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    Outcomes are predictable...why would people think otherwise?

    Outcomes are predictable...why would people think otherwise?

    Misguided strategies result in predictable outcomes.

    In a recent article- Valedictorian with 1590 SAT Score Rejected from Every IVY League School, lessons were learned.

    Limmy, a 1590 SAT student and Valedictorian, thought his academic credentials were enough to warrant submitting applications to all the IVY colleges.  When the results came in, he and his family were shocked. He had not received a single acceptance.

    So, what happened?

    Limmy is an outstanding student, academically qualified to receive substantial consideration from any college. But there's more that goes into winning acceptances at top elite colleges, and that includes a strategy.

    Let's look at the approximate "yield" rates of IVY colleges. The yield rate reflects the percentage of accepted students who enroll. 

    Yale- 65%
    Harvard- 70% 
    Brown- 65%
    Columbia- 65%
    Dartmouth- 60%
    PENN- 70%
    Cornell- 60%

    Limmy's denials were predictable. The strategy to apply to all IVY colleges was misguided.  

    Here are the two primary reasons why.

    1) The private college business model depends on hitting the targeted yield rate. Admission counselors are evaluated on their yield rate. The admission counselor must believe the student will enroll at the likelihood of the school's stated rate to offer an acceptance. 

    For yield rates over 50%, the admission counselor can only feel that high of a probability from their Early Decision applicants. 

    When a student applies to high-yield colleges with any application status other than ED, they know the student's preferred college choice is elsewhere. 

    It does not mean the student is not qualified. It simply means that the admission counselor doesn't believe the student will enroll at the stated rate, 60% - 70% in these cases. The denial decision is easy to make. 

    2) When students get bogged down in writing complicated supplemental essays for multiple colleges, they get distracted from focusing on the few preferred colleges.

    Being distracted happens when students apply to over ten colleges. They will not follow up properly with their preferred colleges because they are too busy chasing others. They will unlikely be attentive to their applicant portals. 

    While Limmy was accepted to some other great colleges, such as Georgetown, if he wanted to attend an IVY, he needed to focus more of his attention there.

    The lesson here is simple. The more applications submitted, the fewer acceptances will be received from their top-choice colleges.

    This lesson applies to all levels of colleges, not just the elite colleges. Admissions is a numbers game governed by their yield rates. The better we understand this dynamic, the higher success we will have in winning acceptances into our preferred colleges. 

    My strategy is to focus on the top 6 -7 preferred colleges getting those applications submitted early, and keeping close communications with their decision-makers. After that, we will consider a few other applications to supplement our overall strategy.

    CollegeLogic students have a long history of winning acceptances into their top colleges. Our strategy and student focus are good reasons why.  

    Your Story and its Reality Live Forever

    Your Story and its Reality Live Forever

    All parents will live their life knowing they either got college right for their child or they didn't!

    When it comes to college, kids need their parents to be on top of their game more than ever. Parents who are not current in their understanding will compromise their chance of getting it right. 

    College is no time to come up short. The gap between right versus wrong is big. It's perhaps the size of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Parents who defer to their children or the school's guidance counselor to navigate the complexities of the college process live in oblivion to its significance.

    College represents the "Transformational Bridge" taken by a teenager to becoming a young adult. 

    Who possibly wants to leave this to chance and the random outcomes that result?  

    It's not that parents consciously choose to leave it to chance. But, it's the
    default outcome of not being actively involved from a position of strength based on knowledge and conscious intention.

    The 2022/ 2023 Admissions season has changed the landscape of college admissions. Tens of thousands of parents are in disbelief of their results.

    Excuses are running wild. While there is no excuse, there are reasons. The number one reason is they left it all to random chance. 

    Random chance occurs when-

    • Parents desire specific colleges in support of their interests over the interests of their child
    • Students randomly hit the "Submit" button in hopes of winning a random acceptance
    • College visits center around taking tours rather than personal engagement
    • College majors are chosen based on sounding impressive rather than having substance
    • Colleges are chosen based on rankings that get manipulated to create a false perception
    • Parents feel that the exorbitant cost of college and its prestige guarantees success

    On the flip side, my role is to put your child on a path of success and satisfaction. We achieve when-

    • Colleges are purposefully chosen
    • Proper attention is paid to the priority colleges
    • Essays are written to express genuine meaning
    • College visits build meaningful relationships
    • College decisions reflect the deep personal interests of the child
    • College majors studied reflect the desired outcomes of the child
    • College cost is decided upon responsibly

    When you approach college this way, you will substantially increase your odds of getting college right for your child. 

