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Episode Notes

Episode Title: College News Fit to Digest. November 30, 2020.

Episode summary introduction: Making sense of the College News of the week curated by Alma Matters. Coronavirus continues to drive the news. Shveta Bagade, College Counselor gives us her take on the news.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • UC Application Deadline Extension [1:20]
  • 11th-Hour Tips for College Applications [2:49]
  • New College Safety Protocols [7:20]
  • Int’l Students Migrate from Australia [9:22]

Our Guest: Shveta Bagade, College Counselor based in Silicon Valley California.

Resources referred to in this episode:

Episode Transcript: Please visit Episode Transcript.


Episode Transcript

Transcript of the episode’s audio.

Venkat  0:12 

Hello, and welcome to yet another episode of College News Fit to Digest. Every week, we pick a few news items relating to US Colleges and discuss it with our own Shveta Bagade, College Counselor. Alma Matters curates the news daily relating to US Colleges, and makes it available on alma matters.io/coronavirus. We pick a few news items from that curated list, and discuss it every week here in these podcasts. Now, without further ado, on with the podcast!

Venkat  0:59

Hey Shveta!

Shveta  1:01

Hi Venkat! How are you doing?

Venkat  1:05

I'm doing well. I'm doing well. So welcome back.

So, let's jump right into it. You had some news on the UC application deadline extension?

Shveta  1:20  [UC Application Deadline Extension]

Yeah, yeah.

So for students that are still applying to the UCs, And they're a little bit stressed, because the original deadline was, is today, November 30 has now been extended to December 4. On Sunday evening, their servers were crashing for quite a few hours, I would say at least five hours if not longer. And the UCs decided to extend it to the same deadline as the California State System.

So that's a little breathing reprieve for some of these students who were freaking out last night about submitting their applications on time.

Venkat  2:05  

Cool. So I think the advice would be to start pushing the submit button right now.

Shveta  2:14  

Yeah, I wouldn't December 4, either. So yeah!

Venkat  2:21  

A few topics we wanted to kind of cover today.

Let's start with the, you know, another month or so of college applications, including the UCs we just talked about. So the article with a bunch of tips about applying in this pandemic, in these pandemic times, I guess. So, what do you think of those tips? Um,

Shveta  2:49  [11th-Hour Tips for College Applications]

Um, you know, some of it, I feel like, it's a little bit of common sense, but it's always good to remind the kids, and because a lot of there's still a lot of deadlines between now and actually, till February 1. Um, these are still really good reminders.

So one of the first ones that's mentioned is, you know, forget about the testing, just don't stress about it. It's not happening in if you want to take a test under these conditions, anyway, most of the schools are going test optional, some are test blind. So at this point, don't worry about the testing, just move on, focus on the things you can control, right, which is it, which leads into the next one, which is perfect is, you know, you can control your essay. Spend your time, making sure that essay really says what you want to say, don't just throw it together and say, Oh, that's good enough, you know, read it, step away from it, read it, again, make sure you don't have spelling errors, you know, catch every little thing you can. You might as well try to make it the best essay you've got, because you can control that.

Um, excuse me. And then the next thing is, as you're writing these essays, one of the things that will help is really going to like third, fourth level digging into virtual resources for the schools. You know, a lot of schools have really nice websites with the campus tours and things like that. But there's a lot of these little YouTube clips done by students and organizations at the schools, find them and take a look at them. These are really going to help you understand the school, you don't have the luxury of visiting and going to campus. So this is the next best thing and this is a great way to really understand, you know, the kind of school that you're applying to and show that this is the school you want to apply to because you've done so much research.

It's, it's like a virtual form of demonstrated interest. A lot of schools Look for that. But this really shows that you really want to go to the school by looking for those. Don't just go to the main web page, click on the campus tour instead. Okay, I've done it.

Um, then of course, my, this is my favorite is submit applications before the deadline. It's exactly I tell students that I work with students that I volunteer for. Don't wait till December one to submit the application. If you're done and it's November 15, go ahead submit it, it's okay. That it's done early. It's off your plate, it's submitted. no looking back, you've done everything you've can, you've read the essays, you fill out the applications correctly, it's time to move on and put that piece behind you. And now just sit tight and wait. Right.

And something that I've read this over and over again, and many, many articles is a lot of students for in their families, for some reason are not filing FAFSA. And I find that really interesting considering the times we're in right now. People, job situations are unpredictable. I tell students, this is prior to COVID. I tell students file for FASFA, even if you don't think you're going to get it.

