College Counselor’s Corner: March Madness

There are two weeks to go until break. Before it starts, we at the Hudson School expect positive college results, warmer temperatures, strong score reports, and appropriate course selections.

March Madness for Real!
UVA, cited for defensive prowess and slower-than-average speed on the court, is the top seed in the NCAA playoffs this year. As many students know, I love this university and its Jeffersonian campus. If you plan to visit UVA, you’ll likely attend an information session hosted by Associate Dean of Admission Jeannine Lalonde, also known as Dean J. She writes an excellent admissions blog, “Notes from Peabody.”

UVA exhibits a high difficulty of admissions for out-of-state students. Data released in January shows an Early Action admit rate of 21.5% for out-of-staters versus 44% for Virginia residents.

Out-of-state applicants can’t be cavalier about UVA.

Coalition App
As students learn about applying to college, they hear much more about the Common App than the Coalition App, launched two years ago in an effort to promote diversity and inclusion. The tedious process of applying using the Coalition App, however, is a reality for students interested in large state university systems (e.g., Maryland, Penn State). Yesterday, I received a memo from the Coalition telling us about a new feature, MyCoalition Custom College Ranking tool, which allows seniors (and their families) to “create personalized college rankings based on the traits that matter most to them . . . using an interactive Excel spreadsheet.” Interestingly, it’s the student who evaluates academics, campus life and other factors! I’ll be checking it out.

Regarding standardized tests, the debates continue. Tufts University this week announced that it will drop its requirement for SAT Subject Tests.

Here’s my take on Subject Tests: they’re excellent credentials for students hoping to differentiate themselves by showing off their talents in their favorite academic areas. Students can take up to three at a sitting and only need to submit their best scores.

What colleges require or recommend Subject Tests? Generally, they’re niche colleges such as Harvey Mudd and MIT. Harvey Mudd, part of a consortium known as the Claremont Colleges, boasts the highest mid-career salaries, according to PayScale.

It pays to go to Mudd!

Social Media: Who’s Watching?
Followers of this blog know that I often bring up proactive use of social media; in fact, it will be discussed in Junior Seminar. This week, the Hechinger Report told readers that colleges may use big data and social media in making admissions decisions. In the article, we learn that Ithaca College has been using a system called IC PEERS, which allows prospective students “to connect with Ithaca faculty as well as each other.” At the same time, Ithaca uses it “to see which students employing what behaviors were most likely to enroll and stay at Ithaca — how many photos they uploaded to their profiles, for instance, and how many IC PEERS friends they made. The idea is to learn how interested a candidate is in the college.”

Ithaca doesn’t require test scores, but watch out!

Sound interesting? Join us on Tuesday, April 17, when Alan Katzman of Social Assurity will present Social Media and Your Student’s College Future, the final seminar in our series. To register, just submit the form at

Speaking of seminars, just a reminder that on next Tuesday, March 20, at 7:00 pm, Paul Perkinson and I will host College Night for Hudson Families. Attendance is mandatory for junior families.

I hope to see you on Tuesday. If you have questions between now and then, please email me.

Nina Berler
(201) 859-3665 ext. 119
2018-03-16T12:49:59+00:00 March 16th, 2018|
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