    Through the angst of this current college season, my 
    CollegeLogic students and families are thriving. None of it has resulted from applying random chance to our process. 

    I advocate for your child to live the life they want for themselves, which may differ from the life you desire for your child. Please accept that. 

    I support parents to live life forever knowing they got college right for their kids without bankrupting themselves. Perhaps you will appreciate this.

    Our ultimate responsibility is to put these precious children on a path of true success and satisfaction.

    Driving the Business of College

    Driving the Business of College

    The work of the Admission Office drives the business model of the college!

    I don't understand. My son got deferred while other students having lower GPAs were accepted.

    I don't understand. My daughter got denied while having a 1520 SAT score.

    I hear it often, and they're right. Most people don't understand how college admissions work.

    First off, GPA and SAT/ ACT scores are applied to pass the application through the initial 10-second glance. For applicants who get into the system for further evaluation, the ultimate decision is made based on the importance of the remaining factors. Each college weighs the remaining factors differently. 

    But let me be clear, applying "test-optional" is not an option for my students. Test-optional is a highly compromising application decision. The SAT score was more important this year than ever before.

    Save-  "My child doesn't test well" for others. People at the college level translate "doesn't test well" to "don't prepare well." Test-optional is the easiest 10-second decision made with applications.  

    Part 3- Factors Considered for Admission Acceptance

    Understand, Admission counselors work for the college, not for you. They are employed to serve the business model of the college, which hinges on the conversion rate of acceptances to enrollments.

    A higher conversion rate allows for lowered acceptance rates, allowing tuition costs to rise and scholarships to shrink. The work of the Admission Office drives the business model of the college. It's that important!

    This equation is the essence of Enrollment Management. The admission counselors who manage it best get promoted, and the others get replaced. 

    Once an application passes through its initial Pass / Fail decision on GPA and Test scores, all decisions defer to a combination of the following ten factors.

    Five measurables-

    1. Course rigor- measured by the gap between unweighted and weighted GPA
    2. Essay quality- determined by its content meaning and writing quality
    3. Student substance- determined by the real purpose of a student's chosen major
    4. Activities- measured by the deeper meaning of performing each activity 
    5. Senior year performance- measured by the first and second quarter grades

    Five intangibles- 

    1. Wealth position- measured by the family's affordability to pay the cost
    2. Relationships- determined by the student's genuine engagement with the admission office
    3. Cultural diversity- refers to the ability of a student to contribute to the college culture
    4. Early applications- refers to submitting early applications and following up with the Portal
    5. The serious interest of the student- factors in to supporting the "conversion rate"
    While students can't control everything here, they can control creating their unique advantages by attending to these items early in their high school career. 

    For those who wait until the end, their outcomes are predictable, and their excuses are widely-heard.

    For those who become involved early, their outcomes are equally predictable, and their celebrations are widely-heard. 

    I can guarantee a few things-
    • Randomly submitting applications will result in undesired outcomes; it's just a poor strategy.
    • Being inattentive to the applicant portal will delay matters; there are no excuses.
    • Submitting late applications with poorly written essays will result in denials; the cold-hard truth.
    The good news is that students have control over each of these items. 

    For better or worse, outcomes from this process result from each family's knowledge, involvement, effort, performance, and ownership. 

    All-in-all, it's fair!

    Deferral is the Money-Button of Colleges

    Deferral is the Money-Button of Colleges

    Enrollment Management series

    Before we get started on the subject of deferrals, here is a quick carryover thought from my recent article.

    The college's strategy to lower "acceptance rates" to enhance the sense of "selectivity" directly results in higher tuition rates and lower scholarship offers.

    BOOM, the big business of college is hard at work!

    Part 2- The Surge in Deferrals

    "Deferral" is suddenly the hot word in today's world of college admissions. It's also a new word to describe the college’s sales and marketing intention.

    Definition: "Deferral" - to put off, postpone, or delay.

    If you put yourself in the seat of a college admission counselor, you'll see why colleges sent out tens of thousands of deferrals during this application cycle.

    It began a few years ago with colleges’ increased use of The Common App. Now over 1000 colleges accept the Common App, including State Universities like Texas, Maryland, and Penn State, which each began using the Common App this year.

    Along with the rise in the use of the Common App came a false notion that students can increase their odds of acceptance by merely pressing a button.

    Now, with nearly two million additional applications in the queues of admission counselors, for each application, there are four options-

    1. Accept
    2. Deny
    3. Defer
    4. Waitlist
    Imagine you come into work this morning to see 250 applications in your queue upon logging on to your computer.

