What You Need to Know About the 2020-21 Admissions Cycle

Check out the Zoom webinar we did yesterday
May 20, 2020

Alison and I had a great chat yesterday on our Zoom webinar about the latest developments in college admissions.

Among other things, we talked about:

  • This whole mess known as SAT/ACT/AP/Subject tests this year: should you take them? Are they worth it? How will admissions officers interpret them?
  • What constitutes a score that is good enough to submit if a school is test-optional?
  • If current high school seniors defer, what does that mean for rising juniors and for this summer's waitlist?
  • The pickle that the heads of enrollment are in at selective colleges after the deposit deadline and some possible, counter-intuitive outcomes
  • How will the admissions standards change this coming cycle?
  • How will so-called "non-cognitive" skills factor into the admissions process?
  • James Bond movies. Really!
  • What kinds of activities are going to catch an admissions officer's eye?
  • What not to write about in your application essay?
  • Where should you talk about the context of your life in our application (legitimate difficulties with digital access, a class that had to get discontinued, etc.)?
  • What will happen with Early Decision / Early Action options this coming season?
  • Notre Dame. Oh my.
  • When can a creative / arts supplement hurt you?
  • Why you should avoid the "scrapbook mentality" in your applications.
  • How to get a good teacher recommendation for a reach college from a large public high school
  • What do you do if your school-based college counselor opts out of writing counselor recommendations for students?
  • What to do if your high school doesn't routinely feed applicants to a particular college and therefore doesn't have a strong pre-existing relationship with that college.
  • Photo (video) bombing by my dog.


Anna Ivey is one of the founders of Inline. An experienced admissions consultant and a frequently cited media expert on the topic of college admissions, she is also co-author of the college admissions bible How to Prepare a Standout College Application. Learn more about Anna's background here.

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