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Study: grit as an indicator of college success

May 1st, 2017

Have you ever heard the word “grit” used to describe a successful student?  I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t, but it has become a buzzword in the education community. The word encompasses three characteristics:  persistence, determination and resilience.  These traits are often more difficult to quantify than test scores and GPA, but college admissions offices are beginning to incorporate this into their process for determining college success.

The article posted today comes from the NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) website.  In this post, author Tara Nicola shares a study that was used to look into the predictive power of grit.  We’re excited to see more studies proving that it is important for colleges to incorporate more cognitive traits into their selection process.

Article below published on the NACAC website on February 14, 2017

Underlying the college admission process is the principle that colleges should strive to accept the most academically talented students. What are the factors that best predict academic success in college?

Historically, postsecondary institutions have relied on quantitative indicators such as high school GPA and standardized test scores to assess a student’s academic potential, and with good reason—there is strong evidence linking these factors with academic performance in college. Yet such measures are neither foolproof, nor do they capture key non-cognitive characteristics, like motivation, enthusiasm, and maturity, which also impact academic outcomes.

Read more at National Association for College Admission Counseling >>

Selecting high school courses

April 17th, 2017

Our blog has placed a lot of focus on high school seniors lately as they wrap up the college search process and make major decisions about their academic future.  This week, we turn to important decisions high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors will soon be facing, selecting courses for next school year.  The high school transcript is the most important document that college admissions officers examine, and on today’s blog we find out how to make your transcript the best it can be.

In the article we share below, posted from the Yale admissions office, insight is given into what Yale admissions officers are looking for.  We believe this will help Shrop Ed readers understand what other schools seek, as well.  Important take-away from this article:  challenge yourself as much as you can, while taking classes that you will excel in and enjoy.

Article published below from Yale Admissions Office website

Many high school sophomores and juniors (and their parents) want to know what courses to take to improve their chances for admission to Yale and other highly competitive colleges. With the caveat that every situation is different, here is some advice to help guide you as you make these decisions.

A Holistic Approach to Admissions

The high school transcript is almost always the most important document in a student’s application. But it is hard to conceive of a situation in which the appearance (or absence) of any one particular class on a transcript would determine the applicant’s outcome. The admissions committee does not make its decisions based on a piecemeal review of an applicant’s recommendations, test scores, activities, or individual elements of a high school transcript. It considers each application as a comprehensive picture of that student.

Read more at Yale Admissions >>

Cognitive biases: how they might affect your college choice

April 3rd, 2017

With the clock ticking towards the May 1 Candidate’s Reply Date, it’s important to use your time wisely.  After all, this major enrollment choice will have a huge impact on your academic career.  Continue the work we’ve been doing over time:  gather as much information as possible about each potential school choice and consider all aspects of the schools on your list.  It might be a good idea to revisit your top choice colleges in order to compare the small differences.  We also recommend speaking to as many current students as possible in order to gain insight into their experiences, and researching some of the professors in your area of interest.

Juniors and sophomores, we hope you’re paying attention, too.  This advice is not only for seniors at the tail end of the college search process!

Amy Brennen, author of the article we share below, gives an interesting perspective on what she believes might be ruining the college selection process today.  She offers three biases that are important to contemplate when making your final choice.  We appreciate Brennen’s ability to help us dig deeper into this process and really examine our choices, and we’re pleased to have come across her article online.

Article published below by Amy Brennen on LinkedIn

November 9th 2016: Trump’s surprise election victory left the entire the United States in shock. How could Trump win when pundits knew he didn’t have a chance? His victory was not only a wake-up call for many, but also a poignant reminder of how our cognitive biases like overconfidence and confirmation bias can cloud our judgment.

Cognitive biases, i.e. commonly shared tendencies for our brain to think in ways that defy logic, often lead to poor judgments and bad decisions. Yet by becoming aware of our biases, we can begin to fight back against them, an ability that is especially important when it comes to making college decisions.

Read more at LinkedIn >>

Next steps for any college admission decision

March 27th, 2017

Last week many students received their final admission decision letters.  For some students, the waiting continues … just a few more days.  We’ve been delighted to share in much excitement, some disappointment and, in some cases, questions as to what your next steps should be.  Thanks to last week’s post from The Georgia Tech Blog,  we all know that during this time we need to “be cool,” but what more, specifically, can you do before making your final enrollment choice?

The article link below offers guidelines to help you contemplate next steps, whether you have been accepted, wait-listed or denied.  As always, we are very proud of all our hard-working seniors and we are here to answer any questions you might have during these final weeks of the application process.

Article published below by The Princeton Review 

The college decision letters and emails are rolling in. Celebrate your acceptances, stay positive, and strategize with your college counselor about what you’ll do next. Whatever your application status, we have some tips on planning your next move.

If You’re Accepted

If you applied regular decision, you have until May 1 (“Decision Day”) to notify colleges. Here’s what you should do after you receive your college acceptance letters:

Read more at The Princeton Review >>

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