    If you can decide within a minute, you can get through your applications in half a day. That's arduous work. So, what's your approach?

    Hitting the Accept button takes the most time, requiring up to ten factors to consider. All decision factors support the college business model, not the expectations of students or parents.

    Hitting the Deny button takes the least time, often in under ten seconds. But it ends the process and doesn’t serve the interests of colleges well.

    In football terms, going for it on 4th down and missing ends the drive putting the team in a weakened position. Therefore, most football coaches opt to punt. It defers the next offensive play until later.

    This play is what counselors call on when they decide to hit the Defer button.

    Deferral puts the applicant back into the Regular Decision pool, yielding far lower acceptance rates. It defers the final decision until later, giving colleges time to scheme their next offensive play.

    It's an admission option that also can be chosen in a few seconds. It's a way of protecting the interests of colleges, not applicants.

    Consider the airline business having a finite number of seats on each flight. Their strategy is to maximize the number of passengers paying the highest price. 

    Deferral is the money button of colleges. It works to maximize the number of students paying the highest price.

    As they gain in popularity, Early Action applications will increase again in the next admission cycle yielding a higher number of "Deferrals" and causing extreme disappointment among thousands of student-families.

    Application Inflation- Inside the Numbers...

    Application Inflation- Inside the Numbers...

    Enrollment Management annual series

    Part 1. Application Inflation- Inside the Numbers

    Application Inflation results from the admission strategies of colleges designed to boost their selectivity.

    Early Action is a preferred college application strategy I use extensively to get my CollegeLogic students to submit applications in early October. In recent years, it was a strategy that yielded higher acceptance rates and increased scholarship offers. It also served well for students to learn earlier about their application decisions. But, the accelerated use of the Common App has changed all of that.  

    It's reflected in this season's admission results, disappointing tens of thousands of student families. Let's look at some numbers-

    Applications increased this year by 1.6 million over the number submitted in 2020 without an increase in the number of applicants. This is called
    Application Inflation! It results from college strategies designed to receive more applications, resulting in lower acceptance rates and an enhanced perception of their "selectivity."

    Many colleges received 30% more Early Action applications this year than in 2020. Some colleges implemented Early Action for the first time this year to alarming results.

    Clemson offered Early Action this year for the first time. They received 26,000 EA applications with 32,000 Regular Decision applications. That's 58,000 applications to enroll 4,500 freshmen students. 

    USC offered Early Action for the first time. They received 40,000 EA applications with 80,000 Regular Decision applications. That's 120,000 applications to enroll 3,500 freshmen students. 

    The Univ. of Wisconsin received 45,000 EA applications with tens of thousands of Regular Decision applications to enroll 8,500 freshmen students.

    These are staggering numbers!

    What does it mean to the colleges?

    It means that Application Fee income increased by over $120 million dollars, mostly received by the 50 or so most popular colleges.

    It means that those college offices had thousands more applications to sort through. They can preach all they want about taking a "holistic" view of their applicants, looking beyond grades and test scores. But that's mostly hogwash. I am 100% certain that thousands of applications at top schools were either denied or deferred within 10 seconds of a counselor's viewing of them. 

    It means that these colleges' perceived "selectivity" has been superficially enhanced by manipulating to show a lower "acceptance rate".

    It's Admissions Inflation. It's a well-designed strategy of the colleges. It serves them well, but it comes at the expense of student-family expectations, emotions, and outcomes.

    On the flip side, their "conversion rate of acceptances to enrollments" will decline accordingly, but we'll address that later in the series. 

    What does this mean to you and me?

    For me, I will continue to use Early Action to the benefit of all of my students. It's still the best way to go. We just have to be smarter and more aware of our approach.

    For students, it's more important than ever for you- 

    • to build relationships within the Admission Office, earlier and stronger
    • to build upon your personal skills
    • to be global-minded and able to express your viewpoints
    • to have a defined purpose for your major 

    These are the differentiating factors that create your unique advantages. 

    For parents, it's more important than ever for you to be on top of your game, be involved and engaged, and work from a knowledge-based position of strength.

    Gone are the days when a college visit is nothing more than registering and taking a tour, an activity in which there isn't any meaningful relationship built.

    Unless you're savvy, information sessions and tours are when colleges assume the strength position. That doesn't bode well for you.

    My students are always required to meet an Admission Counselor at every college they visit. The results are greatly improved by doing this well, though it's clearly not something that most students embrace.

    My parents work from a knowledge-based position of strength.

    It takes plenty of advanced work to become good at this. It's a whole lot easier not to. The results are predictable either way!