Jessie's Blog

Takeaways from the 2021 Admissions Cycle

I recently participated in a Clubhouse chat with 125 of my esteemed admissions coaching colleagues across the country. Going full wonk talking about admissions is what we like to do best.

"What the Heck Just Happened?" was the way one of my colleagues so aptly described this past admissions cycle during the open chat. 

Here are the things I heard repeated by multiple consultant and coaches: 

  • This year's decisions were the most unpredictable they had ever seen. 
  • The number of applications t…

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NEW! Now Available: Test Prep & Tutoring Services

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One of the most frequent questions I'm asked by parents and students alike is: "What do you recommend for test prep?" Another repeat question is: "Does 'test optional' really mean 'optional'?" 

The data shows that students who submit test scores earn admission at higher rates than those who don't. Additionally, merit aid at many schools is directly tied to test scores

Further, according to NACAC's most recent annual report, of all the factors that admissions officers take into account, GPA i…

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Can We Just Take a Hot Second and Talk About the Admissions Timeline?

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Can we just take a hot second and talk about time?  As in, timelines and everything that needs to get done when you have a budding college applicant in the house.

Our third, Aaron, is a high school junior. I  just booked his first official college visit that is not virtual!  I was so excited by this accomplishment that I sent a screenshot of the confirmation to the family group chat. (I usually ONLY send pictures of Aspen, Buxy, and Bella because I'm the crazy dog lady in our tribe.)

You may —…

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The Number One Thing You Need to Discuss with Your Teen

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Hello , 

We've been so busy here readying to launch our new website (woo-hoo!) that I realized that it had been two weeks since we last connected. Today is a quick post about the number one thing to discuss with your teen (regardless of where they are in the process).

There are two lenses through which teens can view admissions.

The first is that an acceptance from FabulousU will:

  • validate that I am smart, accomplished, worthy, and this will ensure my highest potential will be reached.
  • re…

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The Battle I Won But Lost Anyway

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In the summer of 2005, we were renovating our home. One of the countless decisions that had to be made amidst the chaos of that project was whether or not to add a cable hook up in each of the three children's bedrooms. As a family, we had cable and we were keeping cable, but in my mind, hooking up the kids' rooms was a non-starter: "NO WAY! They'll be hiding in their rooms, by themselves, not learning how to negotiate the remote to decide between The Dukes of Hazard and The Six Million Dollar M…

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Does "Test-Optional" REALLY Mean Optional?

The pandemic has college admissions offices scrambling. They have long relied on test scores as one of the key variables they use to evaluate candidates, yet according to FairTest, two-thirds of colleges surveyed in October 2020 had been forced by our collective circumstances to adopt some blend of the test-optional or test-blind policy. 

MOST parents and students I speak with LOATHE standardized testing. Feelings aside, most still have questions about how to navigate this portion of the admi…

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Happy New Year! Here's to Finding More Sweet in 2021

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Receiving Christmas and Holiday greeting cards this year brought me significantly more pleasure than in years past. No one was more surprised than I was by my feelings of authentic delight when the first card arrived, nevermind that it was from Chewy.com! I even put it on display, tucking it under a window frame where everyone would see it – “everyone” being my immediate family since no one else was coming – and I made sure to point out to each of them the very FIRST greeting of the SEASON (cue …

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The Essential Self and Right Fit

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What Do the Essential Self and the Right Fit Have in Common? 

The short answer: Everything.

The long answer is, well, longer than that, but we think it’s worth reading about, thinking about, and considering seriously.

Sociologist Martha Beck proposes that each of us has two selves that form the basis of our operations: a “social self” and an “essential self.” In Finding Your Own North Star, Beck lists the behaviors of these selves: The “social self” is avoidance-based, conforming, imitative, …

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My Go-To Escape Isn't Working as Well as It Used To

Are you a reader? Have you been looking for your next "beach read"?  Fiction has never failed me as an escape. It has been my go-to to go somewhere else; to get lost in someone else's world, issues, and dramas. 

At 8, 9, 10, or 14... what I remember most about riding about in the back of the van while my parents were chasing the waves at Lavalette and Seagurt at the Jersey Shore, or Ramp 22 and the Lighthouse on the Outer Banks, was snuggling up next to Shamo (my curly-haired-rescue-dog) and di…

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Prepped and Polished Episode #231 — Talking Shop with Alexis

Prepped and Polished Tutoring

Recently I got a chance to talk shop with nationally-recognized testing expert, Alexis Avila. He asked me to share what I thought were the best strategies to MAKE THE MOST OF THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PROCESS DURING QUARANTINE.

Click HERE and use the coupon code, PREPPEDANDPOLISHED, to get full access to online mini courses at our "College Admissions Made Simple" Virtual Academy. 

Listen to the podcast HERE

Watch the Video Interview HERE  

@preppedandpolished @compassU #authenticfutures #hellop…

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