reaching out to faculty and students. One such pathway are social media groups and phone lines established for high school students to directly engage with currently enrolled students.
I can connect families with currently enrolled undergraduates at several universities who are my former clients currently enrolled or recent graduates. My Aerospace Engineering freshman not only wants to talk with you- but he’s eager to recruit you to his AEPi!
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS WAITLISTS – CHANGES EXPECTED DURING THE COVID- Pandemic UNCERTAINTY
Historically, I advise my clients to expect they will not be offered a spot off a waitlist. College admissions staff run their numbers on yields – and for the most part – they get it right. The waitlist is created to hedge a bet that they’ve missed their enrollment yields. In the past, I seen very few students land a spot -and when they do it’s not before June and sometimes even in July (NYU!). Most college admissions experts feel that the 2021 senior class will see similar results as the 2020 seniors- with more movement off waitlists. We also expect the restrictions placed on international students to be lifted changing yields again as colleges resume in-person learning this fall. Some of you may even want to be closer to home or taking a gap year. Waitlist spots will increase. So, please put your name on the waitlist.
I am available to assist students with writing their continued interest notes which can be invaluable to receiving a positive response.
TAKING A GAP YEAR – TAKES ON NEW RELEVANCE DURING CORONAVIRUS UNCERTAINTY
Very few students take advantage of what should be seen more positively. I’m often stunned by the fears parents and students express about taking time off in a non-traditional educational venture. As I write about every year during May- the data speak volumes. A productive and meaningful gap year experience is an awesome opportunity and students taking advantage of this path in fact out-perform their peers academically and in the internship/job market. The panelists all agreed they expect to see many requests for a gap year as families are uncertain about whether to send students across the country. The traditional model is that students place their enrollment deposit and then initiate a gap year application which is subject to approval and must include a plan. The panelists felt that colleges will be overwhelmed with such requests, some as late as June or July as the uncertainty over our situation as a nation is indeed very real. Colleges have budgets to meet, classes to fill and dorms to staff. Even if social distancing is relaxed by fall, the uncertainty over the virus is very real and so if you want to hedge your bet-put in a request for a gap year. You can always retract your request in July.
Juniors are now engaged in what many of our Seniors were doing this time last year-campus visits– but in a virtual setting. Our goal is to discover the unique college communities while continuing guided research to refine emerging academic interests as the college application process gets underway.
Are you attending our Writers Block Workshop in June? We begin pre-work conferences throughout May.
Whether you’re just beginning high school, or in the middle of the process of college research, or a graduating senior making your final choice after attending an “Accepted Student Virtual Visit” program, please review two of our valuable resources to make your campus visits productive.
College Admissions & Financial Aid Tips: HOW TO SELECT A COLLEGE and A MAJOR
As you’ll read in CAMPUS VISITS, I encourage you to do much more than walk across the campus quad and attend an information session. Ask important and relevant questions (see the suggestions) meeting with relevant academic advisors and speaking to as many students as time allows.
SENIORS-Class of 2021 -WHERE WILL YOU PLACE YOUR ADMISSIONS DEPOSIT?
The same considerations for finding the perfect campus to visit during the sophomore or junior years continues to be relevant. College “Fit” rests upon three important pillars: Academic, Social and Financial –
The university you attend should provide an outstanding academic experience in your intended major/minor fields of study, along with appropriate internship and career placement opportunities. This is paramount to selecting where to attend.
There’s a major field of study to match the unique strengths and interests of every young adult! With nearly 4,000 colleges offering an impressive number of traditional and cutting edge majors and minors, it can indeed be overwhelming to navigate the maze of available degree options.
Your evaluation of academics should move beyond published lists of college rankings. The most important steps include learning how to navigate through the “Academics” and the “Research” tabs to fully explore the curriculum maps, degree requirements and the research projects faculty are conducting. As a former university professor with 30+ years of experience on curriculum planning committees, I’m able to help your family assess “academic fit” and effectively explore your academic options to balance each student’s current and emerging interests and strengths.
The social fit is important as each student is looking to find a “home-away-from-home” for their next four years. Is the campus inviting, inclusive and are there opportunities for ongoing social and emotional growth?
This is exactly why students visit university campuses before enrolling. Your Educational and College Admissions Assessment will help you hone in on the criteria that are important to you. Let me help you understand how to have an informative and meaningful campus visit.
For more on how to make the most of your campus visits, please read the link noted above.
Yet – this has taken on a entirely new vibe– buying a home perhaps before walking into the door ?! Colleges are doing a outstanding job at hosting virtual sessions and connecting students with live Q&A and social media. It’s still possible that campuses may not even open – or be in a hybrid state for fall– and students are adapting. Parents – it’s hard to imagine the expense for a computer screen- but universities are engineering new programs and will be doing a great job to build online communities for entering freshman.
