Meredith Reynolds - Head Start College Blog

Archive for October, 2009

SAT Score “Choice”: No real choice for students.
October 26th, 2009

Your lists are complete, teacher and counselor recommendations are being prepared and …

1. SAT’s
NOW is the time to make sure you have sent the appropriate SAT scores to the schools on your list.  The October SAT sitting scores are out Thursday, October 29. Please have your scores sent ASAP particularly those of you who have Early Action or Early Decision deadlines…along with those applying to UC’s, Cal States and other schools with priority deadlines or rolling admissions.

There is a lot of talk in the media about Score Choice, the new SAT option (for some schools) allowing students to not send ALL scores. However, this system is not as simple as it may sound because each  college/university is free to create its own SAT Score-Use Practice. There are currently FIVE different practices with the remainder of schools reporting “Contact Institution for Information”. For a complete listing by individual colleges please cut and paste the link below into your web browser:

To show the variety of requirements: UC’s require that you send ALL scores, USC asks that you submit all scores promising they will look at the only the highest section scores, San Diego State is the same as USC (not like UC’s), and Arizona State is Highest Sitting ( highest score on a single test day).

Now you’re all shaking your heads…”How will we ever figure this out?”  Please return to the same link (above) on College Board and take the Score Choice Tutorial. It takes 5 minutes and you will see it is actually quite simple. Most important is that when you select a college or university their policy pops up and you merely do as directed.

BUT…what if I took advantage of my free registration score reports back in June and they were not my highest Math score or they were not my highest sitting???!!!  I do not believe that will hurt your application. From all that I have read the colleges/universities appreciate receiving all of the scores as early as possible for use offering scholarships, subsidized visits etc AND they will follow their SAT Practice whether or not they have additional scores.  I see no reason for them to play “Got ya!” with those who express an interest in them early by sending scores Junior year.

That said…I DO NOT recommend ever taking the SAT or a SUBJECT TEST without adequate preparation…as you can see there is a very strong likelihood that it will be viewed by at least one of the schools to which you apply.

2. ACT’s
ACT’s do not have the added complication of Score Choice.  When you send a score report for ACT’s you do it by test date and location…one day, one score. If you wish to send a second set of scores, then its a separate score report that you send. I did not find on ACT site a list of individual school practices re ACT’s though I would assume they would mirror the SAT’s.

If you wish to view ACT tutorial on sending score reports: …you’ll need to cut and paste this.

Now is the time to get those scores sent to your schools and print the send receipt for your records.

“Have Alternative Education Plans” Cal State applicants
October 8th, 2009

The San Diego State University admissions website advises applicants “all applicants are strongly encouraged to have alternate education plans.” SDSU President Weber’s fall convocation reported that 22,000 eligible applicants (had taken all a-g requirements with requisite GPA) were rejected…a single file line 8.4 miles. Where are they to go? Overcrowded Community Colleges?

SDSU is now removing its guarantee for local area admissions which of course helps those students in Los Angeles county. It’s all based on GPA and SAT’s. But remember the GPA’s and SAT’s will be up because there are fewer spaces and broader competition. Another BIG change is that a student must declare a major. Cal Poly SLO has done this for years. Most majors are impacted and even pre-majors are impacted. Could mean years of taking general ed classes waiting for a spot in your chosen major or pre-major!? OR…chose a major wanted to change it…years of general ed waiting for a space. $$$$$$

SDSU is not the only bad guy in the room.  Hats off to them for being upfront.  Across the Cal States for next year 40,000 fewer spots for freshmen will be available.

One must wonder if this is the best solution for the future of California? Is anyone even thinking about it?

Perhaps most important for the entire family, the Head Start College program paces students to complete their applications by Thanksgiving.


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