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Emotional IQ and the connection to college applications

February 18th, 2020

Shrop Ed advisees have grown accustomed to hearing me stress the importance of developing as a person first, maximizing potential and impact, which results in the secondary benefit of becoming a stronger college candidate. This is a lifelong skill, not just for the sake of college admissions but, more importantly, for everything that follows.

Mindfulness, the practice of being present, is a valuable tool that strengthens self-awareness, self-management and empathy (emotional intelligence). Having a high emotional IQ is linked to long-term success and according to Belinda H. Y. Chiu, author of the book The Mindful College Applicant, it can also help you through the college admission process. The article linked below is a Q and A with Chiu, highlighting ways to cultivate these important skills during this crucial time.

Article referenced below from Inside Higher Ed, published January 13, 2020 written by Scott Jaschik

‘The Mindful College Applicant’

College admissions has had a tough year of scandal and embarrassing headlines. Belinda H. Y. Chiu offers a solution: for college applicants to be more “mindful.”

Drawing on her experience in the high school and college sectors, she outlines her vision in The Mindful College Applicant: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence for the Admissions Process (Rowman & Littlefield). She responded to questions about the book via email.

Q: This past year has seen a college admissions scandal and plenty of other reports of admissions favoring the wealthy. What makes you think higher education is going to change?

A: From ancient times in Greece and India to today, higher education — what is taught, how it’s taught and who is taught — has been constantly changing. And factors like wealth, class, gender and race have always been at play. Many institutions of higher education are making concerted efforts to broaden outreach and access by making standardized tests optional or committing to admit more students [who are] first in their family to attend university, and to strengthen financial aid by eliminating loans or tuition for qualifying families. Of course, there’s still much more to do to address inequities. But if change is the one constant, that means change is always possible.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed>>

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You hit submit, now what?

February 4th, 2020

Regular decision applications have been sent off for review and early action deferrals will soon be reviewed again: the waiting game is in full force. For some high school seniors who sent their applications in the fall, a lot can happen between their submission and the final decision in March. Is there anything applicants can do to increase their chances of admission during this downtime? Sure!

Photo from Northwestern University’s additional material upload page via Medium.com

When significant progress has been made since the application was sent off, updating your profile can make a difference in the outcome. Many times students are able to use the update link through their portal on the college’s website and I believe this is always the best path if offered. If not, emailing one’s admission contact or the regional admission officer is wise, with clarity in the subject line, such as “Update information for (full name), Fall 2020 applicant.”

If you have been questioning whether or not you should provide an update to your application, the article linked below from Medium will help you make that call.

Article referenced below from Medium.com published February 15, 2019 written by Theo Wolf

Guide to Sending an Update to Colleges After Applying

So you’ve sent in your applications and now you’re nervously waiting to hear back. You might be wondering if there’s anything more you can do to help sway the decision. The answer is yes! While we don’t recommend inundating the admissions office with updates (there’s a classic story known in college admissions circles about a kid who sent postcards to the admissions office every week), in some cases it can be helpful to send an update to the schools you’ve applied to.

Should I submit an update?

You should submit an update to colleges if you have made significant progress in some aspect of your candidacy story, whether you’ve greatly developed your Spike, won a major award, received serious recognition from a well-known website, etc. If you haven’t done anything noteworthy, an update email is unnecessary, as it will be unlikely to move the needle on your application and may actually annoy admissions officers (they have a massive amount of reading to do this time of year). You don’t need to send an update on grades (unless it’s requested of you), since that will be in your counselor’s midyear report. We particularly recommend an update if the college cares about demonstrated interest.

Read more at Medium>>

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Deep dive: show schools and colleges who you really are

January 7th, 2020

When applying to boarding school or college, you work to distill your entire life into a several-page application for someone to read and determine your fate. What do you include? How do you stand out against the other piles of applications?

Photo by Getty via Forbes

Sure, you include test scores, GPA, involvement in clubs and other extracurricular activities. But what really makes you, you? What do you do on a day to day basis that doesn’t necessarily “earn points” with the admission office but shows what you really value as a person? In the article linked below from Forbes contributor Brennan Barnard, you’ll learn how to take a deep dive into your daily tasks and discover exactly how to reveal what’s at your core to admission officers.

Seniors sending updates to admission offices may glean some ideas, and juniors looking ahead to next year’s applications can certainly benefit from Barnard’s article. Boarding school applicants, too, may find this article helpfulful as they put final touches on pending applications.

Article referenced below from Forbes, published November 20, 2019 written by Brennan Barnard

What Matters In College Admission

A look of surprise and encouragement washes over his face and with earnest he exclaims, “You mean that matters?”

I am sitting in my school counseling office reviewing a high school senior’s college application, and I have asked why there is no mention of the hours he spends at home after school caring for his grandfather.

Read more at Forbes>>

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On the road to independence

November 12th, 2019

The first round of Early Action and Early Decision deadlines has passed. And now, on to the next round of deadlines (some coming up quite soon) while trying to stay afloat during your busiest semester yet! Each step that you complete makes you more self-reliant and independent. Even taking ownership of small tasks, like contacting an admission office to have a question resolved, helps you build confidence to tackle bigger challenges. Each accomplishment, whether large or small, is strengthening you for the next phase of life. That’s worth celebrating!

Photo by Alamy via New York Times

Empowering teenagers to take initiative in shaping their future is crucial to their growth, and completing applications is just the beginning. The article referenced below from The New York Times details the challenges inherent in this journey and how the overall experience creates the kind of “growth parents dream of.”

Article referenced below from The New York Times, published October 22, 2019 written by Kelly Corrigan

After a College Applicant Hits ‘Send’

In the early days of last fall, my daughter was projecting confidence about the college application process. She’d make a spreadsheet, things would be checked off, it’ll all come together, Mom. But right around this point, with classes and sports in full swing, college mutated from something exciting to that-which-shall-not-be-named. To inquire about, say, a 150-word supplemental essay was to provoke a fit of unholy madness.

It was probably no coincidence that her mood crashed just before the Nov. 1 early application deadline, as I bet it is doing in a couple million households across the country right this minute.

What I couldn’t have known then is this: Something beautiful is being formed in the dumpster fire that is senior fall. Regardless of outcome, the college application process itself can force the kind of growth parents dream of. Here’s why:

Read more at The New York Times>>

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