May 21, 2024   5:37pm

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Just when you thought your college-bound dependents wouldn’t have to worry about the effect of the weakening economy for 4 to 5 years, an article from U.S. News and World Report may give you second-thoughts …The article points out “8 Big Changes to College Admissions in 2010 and 2011” resulting from “more applications while tight budgets prevent colleges from hiring additional staff to manage the deluge.”

With stiffening competition, as well as reports of students trying to cheat the system, the numbers game of GPAs and SAT scores is giving way to one where colleges put more weight on essays and difficulty of course load. This means those students attempting to float through high school into college on a cloud of straight A’s and easy course loads could be caught off guard this application season as more colleges are taking a closer look at that class schedule.

Speaking of floating, that goes for senior year as well. Where in the past many seniors were able to slack off after acceptance (commonly referred to as “senioritis”), according to the article, universities are now taking a closer look at those senior year courses and grades. So if you had big plans for that spare room you’ve had coming for the past 18 years, now might be a good time to share some of this with your high schooler who seems to be more focused on prom than AP Chemistry.

The other changes? Be prepared for essays to be checked for plagiarism, applications fact-checked for inaccuracies, that cushy top 5 ranking and stellar recommendation they received from their AP English teacher to matter far less than they had bargained for, and early decision to become more of a requirement rather than a bonus on next year’s applications (yup, most of those deadlines have already passed). And all this, in way less time than was previously devoted to first-time reviews of applications.

It’s a cut-throat world out there, and your child hasn’t even entered the job market yet… Time to start hammering in that life-skill fallback.

Read the entire article here.


U.S. News & World Report, “8 Big Changes to College Admissions in 2010 and 2011,” Kim Clark, November 15, 2010

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