If your financial situation changes, you literally go in, change the form, update it, resubmit it and let the schools know that your financial situation has changed. And you've filled out FAFSA accordingly.

Oh, these are all like, for me, some of these things are common sense. And some of these things are just good reminders.

Venkat  6:47  

You know, after this sort of uneven fall semester where colleges kind of went in and out of Well, I guess they went out of in-class very quickly, a lot of them. They're all sort of figuring out new protocols when students do come back in spring. So it looks like Testing, testing, testing seems to be the slogan. So...

Shveta  7:20  [New College Safety Protocols]

Yeah, well, testing is definitely going to be there. A lot of schools have already announced they're going virtual, I don't think that's something they're going to change unless things change dramatically, where they are, in terms of cases and numbers of the state or the county that they're in, on, you know, in a lot of schools, this is a financial decision. It's not driven by wanting to have virtual online, it's that they have to plan accordingly. They have to set aside funds for the testing, they have to set aside funds for isolations for kids that are are actually living on campus. So it's important for them to now they're kind of seeing how things are happening. They're planning for that. And of course, this varies from campus to campus, a smaller school can manage this much more easily than a larger, you know, School of 20, 30,000 students versus 2000 students. So, and we all hoped that the fall would change, that didn't happen. And we're coming into the winter time where there's anticipated surges because of the general flu season.

Mm hmm. So it makes sense that the universities are doing this and that they have to kind of get ahead, ahead of the planning.

Venkat 8:43  

Yeah, I mean, I think I think, you know, we're talking earlier about students doing things that are within their control. I mean, this isn't a case where colleges cannot control certain things. I mean, even smaller colleges seem to be having trouble. If students you know, get out of the line of protocol, so to speak, and go off somewhere 50 miles away, 100 miles away. And so, things come back to campus and in terms of infections, and that I think, is probably the most frustrating thing.

So yeah, I mean, um, hopefully the vaccine also changes the equation pretty soon here. So.

Venkat  9:22  [Int’l Students Migrate from Australia]

Okay, so the, I think the last topic for the day is a news item which talked about, you know, international students sort of looking at, looking away from Australia at UK and Canada.

Australia was booming in terms of attracting international students over the last five years or so. But they had closed their borders, thanks to the pandemic and I guess, students are looking to go to places where they can have a on-campus in-person kind of experience.

Shveta 10:05  

Yeah, this put this has put Australia kind of a catch 22 they're doing all the right things and trying to keep their numbers down. But now this is going to impact their universities that do rely on that international population to come and enroll in their schools.

And of course, this is going to be kind of a new opportunity for those for other countries that have on campus learning, like Canada and UK. So, it should be interesting how this unfolds, and how those universities in Australia are going to manage that.

Because from everything I've read about Australia, they have a fairly large population that comes, that are considered international students. So this could be a hit to their financial health as well.

Venkat  10:58  

Yeah, it's the number two, export or import, if you will, generate it, you know, income. And so it is a huge, huge deal. So they've, and then they've done this over within a decade or so. So this has been quite a rapid rise.

But yeah, I mean, you know, there's another example of the pandemic turning things upside down. And, yeah, so.

Yeah, I mean, this is something that the US would have to worry about, as well. But, you know, I think we have, we have a few months here. Before fall, next year, that is fall 2021. So hopefully things can get better.


Shveta  11:45  

So keep hoping...

Venkat  11:48  

Yeah. That's, yeah, we have control over that. We can do that.

And so, on that note, we can wind down today and you know, have a good week.

Thanks again for being here and be safe. I'll talk to you soon.

Shveta  12:08  

Thank you, you too. Take care

Venkat  12:09  

Bye. Bye.

Venkat  12:18

Hi again, hope you enjoyed this conversation with Shveta Bagade on this week's College News Fit to Digest. Stay connected with us by Subscribing to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify or visit anchor.fm forward slash almamatters [anchor.fm/almamatters].

These podcasts are brought to you by almamatters.io. Till we meet again, take care and be safe.

Thank you.

Summary Keywords

College, Universities, Test Optional, Test Blind, University of California, Deferment, Gap Year, Fall enrollment, College Application Calendar 2020, Common App, Common App Essay, Supplementals, FAFSA, Early Action, Alma Matters, Podcasts, Ivy League, Fall Reopening, COVID-19, Coronavirus.

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