I know sound like a broken record when I bring up the 6-point evaluation admissions criteria. But this time, though the dimensions are the same, the way they are evaluated has changed subtly or a lot, depending how you see it. Like it or now, brace for the change.
1. The vast majority of colleges and universities are now test-optional. That includes more than 90% of all highly selective and elite schools.
2. Because two-year-old tax returns are used when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the CSS Profile, many a family’s financial information will be inaccurate when the financial aid forms need to be completed. More families will want to appeal their financial aid awards.
3. It’s not just need-based aid awards that can be appealed. At many schools, students can appeal the merit award they receive. In this environment, it’s likely that more students will be successful.
4. At least for high school seniors planning to start college in the fall of 2021, the merit awards that some schools offer will be greater. Institutions that are more likely to offer better deals include private colleges not located in major cities on the coasts and in areas where there is a shrinking pool of teenagers.
5. You don’t want to select a college that could close or experience severe financial issues.
Very pertinent tips! Must read for juniors getting ready to plan their essays!
College essays are to help you differentiate over other students. If your topic is common, one that many others will be writing about, you are already fading into the crowd. It’s simply too common and makes it harder to show what's unique about you. Common or overdone topics are difficult to make it interesting. Of course, there are some exceptions:
We are a family on a mission to help high schoolers make prudent choices in college admissions.