college admissions and a changing world

The past few years have been rife with change, and we don’t see that stopping. These days, there is a lot of talk about our “new normal,” about how the world at large will “settle back in.” These are restrictive terms, and they prevent us, as counselors, applicants, and families from understanding the scope of the situation that we’re in.

A Changing World

The global pandemic took over the world, and it’s true that we are still living in the ripple of that one great stone dropped into the pond of quotidian life. However, there is much else about this current era that makes change a commonplace occurrence. Whether it’s global geopolitics, fallout from the harsh divisions within our own country, or myriad other external factors that keep a concerned citizen on-edge, nothing about the place we’re in as a community feels stable. 

There is No “New Normal” in College Admissions

With that in mind, we come to our first point: there is no new normal in college admissions. What we mean by this statement is that, as we push forward into our current unprecedented admissions era, the stablest ground that we’ll be able to find is one that is defined by an ability to adapt and be creative. The test-optional movement, revamping of some of the country’s major standardized metrics, and change across the board when it comes to the way that universities are running their admissions processes all highlight the fact that the less we know about the ins and outs of college admissions, the more we’ll have to rely on our instincts and casting a broad net when thinking about admissibility. In order to cast such a broad net, a student needs to be comfortable with adaptation. This line of thought brings to mind Daniel Pink’s thesis in A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Here’s a quick summary if you are interested in learning more.

College Admissions and Predicting Outcomes

Another important concept to keep in mind in our ever-changing era is that if we didn’t know before, we certainly don’t know now. When I say this, I’m referring to one’s ability to predict the outcome of a specific application to a specific school. Admissions offices around the nation have historically used their own metrics to determine each applicant’s admissibility at different stages of their admissions process. However, now, with so many of the factors that I mentioned above in flux, even those mysterious metrics are changing at speed. Therefore, while it was hard to predict one’s chances of “getting in” before the pandemic and all of the change that it brought, now it’s almost impossible. We have to be ready for surprises as part of the admissions process every year. However, Moxie will help you prepare for any and all curve balls thrown your way, as our stellar team of counselors develops customized roadmaps for each student that balances their college list across critical factors such as ranking, location, and academic profile.

Good News

Here’s some good news. The moral of this complicated story is the same as it has always been for us: focus on the happiness of the applicant first and foremost. Once the applicant feels supported, they will shine. For happiness breeds confidence, and confidence begets acceptances. And that, my friends, will never change.