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Attending virtual events counts as demonstrated interest, says Biola admissions officer

"The biggest challenge is just getting students to show up virtually to college fairs and to be present online. I think some students are proactive about getting out there and showing up to these virtual fairs, but coming in person is so different," says Deborah Kwak, admissions officer at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. In this week's interview, we discuss the increasingly important "demonstrated interest" in admissions and how to navigate that during pandemic times. With cancelled school tours and college fairs, will attendance at virtual events and quick responses to emails become the primary benchmarks of your desire to attend?

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Latest

The Skinny

Three colleges drop tuition at least 25%

  • These 3 colleges are dropping tuition by between 33% to 53%. Which ones?
  • At this upstate New York college, a new disease is spreading and it's NOT Covid. What is it?
  • Unlike the decreasing number of undergrad apps, med schools applications have spiked up to 35%. Where?

Interviews

From a college finance expert: Creative ways to pay for college

“They let the kids apply wherever, then it’s decision day, and the parents say, ‘We can’t afford for you to go there.'” Just in time for FAFSA season, college finance expert Vicki Vollweiler shares money-saving advice. From divorced parents to married parents from undecided students to students with a dream career, she has a creative tip for every situation. In this week’s interview, we discuss why your best chance of financial aid comes from the colleges (and not external scholarships), how to negotiate for more money, why it’s crucial to tell your kids exactly how much you’ve saved for college, and Vicki’s best FAFSA practices.

Nailing your Ph.D. psychology personal statement, from an insider

“It’s not a bad idea to actually have the people writing your letter of recommendation read the personal statement,” says University of Maryland College Park social psychology Ph.D. candidate, Nadya Teneva. In the final installation, the 5th year doctoral student shares tips on nailing the Ph.D. personal statement, choosing between academic and non-academic jobs, expected salary ranges, and getting full funding.

From Bachelor’s to fully-funded Ph.D.: An international student’s journey

“I imagined that I would enjoy the freedom of from not having a nine to five. And I’ve actually learned that it can be a little intimidating to not have any structure and sort of have to be a self starter.” An international student who got accepted into a fully-funded Ph.D. program straight out of undergrad, Nadya Teneva shares her best tips for future doctoral candidates. We discuss the dos and donts of Ph.D. apps, minimum GRE scores and GPAs, the expectations vs. reality of being a social psychology doctoral student, and the questions that stumped her in the admissions interview.

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The Skinny

Texas A&M offering free tuition for top 10%

  • Enrollment by low-income students w/ Federal Pell Grants changed this semester. What happened?
  • Just announced: Texas A&M’s free tuition offer. How do you qualify?
  • Despite Boston’s increased Covid restrictions, this university is loosening rules. Which one?

A UC school preserving a dying local language

  • Which top uni just add this obscure Native American language to its accredited language series?
  • Is the pandemic causing college kids to go hungry? Here’s what the research says.
  • Why is Stanford removing the name of their founding president from campus buildings?

This school’s tuition is dropping 32%

  • The Common App just announced a big change. What’s new?
  • This group of student’s college acceptance rate is about to go up. Who are they?
  • While tuition seems to be skyrocketing everywhere, this college’s tuition will drop by 32% in 2021. Which one?

The school system that admitted friends of staff

  • A University of California audit found admissions preference for certain applicants. What types?
  • This university’s president resigned after less than 9 months on the job. What happened?
  • Declining enrollment is all the talk, but which state school’s jump in enrollment shocked everyone?
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