College Transitions - News & Tips for College-Bound Students
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Thanks for your interest in our monthly e-newsletter. Here, we provide you with valuable and timely information on the college planning, search and application process, as well as the latest college admissions news.

Talking Points:

Halloween costume season may be fully underway but, rest assured, no matter how good your vampire/zombie/Donald Trump costume turns out, nothing can ultimately be spookier than a private college’s sticker price. Fortunately, as our blog explains, the list price is very rarely what you will actually pay. On the subject of scares, recent months have produced their share of shrieks and moans thanks to the volatility of the stock market. For those thrill-seeking individuals, undeterred by the ups and downs of the market, and still set on a career in the financial sector, our infographic illustrating the top feeder schools to Wall Street is a must-view. Every applicant will benefit from revisiting our piece entitled The Top 5 College Application Mistakes to Avoid. You’ll be reminded that the only thing more terrifying than a haunted hayride or a killer ghost story is a glaring typo in your college essay. 

In The News:

Early Action under fire

At a recent National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) symposium, admissions directors from several universities debated the merits of non-binding early action admission before a spirited crowd of high school guidance counselors. Opponents of early action policies cited increased pressure on high schools, students, and families as the most notable negative effects of this widespread practice. Further, critics believe that early action fails to enhance diversity as many of the students who accept offers of admission are white and have little-to-no financial need. Defenders of the practice believe that early action remains a boon to colleges yield rates and allows students to lock down admission at their “best-fit” institution without a long, protracted process—an outcome that could actually alleviate a degree of pressure around the admissions frenzy. The debate is sure to rage on. 

The Trouble with Need-Blind Admissions

This excellent article by Williams College President, Adam Falk, explains how a “need-blind” admissions policy does not go far enough in creating opportunity for low-income students at elite institutions. In recounting Williams’ proactive outreach programs that have identified and supported students in need, Falk demonstrates how simply turning a blind eye to financial factors fails to truly aid the goal of diversifying college campuses and leveling the economic playing field. In his estimation, fewer than 50 colleges and universities in the United States are operating with sufficiently progressive policies.  

ACT experiences major delay in reporting students' test scores

Students who took the ACT in September may be shocked to learn that the ACT is delaying the reporting of their test scores to colleges due to a high volume of test takers and longer scoring time for a new writing test. As reported by Inside Higher Ed, students and colleges are frustrated and worried that scores from the September test may not reach colleges in time to be evaluated during the early action/decision process. While students can view their scores online, results cannot be sent to colleges until the writing test is scored. The ACT is urging students to send screen shots of their September test scores to colleges until the official score report can be delivered.

College Knowledge:

For students who do not shine as brightly on standardized tests as they do in an actual classroom, test-optional schools might be worth some consideration. Even highly-selective institutions such as Bowdoin, Bates, American, and Wake Forest have this policy, just to name a few. Check out the Build Your College Knowledge section of
 our Dataverse page to learn more about test-optional institutions. 

Boasts and Brags:

We are excited to announce that Andrew and Dave have signed a publishing contract with Rowman & Littlefield and will be releasing a book in 2016 tentatively titled, College Reframed: A Guide to Beating the Admissions Craze and Maximizing the Benefits of a Higher Education. We will keep our readers updated in the coming months as to an exact release date and purchasing availability. 

A Final Note:
We'll continue to keep you updated with an e-newsletter each month.  In the meantime, if you know of someone else who may enjoy this month's newsletter, please share!


-Your Team at College Transitions
Andrew, Dave & Michael
Application Tip:

Take the SAT and ACT at least once: It is in your best interest to take both the SAT and ACT at least once. If you score significantly higher on one test, devote the remainder of your preparation to that test.  For example, if you perform better on the ACT, register for an additional ACT and spend subsequent months working/preparing to improve upon your ACT score.   Ultimately, there is no penalty for attempting both exams, even if your score on one test is lower. Most colleges will consider only your highest test score.
Transition Tip:

Don’t rush into a major:  If you are 100% certain about your life’s path the first day you set foot on a college campus then you are in the vast minority. Of course, there is nothing wrong with entering college with a set goal, but if you are as uncertain about your future as most freshman, heed this simple advice – tale advantage of the opportunity! Use your electives wisely and take introductory courses in a number of areas of potential interest. A single connection with a professor, book, or assignment in college can alter your academic and career course for the better. Don’t be afraid to keep an open mind. 

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