JRA Educational Consulting Blog | Joseph Corace

Joseph Corace

Blog posts by Joseph Corace

Recent Posts By Joseph Corace:

How Do I Find My Best Fit College?

Last Updated on Sep 5, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Ranking, selectivity, major, location! Is this college too big, too small? Can I even afford to go to college? Many students and their parents are overwhelmed by the number of decisions they face when choosing a college. Indeed, the process seems mystifying, and families wonder how they can wade through the data -- from national rankings to “best of” lists to college affordability tools. In today’s post, we’ll tackle some of these common questions to help you break free from the endless lists and get a better understanding of the selection process.

Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

Covid-19 has Infected College Admissions!

Last Updated on Aug 26, 2020 3:21:41 PM

It’s a new school year that brings us a completely unanticipated college application environment: for one thing, more and more colleges are temporarily test-optional in the face of Covid-19; for another, it’s impossible to demonstrate your interest in a college by visiting its campus for a tour and information session. According to NACAC’s 2019 State of College Admission report, almost 83% of all colleges surveyed last year indicated that test scores were of considerable or moderate importance in making admission decisions. Additionally, 40% of the surveyed colleges said that demonstrated interest (a visit is part of demonstrated interest) was of considerable or moderate importance. That the pandemic has affected these two key factors, among others, and so has changed college admissions would be quite the understatement! The health crisis has upended the admissions evaluation process, redistributing the weight associated with the most important factors that have always been considered in admissions.

Topics: College Admission, College Application, College Counseling, Coronavirus

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Topics: College Admission, College Application, College Counseling, Coronavirus

Common Application: The Hidden Factors

Last Updated on Aug 5, 2020 11:58:20 AM

 

In an April blog post titled Recommendation Letters In the Era of Covid-19, we noted that “LORs [letters of recommendation] were important in admission decisions even before the Coronavirus made in-person interviews problematic, and they’re likely to increase in importance now.” Nothing that we’ve learned since then has changed our minds about that…

…but there’s another dimension to recommenders and recommendations about which you might not be aware: whoever completes your Common App School Report (often conflated with the “counselor recommendation”) is going to be asked to rate you in terms of the following factors and in this manner:

Topics: College Admission, Common Application, College Counseling, Letter of Recommendation

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Topics: College Admission, Common Application, College Counseling, Letter of Recommendation

Covid-19 Has Infected the Coalition Application!

Last Updated on Jul 15, 2020 5:13:57 PM

In our recent blog, Covid-19 Has Infected the Common App!, we discussed the Common App’s Covid-19 essay prompt. Since then, the Coalition App released its own Covid-19 essay prompt:

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, College Application, Supplemental Essays

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, College Application, Supplemental Essays

News Flash! Colleges Are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Last Updated on Jul 7, 2020 9:35:15 AM

News Flash! Colleges are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Here are a number of supplemental essay prompts that colleges have recently made public, along with our comments – shown in bold, red font – about some of them. As a general principle, we consider prompts presented as “Optional” to be optional only for students who have no real interest in attending the school! If you’re serious about applying to the school, then Optional = Mandatory. So, beginning in alphabetical order, here’s what we can relay to you. As you read through these essay prompts, you’ll see some common themes (Why do you want to attend our school?) and unique prompts, such as UChicago’s. In every case, your responses are important for the essay reader, because what you write reveals whether you’ve done your homework about the school, and how mature and thoughtful you are as an applicant for admission to a particular academic community.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Planning, Supplemental Essays

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Planning, Supplemental Essays

Test-Optional and College Admissions: Think Twice

Last Updated on Jun 15, 2020 11:09:35 AM

Coronavirus-related disruptions of high school education have extended to disruptions of SAT/ACT testing. Colleges are being propelled toward making SAT and ACT test score submission optional. But beware! Just because a school “goes test-optional” doesn’t mean that a student can summarily dismiss submitting SAT or ACT scores. We’ll explain why. And it’s important to know, so here’s some background.

Topics: ACT/SAT, College Application, Test Optional

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Topics: ACT/SAT, College Application, Test Optional

College That Have Gone Test Optional as Result of the Coronavirus 

Last Updated on Jun 13, 2020 10:24:57 AM

Some colleges have decided to waive their admission requirement to submit SAT/ACT test scores. For most of these colleges, the new policies will go into effect for the 2020–21 admission cycle and be re-evaluated after the close of admission cycle to determine whether to extend the policies or not. Here’s a list of the more selective colleges that have recently transitioned to test-optional:

Topics: ACT/SAT, Test Optional

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Topics: ACT/SAT, Test Optional

COVID-19 and College Enrollment: Uncertainty and Trepidation Revisited

Last Updated on Jun 4, 2020 1:04:55 PM

On April 20th, we posted a blog titled “The Coronavirus and College Admissions: Uncertainty and Trepidation: Part I,” in which we discussed the serious economic and related consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on college finances and admissions, and we followed that blog post with others on the same topic.

In this post, we’ll discuss the findings of McKinsey & Company, a broad-based provider of information to business and industry leaders, as presented in their May 21st mckinsey.com article titled COVID-19 and US higher education enrollment: Preparing leaders for fall. While the article was aimed at higher education administrators, much of its information is also highly relevant for students, parents, and high school educators and counselors.

Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

Covid-19 Has Infected the Common App!

Last Updated on Jun 2, 2020 12:22:57 PM

This year’s Common App will include a Covid-19-specific writing prompt for students who would like to share with colleges how the pandemic has impacted their lives, personally and/or educationally. The goal is to reduce anxiety for applicants affected by these extraordinary circumstances and provide them with a way to share their experience with colleges. Responding to this prompt is optional – truly optional – not “optional” the way some colleges’ supplemental essay questions are optional, but to which you should nonetheless respond. One thing’s for sure: you don’t want to write a response that doesn’t stand out, that sounds like everyone else’s response, or lacks sensitivity. We’ll explain. But first, let’s look at the wording of the optional prompt:

Topics: Common Application, College Counseling, Personal Statement

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Topics: Common Application, College Counseling, Personal Statement

Fall 2020 College Applications: The Impact of COVID-19

Last Updated on May 15, 2020 10:30:59 AM

In several recent blogs, we enumerated the effects of the Coronavirus on colleges and applicants. This blog will expand and summarize our findings.

Application deadline and decision dates: Despite the pandemic, most colleges are not changing their application deadline and decision dates for next year, at least at present, and the “at present” is an important proviso.

Topics: College Admission, College Application, College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Admission, College Application, College Counseling, College Planning