3. FINANCIAL AFFORDABILITY
Every family faces unique financial circumstances and we factor those into the choices of where to apply and enroll.If you’re ineligible for financial aid, or find the cost daunting- understanding how to access scholarships and financial aid will reduce the stress that results from mis-information and yes, being an easy target for “scholarship and financial aid scamsters!”
THERE ARE MANY CAMPUSES PROVIDING an EXCELLENT EDUCATION offering deep discounts on tuition given your “admissions profile”. Please do NOT navigate to lists such as those published by various publications since these do not incorporate information about your student’s particular college admissions profile and mislead your family.
Financial Aid and Scholarships– Yes You can Afford College!
Keep in mind that much has changed since you visited a campus perhaps over a year ago. Don’t be driven by lists, name recognition or where your friends may be attending. This decision is an important next step and I encourage you be exceedingly thorough in making your decision. Parents, teachers and guidance counselors offer valuable insights- but students– you must make your own decision subject of course to your family budget.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU’RE WAITLISTED or SIMPLY UNHAPPY WITH YOUR OPTIONS?
This week I met three NEW clients- students who had not
received a single college acceptance. I’m saddened that these students weren’t provided solid college counseling throughout high school and certainly during the application process. You should expect that you will receive both acceptances and “rejections”. All students should have a balanced list of colleges and prepare early to build an Educational and College Admissions Plan to avoid being placed in a situation such as this. The students overreached- confident and yet misinformed. As I wrote about in a recent blog- -remember, there are higher acceptance rates for students in the 3.2 to 3.6 range than the 3.8 + range simply because there are just too few spots at that selective level. HAVE A BALANCED LIST– INCLUDE A SAFETY University you would be thrilled to attend. That peace of mind is essential to the process.
My clients are encouraged to submit their college applications to all safeties ASAP and then turn attention to their reach and match applications.
WAITLISTED? What to do Next!!
If you were waitlisted, this is a good time to share new and distinguishing information by preparing a detailed and relevant letter of continued interest. Doing so can make the difference between accepting you and another student with the exact same profile.
*** As I mentioned above- I believe there will be much more movement off these lists given the lack of international students arriving on campus and the many families who will defer/change plans. STAY ON YOUR WAITLIST!!
Let me help you determine what is appropriate to share and crafting your note. In early December I talked about how to handle a deferral in the Early Decision admissions process. I’ll outline some of these points again with particular relevancy to those who are on a Waitlist.
Colleges do need to hear from you. What to include?
The National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) survey indicates that chances of being accepted from waitlists vary across colleges but are fairly unfavorable-chances less than 10%. When you are accepted from a waitlist can be as early as April or as late as July! This year, I’m predicting significant movement off these lists– perhaps even well into August.
If you want to begin college this fall, it’s imperative that you place a non-refundable deposit at another college and carefully evaluate all your options.
If waitlisted, you can increase your chances of being accepted from the waitlist in several ways. Reach out to admissions and perhaps any faculty member you have made connections with during previous campus visits. If the college truly remains your first choice, articulate why that is the case by showing informed interest. Your note should provide insights on how you will contribute to the campus community, discuss professors you want to study/research with and courses/programs that attracted you to the university. Be certain your note makes it clear that if you are accepted you will attend. Provide meaningful updates to the college showing everything you’ve done since you submitted your application. Share news of honors, awards, or projects that were meaningful and distinguishable.
Please reach out for guidance on how to write your “continued interest” letter.
UNHAPPY WITH YOUR OPTIONS?
DON’T HAVE A VIABLE OPTION?
You face two options:
REAPPLY as a FRESHMAN APPLICANT or APPLY as a TRANSFER STUDENT
If you are truly unhappy with the choices of colleges having offered you a space for fall – perhaps your safety colleges no longer meet your needs or worse yet, you have no acceptances, there are a few options.
First, you can decide to take a gap year or gap semester to include a meaningful learning opportunity and reapply as a freshman applicant for the Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 semesters. During this time, you may want to consider retaking standardized tests and certainly doing well in your senior high school classes and on any (COVID-19 abbreviated) AP/IB/AICE exams this spring. How you spend your time during the gap year can provide evidence of maturity and direction that stands you apart from other freshman applicants.
You may be wondering how to hedge your bet? You can accept a college from the choices you do have and defer admission for up to two years (applications to defer must include a plan and be approved by the college-travelling is not typically an approved reason for deferral). While on your gap year, you can apply elsewhere for the spring or fall 2021 semesters. The way you spend your gap year can change the outcome of previously submitted applications. Your fall-back option is in place by accepting an offer from your options at this point in time.
TRANSFER APPLICATIONS Students can enroll as a freshman at one of the acceptances or attend a local community college and then initiate the process of a transfer application.
If you are aiming to transfer for Spring 2021, applications are due by October/November 2020-meaning, your high school record is all that is available for evaluation. Retaking standardized tests and spending time in a more meaningful way that demonstrates maturity and direction can be invaluable to an acceptance. Unfortunately- those test days are unclear as is the format of those exams. If you aim to transfer at the end of your freshman year, your application would be due February/March 2021 and would include your high school record plus the results of your Fall 2020 semester as a freshman wherever you enroll.
