Final Decision Season Is Here
In the admissions cycle, the month of March is always full of planning and important dates to remember. Seniors are eagerly awaiting college acceptances and wrapping up BS/MD and undergraduate interviews. As counselors, we spent this month scheduling interview prep sessions with our interviewing students, sending last-minute encouragement messages, and helping families plan the logistics of juggling multiple interviews. Interviews are the final step in the admissions cycle and mark the beginning of the final decision season. Just a reminder, if you have BS/MD interviews still scheduled this month, we are available, even last-minute, to help you prepare.
Juniors – Let’s Get Started!
If you have a junior student at home, March is the month to be adding a college counselor to your college admissions plan (If you have not already!). Our younger students are diligently working on submitting applications to prestigious summer research programs, many of which have deadlines this month! This is the last summer to make an impact on your college resume.
Schedule a free call with Moon Prep to make sure you are making the right moves.
Application Steps Juniors Can Begin RIGHT NOW:
Building a college list and creating an Activities list for their Common Application are a few of the steps that should be completed before summer begins.
While most advisors still recommend showcasing your academic strengths by submitting a standardized score on your college applications, top juniors who have experienced limited access to SAT/ACT prep resources are in luck regarding applying test-optional this upcoming admissions cycle. University of Pennsylvania, Yale University and Princeton University have joined Stanford University in extending their test-optional admissions approach for the Fall 2023 enrollment.
The Future Is Digital
In case you missed the news we shared in our last newsletter, the future of the SAT is digital. This digital shift for the SAT format was announced by the College Board at the end of January. While the new digital test does not mean that students can take the test at home, it does mean the end of the traditional paper-and-pen test. Additionally, the test will be a full hour shorter in length, and calculators will be allowed throughout all math sections of the exam. Students will be able to use their own electronic devices to take the test, or a device will be provided to them. This new format will also bring added security, without the need to retest everyone when one paper exam was compromised. Read more in our latest article on Forbes.
Junior Year Checklist
March is the month that many juniors sign up at Moon Prep, as March and April are major months in the college planning process. Many early items on the college application checklist can be completed early, to allow submitting applications during senior year to be a smooth and enjoyable experience. Download Moon Prep’s Junior Year Checklist as a sample of the action steps our counselors take with our students.
States Requiring the FAFSA
In recent years, there has been a steady decline in the number of students not completing the FAFSA for college financial aid, resulting in billions of dollars that are unused each year. Previously, eight states have required the FAFSA for incoming freshmen: Louisiana, Texas, Illinois, California, Alabama, Colorado, New Hampshire, Maryland. After the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven additional states are considering adding this FAFSA requirement: Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, New York, and South Carolina.
Read more of the fascinating FAFSA statistics in the report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Applications Soar in California
The University of California system has set the gold standard for the elimination of standardized tests in the college admissions game, and their bold moves have paid off. For the second year in a row, the University of California’s record-breaking numbers of applications have only increased this year, by over three percent. With UCLA leading the way with the most applications, the UC system is proof that test-blind admissions are here to stay. Check out all the application numbers across the UC system in the Los Angeles Times.