The crazy 2021 admissions cycle has come to an end as all colleges have released their decisions. With many colleges experiencing significant increases in applications, the waitlist pool is larger than in years past and many are predicting the wait could extend to August. Accepted student days have rolled into another round of zoom events with admissions officers. Some schools are offering limited college visits for accepted students but overall, students are left in a situation where they may have to make a final decision on a college they have yet to step foot on.
Lee Bierer joins us today to share her thoughts on the lessons learned from this admissions cycle, advice for students on a waitlist, and tips for juniors to get a jumpstart on their essays. We also discussed the latest Netflix release of Operation Varsity Blues. A frequent guest on Charlotte’s NPR Affiliate – WFAE’s Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins, Lee has written over 650 Countdown to College columns over the last 14 years. Her Countdown column is syndicated nationally through Tribune News Service, McClatchy Newspapers and picked up each week by High School Counselor Weekly and bi-monthly by The Link for Counselors.
- Colleges that have been test-optional for years are truly test-optional.
- If you can take the ACT or SAT, take the test. You can decide if you want to submit those scores to a particular school or not at a later point in time.
- Students in the Class of 2021 applied to many more colleges than in years past. The lack of on-campus programming events and the test-optional component contributed to students’ desire to apply to more colleges than in the past.
- Colleges are in a precarious predicament due to the massive increase in applications as they do not know who will actually enroll. Therefore colleges increased their waitlist pool to numbers never seen before.
- If offered a waitlist spot, respond to the college with a letter of continued interest (LOCI).
- Share new information about what has happened since you submitted your application. Make a pitch for why the school is the right school for you.
- Ideas for creating a WOW project for juniors this summer and Brag Sheet ideas to set yourself apart.
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Meet Lee Bierer
Lee Bierer is an independent college counselor and founder of College Admissions Strategies. She has written over 650 Countdown to College columns over the last 14 years. Her Countdown column is syndicated nationally through Tribune News Service, McClatchy Newspapers and picked up each week by High School Counselor Weekly and bi-monthly by The Link for Counselors.
Lee has been a guest on Charlotte’s NPR Affiliate – WFAE’s Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins several times where she has spoken about the recent college admissions scandal, the college admissions process, campus visits, college applications, and essays. She has been interviewed by the New York Times, featured in the New York Times Magazine, and been a guest on a talk show on the Martha Stewart Radio station.
Lee received her undergraduate degree in Spanish from Colgate University and has a Master’s in Education. She received a Certificate in College Counseling through UCLA and currently serves on the advisory board of Princeton Review. Lee has lived in Charlotte for over 25 years and is now an empty-nester – with two college graduates– so she has survived this adventure both personally and professionally!
Thank you to Lee for joining us today as we know many students are in the midst of hearing back from colleges about admissions decisions. We discussed what to do if you are on a waitlist, writing a letter of continued interest, lessons learned from this admissions cycle, tips for the Class of 2022. Is test-optional really test-optional? If you can take the test – do. Lee also shared her helpful tips on writing a brag sheet after a year of COVID.