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Navigating the Changing Landscape of College Admissions

Updated: Oct 3, 2023


Join Dr. Sam Fecich in a conversation with Kate Stone, the founder of University Gurus, as they dive into the evolving world of college admissions. With over a decade of experience helping students craft compelling college applications, Kate shares valuable insights and strategies for standing out in the highly competitive college admission process. Discover how colleges are changing their approach, test-optional policies' impact, personal storytelling's importance in applications, and much more.



The Changing Landscape of College Admissions

  • The decrease in acceptance rates and increased competition in college admissions over the years.

  • How test-optional policies have contributed to a higher number of applications and the need to stand out.

  • Examples of colleges experiencing significant drops in admission rates.

  • The importance of considering a range of colleges, including those with acceptance rates at or above 50%.

  • Learn more about Early Action and Early Decision options and their impact on admissions.


The Impact of Test-Optional Policies

  • Test-optional policies and their implementation during the pandemic.

  • We are debating the benefits and drawbacks of submitting test scores.

  • Factors to consider when deciding whether to submit test scores or focus on other application components.

  • How socioeconomic background and access to resources can influence the decision to submit test scores.


Strategies for Personal Storytelling

  • The significance of personal storytelling in college applications.

  • Communicate personal growth, values, struggles, and insights in the personal statement.

  • Crafting a well-written essay with a clear structure, specific details, and a conversational tone.

  • The role of emotional connection and authenticity in creating a compelling application.

  • Effective storytelling can help admissions officers advocate for the student's admission process.


Kate Stone wraps up the episode by emphasizing the importance of understanding college admissions changes and adopting effective application process strategies. By embracing personal storytelling and showcasing one's unique qualities, students can increase their chances of standing out in the competitive world of college admissions.


Connect with Kate Stone


Kate is an expert college coach and admissions consultant dedicated to unlocking the full potential of young individuals and guiding them toward their academic aspirations. With a robust background in youth mentorship, social-emotional learning, and creative writing, Kate combines her diverse expertise to empower her students in their pursuit of higher education. Drawing on her extensive experience, she focuses on cultivating critical thinking skills, autonomy, and curiosity in her students, equipping them with the tools to create compelling application essays that captivate admissions committees. Kate believes in each student's unique voice and story, skillfully guiding them to articulate their experiences in a way that stands out from the competition. Outside of her work with students, Kate enjoys a perfect Sunday afternoon with a hot vinyasa yoga class, a Wimhoff cold plunge, and a slice of New York pizza.

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