College Pete

College “code words” nobody tells you about

College “code words” nobody tells you about

Let’s talk about CODE WORDS for a minute…

You know, like when someone says:

“Let’s get together soon” or “Let me check my calendar and we’ll set something up.”

What they REALLY mean is: “You are not enough of a priority for me to get specific with a date.”

Now, let’s look at CODE WORDS as they relate to COLLEGE ADMISSIONS.

As many of you know, Jill and I spend a part of each summer criss-crossing the country visiting colleges. Not only do we get to tour some great campuses, we also get the benefit of spending real quality one-on-one time with the admissions and financial aid staff while it’s a little slower and they are free to hang out with us.

We’re always gratified by how candid and forthright these deans are — and we do use much of what we discuss (which by the way, is NOT in the brochure) to inform how we advise my students.

Right now, as I write this, we’re in Philadelphia exploring colleges…and we’re getting updates on college admissions you DON’T want to miss.


Which brings us back to the College ‘CODE’ Words.

Because this year we’ve dialed in on a couple of specific issues that we know will affect next year’s class. For example:

– Does the new Coalition Application truly ‘reinforce’ a ‘Holistic’ admissions process or is it just more marketing?

– How are rising costs (like massive construction) affecting Need Awareness, financial aid policies and Institutional scholarship awards?

– How are colleges handling the whole SAT concorda nce scale kerfuffle? Will it impact the ‘test optional’ admissions practices?

The answers might surprise you. For example, when they say ‘holistic’, they really mean that your borderline student has a legitimate chance to influence the process with a good interview and a great essay.

Or conversely, a ‘slam dunk’ candidate can blow it by being inauthentic or by insufficiently demonstrating their interest.

Obviously these are nuanced responses that I can’t sufficiently explain in a short email I’m writing on the fly in my hotel room in Philly.

But I also know that having access to these types of insider insights is often the difference between a response like, “Yes, we’d love to have you and here’s an awesome scholarship to boot,” and a, “No thanks, sorry.”

So… what we’ve decided to do is hold a special FREE, 1-hour information session for all parents (and students) who are entering 11th or 12th grade this Fall.

On this special session, we will answer the questions raised above and tell you EXACTLY what our colleagues are telling us they are looking for, from what they want to see in a college applicant’s resume, courses, test scores, demeanor as well as their college application ESSAYs.

The class is free and appropriate for all families with college-bound high school age children. We have a limit of 100 spots available for the web class, and we’ve set aside 50 for our clients/members.

To make sure that you don’t miss this special, just-in-time information session, please register by clicking here.

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