Evelyn discusses grade inflation and activities in the college admission process.
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Evelyn discusses grade inflation and activities in the college admission process.


Hi there, I’m Evelyn Jerome-Alexander
with Magellan College Counseling. I’m based here in Los Angeles and we have
independent counselors all over the country helping students high school
students and their families go through their college search and application
process. I’m here today to talk to you about grade inflation. It’s a big problem.
A straight-A average today does not mean what it meant 20-30 years ago when you
and I, and people who are parent age applied to college. And the reason
that I want to talk to you about it is that it’s something that college
admissions offices are talking about. So if they’re talking about it you need to
know that they’re talking about it. You may have also heard that colleges are
starting to look beyond test scores. The test scores also don’t mean what they
used to mean when we were growing up. There’s a lot of reasons behind it. The
University of California system, which is basically the largest system in the
country is looking at going test-optional, and we may see that happen in
the next year. So what does that mean if grade inflation is such a significant
problem and such a known problem that colleges are looking at grades
differently and we know colleges are looking at test scores differently,
what’s left? This is why activities and leadership and involvement are such a
significant part of the college application process. So what’s
important for you to know is it’s all about the depth and the time commitment. So it’s not about joining ten different clubs and going to one meeting every
week. It’s about finding an activity – it can be in school, it can be out of school –
finding an activity that you really connect with, that your teenager really
connects with, and digging in, doing lots of activity with that organization or
those organizations. And what that means is it’s probably a good idea for you to
sit down with your teenager and ask them what is it that you care about? What are
you interested in? One of the things that we talk about when we
go to professional conferences is when you and I were growing up people
grown-ups used to ask us, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
That’s not what we say to teenagers today. We say, “what problems would you
like to solve in the world?” Teenagers look at the world in a very different
way than you and I did when we were growing up. They have access to more
information right? The Internet has made the world a much smaller place so they
know about international issues and all sorts of issues that we did not have
access to and so it’s probably a really good idea for you to sit and talk with
them about what they care about, and then help them find ways to contribute to
those issues, be it through your church or synagogue or through a school
activity or through some other community organization. Again, it’s about depth of
involvement. So I’m posting a couple articles here in this post about
grade inflation. What we really need you to understand – you know you’re gonna hear
your friends talking about their kid with the 4.6 or the 4.3. It just doesn’t
mean what it used to mean. It’s not that you shouldn’t encourage your child to do
as well as they can in school and strive to get As but what it means is
you know something like 40% of graduating seniors have an A average
have a 4.0 basically. So what we’re gonna try to, what I’m hoping that
you’re using our website and our resources to do is to help you help them
go beyond those grades and test scores because we know that colleges are going
beyond grades and test scores. So I hope this is helpful.
Again please poke around the blog, please poke around our archived newsletters –
we’ve got tons of, tons of information in there, and of course if you need a little
extra hand-holding that’s what we do we’re here to make it a little bit more
organized and a little bit less stressful. Most of the time we get
amazing – we actually just got one today – amazing messages from our clients saying
‘oh my g-d, we cannot thank you enough! We’re done with applications, we’re
still speaking to each other, everybody’s happy, the acceptance letters
are already rolling in.’ So if you need that, that’s what we do! Feel free to
click on ‘Contact us’ and and get in touch. So thanks so much
I’m Evelyn Jerome-Alexander with Magellan College Counseling.

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