As a Professor Emeritus with experience providing academic advising to thousands of undergraduate students, I can assist you selecting the right mix of courses to make your transfer application more attractive and keep your educational path directed and challenging.
HOW DO WE AFFORD IT?
Finally- if you are currently negotiating financial offers, please read links above and then reach out for assistance on this process. Leveraging competing admissions offers from comparable institutions and sharing information about extenuating circumstances can result in addition award monies. Ask me for guidance.
Again, given my extensive insider knowledge of how awards are determined, I can assist you in including colleges that are more likely to provide some level of scholarship assistance based on your particular admissions profile. Early Educational and College Admissions Planning is essential!
College Admissions: Reasons to Start Your Planning Early!
IS YOUR STUDENT ON TARGET?
COVID-19 CHANGES MANY THINGS….
Testing dates disappeared, AP exams were shortened, your high school may have eliminated spring grades (Pass/Fail), most of your competitive extracurriculars disappeared– so Juniors–your FALL 2020 semester is going to be the most critical time to make a final impression on your college application.
It is never too early to begin taking steps to ensure your student has a long-term strategic educational plan fostering a love of learning, building solid time management skills and establishing a directed path towards the undergraduate experience. Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. personally guides her students to discover their individual academic strengths and an intrinsically motivated passion for learning, ensuring a seamless transition to the undergraduate experience.
I’m so proud of all students – our recent acceptances include:
Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, U. Michigan, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina, Vassar, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Emory, U.Illinois, Notre Dame, NYU, Rice, University of Chicago, Washington University (WUSTL), Drexel, Tulane, Brown, Purdue, Swarthmore, SCAD, Ohio, Georgetown, Hamilton, Reed, Miami, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida, University of Arizona, Penn State, Villanova, Northeastern, SUNY-ESF, St. Johns, Embry-Riddle, Colgate, Fordham, Columbia, Barnard, Syracuse, Swarthmore, Pittsburgh, Dickinson, Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, Duke, Case Western, Rochester Institute of Technology, Parsons, Virginia Tech, Boston U., Hobart & William Smith, Claremont Mckenna, Davidson, Westpoint, Gettysburg, Amherst, Temple, Denison, Howard, UT Austin, SUNY-Binghamton, Hamilton, George Washington, American, Indiana, SMU, James Madison, UF, and many more!
Juniors ’21 – We’ll soon be starting our Writers Block Workshop — this year online! Please reach out to get scheduled for your one-on-one appointments . I know you miss your normally packed extracurricular schedule and you had huge summer plans– the silver lining- with steady focus and determination-, we can finish your college essays and college applications well before school resumes. I’m eager to get you pumped and ready for college apps and keep you on schedule and on task. With the fall uncertain- let’s make the best of this situation.
We’ve served clients from the East to West Coasts seamlessly.
BONNIE RABIN, PHD PROVIDES ONLINE ACADEMIC ADVISING, COLLEGE COUNSELING AND COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDANCE TO STUDENTS IN HIGH SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES.
Our current and former clients reside in locations as diverse as Metro NYC, San Francisco, Boston, D.C. and Surrounding Communities, Westchester County, Boulder, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, Central NY (Syracuse, Rochester, Ithaca), Charlotte, Denver, Boca Raton, Minneapolis and many more.
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Educational and College Admissions Consultant Professor Emeritus – Cornell Alumni Rep
I invite you to schedule an online college counseling session with me to begin your college major research, shape your balanced list of colleges and being your Common Application process and college essays.
Our Recent College Acceptances Include:
Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, U. Michigan, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina, Vassar, NYU, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Emory, U.Illinois, Notre Dame, Rice, University of Chicago, Washington University (WUSTL), Drexel, Tulane, Brown, Purdue, Swarthmore, SCAD, Ohio, Georgetown, Hamilton, Reed, Miami, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida, University of Arizona, Penn State, Villanova, Northeastern, SUNY-ESF, St. Johns, Embry-Riddle, Colgate, Fordham, Columbia, Barnard, Syracuse, Swarthmore, Pittsburgh, Dickinson, Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, Duke, Case Western, Rochester Institute of Technology, Parsons, Virginia Tech, Boston U., Hobart & William Smith, Claremont Mckenna, Davidson, Westpoint, Gettysburg, Amherst, Temple, Denison, Howard, UT Austin, SUNY-Binghamton, Hamilton, George Washington, American, Indiana, SMU, James Madison, UF, and many more
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Educational and College Admissions Consultant Professor Emeritus – Cornell Alumni Rep
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. is the founder and principal educational consultant of College Career Consulting, LLC. She has over 30 years of experience as a university faculty member and shares her knowledge, professional resources and support with students who are ready to advance their lifelong educational and career journeys.