Virtual learning, hybrid plans, test cancellations, amended sports schedules--and the list goes on. Life can seem overwhelming, but the only answer is to just keep moving forward. Applying to college is the same. 

We recommend setting aside 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted time each day to work on College Apps. Turn off TikTok, Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest, texting, etc. during that time. It will seen less overwhelming if you know you can stop at the end of your allotted time.

Before you know it you will be able to take a step back and admire what you've accomplished!

What's On Our Minds
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How will enrollment for last year impact the class of 2021:

Rick Bischoff, VP of Enrollment at Case Western Reserve University, stated that families shouldn't just ask about how deferrals might affect next year's class size (many schools have not had the numbers that some anticipated) but ask them about their yield and how many they enrolled. He said while some schools missed the mark and under enrolled due to COVID, some very well known schools sent out more acceptances and went aggressively to waitlists (he unfortunately didn't identify them) and greatly over enrolled. These schools will need to shrink the size of the following year's class to compensate. So when you talk to colleges-- ask them what their target will be for the following class and if that's smaller or larger than prior years! 

Regarding all of the test optional mania, he also reaffirmed Case Western's test optional policy (including merit) by redesigning their reading process to only show optional test scores on the very last page.

Lastly, the big question for seniors right now: should I send my scores? 

Bischoff says don't just consider whether the composite ACT or total SAT score is within the 50% range, consider whether the subscores support the preparation of their major. Colleges are not as concerned if an engineering applicant has a lower than 50% English score as long as their math/science score is strong, similarly if an art major has a lower math score, it's not as important. While this may not be true at all schools, it's something else students can weigh when deciding to use or not to use their scores this year. 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Standardized Testing
Here is a list of other frequently asked questions regarding standardized testing:

  • Is it better to take the SAT or the ACT?
  • Do I have to report all of my scores?
  • Will I be penalized for taking the ACT or SAT multiple times?
  • Do schools superscore the ACT?
  • Do schools consider non-required test results, such as SAT Subject Tests and AP Exams? 
  • What if I change my mind about which SAT subject tests to take after I register?
Sending your Official Test Scores

In most cases, you must send official test scores to colleges before your application is considered complete. While most schools allow leeway for the scores arriving after your application has been submitted, but some, such as The University of Michigan require that everything be in the office by the deadline. Therefore, we recommend sending test scores at least
4 week prior to the deadline.

Below are videos showing how to do it.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to ask.
Self-Reporting Test Scores

There has been a recent movement where some colleges are allowing students to self-report test scores during the application process and only require sending official score reports when the student enrolls.

Please check college specific policies detailed in a blog post from Compass Education Group:
Financial Aid for ED/EA Applicants
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Requirements vary, and it is very important that you check and follow the policy set by each individual school. The FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE applications opened on October 1st.
 
If you cannot find the information on the school website (Admissions page, Tuition and Fees, or Financial Aid page), call the Financial Aid office directly.
Special Circumstances for Financial Aid

When applying for financial aid, the FAFSA and CSS Profile for academic year 2021-22 use tax data from calendar year 2019. If you have special circumstances for 2020, you will have to contact colleges to let them know that you have a lower family income than reflected in 2019 tax returns. Here's a great, free, nonprofit resource for doing that: Special Circumstances Appeal Letter

Inviting Other Recommenders To the Common App
What We’re Reading This Month
Since we all need some laughs right now:
What's Happening Now
Seniors:  
You are doing a great job, just keep up the momentum until applications are submitted.
 
Juniors: 
We would like to meet after your first marking period to do a needs assessment and work on your preliminary lists. 
Sophomores and Freshmen:  
Keep up your grades and decide which activities you want to delve deeper in.
And we will end with some levity...