College Admissions, Updates

Update for April 2021


Colleges Still Accepting Applications: While some colleges received more applications than usual, resulting in lower than usual admissions rates, this was mostly limited to a small number of colleges that turn down the majority of applicants. Other colleges are still accepting applications, and many of these even have financial aid available. NACAC publishes this list each year and will continue to update it through the summer.

More Colleges Announce Covid Vaccine Requirement: A growing list of colleges have announced that they will require students to have covid vaccines in order to attend in person classes in Fall 2022 (with some exceptions for medical and religious reasons). These decisions are affected by experience of student outbreaks in previous semesters as well as requirements and restrictions from state governments. Chronicle of Higher Education is keeping a list of colleges with vaccination requirements for students and/or employees.

Over 1,400 Colleges Will Not Require Tests for Fall 2020 Admissions: Last spring there was a rolling shift to test optional admissions at most colleges as a response to a lack of access to SAT and ACT tests. A big question for Class of 2022 students has been if this would hold for them as well. A significant number of colleges have announced that they will in fact stick with their test optional policy for the Fall 2022 admissions cycle. Fair Test keeps the most up to date list of test optional and test blind colleges.

Best long read: What happens when colleges use AI to run help chat bots, grade assignments, and even weigh in on admissions decisions? Is it effective? Is it fair? From Admissions to Teaching to Grading, AI Is Infiltrating Higher Education The Hechinger Report. [By the way, The Hechinger Report is definitely a site to watch if you like long form reporting on education topics.]

Meanwhile, back at the office: There were a few big happenings for Admissions Decrypted this month.

First, I was invited to be part of two great podcasts. Fellow Naval Academy alum asked me to join him on  The Goohay Podcast. He’s a great interviewer and I had a lot of fun talking about how parents should approach college admissions. Fun fact, my fast combat stores ship was the assigned replenishment ship for his aircraft carrier. Our podcast reminded me of those underway replenishment days at sea, when the ships would be full of activity as fuel, food, and mail were passed from one to the other. The Goohay Podcast is similarly fast-paced and full of good stuff.  [Goohay is another word for gouge, the helpful information one shipmate passes to another.]

The second podcast was a session with Amanda Huffman, a recognized military podcaster who does both the Women of the Military podcast and the newer Girls Guide to the Military. Amanda’s goal is to be a straight-talking resource for women who are considering the military. We talked specifically about the different types of service academy nominations, where to get them, and how to request them.  Girl’s Guide to the Military: Service Academy Nomination Tips.

The last big change here has been moving my office set up from a corner of a bedroom back into my office. Last spring, our sons came home from college spring break and then stayed for several months. That resulted in a quick scramble to create spaces that could accommodate college students on drastically different remote schedules. Now that one has graduated and the other is back at school, it was time to shift back. A few people have already commented on the new setting. I hope you’ll be able to see my new digs in an upcoming meeting soon.  

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