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Episode Notes

Episode Title: College News Fit to Digest. September 28, 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:

  • US College Fall Enrollment down [1:18]
  • Calendar Alert: Fall 2021 Application [4:37]
  • U of California Dorms Shutdown cost $1B! [6:13]
  • U of California to appeal “Test Blind” Court Ruling [8:36]

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  1:00  

Hi, Shveta. Good morning.

Shveta  1:03  

Hey, Venkat. How are you?

Venkat  1:05  

Very well. How was your weekend?

Shveta  1:08  

Um. Busy.

Venkat  1:12  

I guess that's good.

Shveta  1:14  

It’s very good.

Venkat  1:18  [US College Fall Enrollment down]

Cool. So, so welcome back. And let's dive into some of the news items here.

So I thought we could kick off with the Fall Enrollment being down for the US colleges this fall.

Not surprising, I guess?

Shveta  1:41  

Not surprising at all. I mean, a lot of students want that traditional college experience. And they don't want to spend the money to be online. So a lot opted not to attend, or they did you know, deferment of a gap year, things like that. I, um, I've heard some schools wouldn't allow a gap year and just because you would have to reapply again, without it, depending on their status as a freshman or a transfer, if they take community college classes or whatnot.

So yeah, it's it's not surprising, um, should be interesting how this plays out for next year's enrollment. But, yeah, totally makes sense.

Venkat 2:32  

So, um, so the students who are not granted sort of a gap year or deferment, do they, they have to apply again? So they go through the whole process again?

Shveta  2:45  

Yeah. So there's, there's two factors that come into play, they, if they decide to do the deferment, like not an official deferment, they just decide I'm not going, then take the year off.

So if they don't take any college classes, and then let's say they just work for the year, they get a job and they work, or maybe they volunteer community service, then apply again, as a freshman.

If they stay home and say, I'm just going to take a couple of courses at the local community college, depending on how many units they take, if possible, then they get shifted into the transfer population.

So transferring to a school looks different than somebody entering with no college credits. So it's, it's an interesting piece, because, um, I've read that students are doing one of those two options. But I don't know if students are understanding that whole process about if they take a couple of classes, even if they take a few depending on the university, they may switch them into a different category, which may change their whole enrollment and how long it will take for them to graduate, things like that. So it's an interesting situation.

Venkat  4:08  

So that means the applicants for next year are going to be up by some percent, right? Because all these guys who've sort of sat out the year.

Shveta  4:17

I would anticipate that if, if they weren't granted a deferment, so you know, a lot of universities do provide that. So if they're granted that, then, yeah, by design, their enrollment should be, at least applications should be going up.

Venkat  4:34  


Venkat  4:37  [Calendar Alert: Fall 2021 Application]

I thought we could take a moment here and also maybe talk about students who are just applying this year for F,all 2021.

You know, we are almost getting into October. So what are some things that the applicants should have done or should be doing and what are some upcoming deadlines?

Shveta   5:00  

Well, they should be well into working on their essays, at least Common App essay. Or if they're applying to the University of California system those essays as well.

I'm hoping they're not just starting, so they should be, like close to being done, ie hitting some deadlines for early action, which is, typically a lot of schools have an early action of November 1, or 15th. So they should be also then looking at the supplementals that are required for those schools, are going to work on those to get that ready.

And then, of course, October 1 is when FAFSA opens. And it's definitely recommended that students fill that out, get their family to do their part on that as well and get that submitted as soon as possible. The sooner the better. minds will get it done over with and out of the way.

Venkat  5:58  

Cool. Good. That should help students out there. If they are not on track, at least try to get back on track.

Shveta  6:07


Venkat  6:13  [U of California Dorms Shutdown cost $1B!]

Okay. Let's move over to another news item, which caught me by surprise.

So I read somewhere that the, you know, dorms closing this fall, and I guess for the most of the year has cost the UCs a billion dollars. And that number was quite stark.

Shveta  6:35  

Oh, yeah, I read that as well that I knew it was going to be a hit for the UC system. But I had no inclination of it was going to be that steep of a hit, which should be interesting how that plays out into the following years funding for the fees. And then, you know, hopefully, they can at least have some normalcy for the fall, for next fall 2021. But at this point, you know, it's not looking good in that .... But you never know.

Venkat  7:15  

Yeah, I mean, all these, you know, basically the infrastructure and the facilities. Yeah, they're just lying vacant, it's empty campuses are empty residence halls, not empty, but not to capacity anyway.

Shveta  7:31  

They have a lot of campuses, a lot of the UCs that are not doing on, on campus at all. Yeah. And, and then you think about all the people that support that within the UC system, you know, there's a dining plan associated with that, then maintenance, and then upkeep, all those people that, you know, that even within the housing department that are just not needed.

Venkat  7:57  

Yeah, it must be wreaking havoc in the campus towns, you know, where the economy depends on the students on campus?

Shveta  8:03

Definitely. Definitely.

Venkat  8:04


Yep. So, you know, and it looks like it's gonna be like this for the rest of the semester or quarter. So, till the end of the year, at least.

Shveta  8:17


Venkat  8:20

Before we close out today, I think there's an update in the judge's ruling, or regarding the UCs, you know, ruling that the UC should go test blind...

I think there's an update on that, right?

Shveta  8:36  [U of California to appeal “Test Blind” Court Ruling]

Oh, yeah.

So the University of California system has decided to appeal the, their loss, and they're basically in test limbo.

Um, you know, and obviously, November 1 is when their applications open for submission, they need to have something decided, you know, hopefully sooner than later. And if, if the lawsuit decision is upheld, then all the UCs will be test blind.

Venkat  9:12  

Okay. Well, I mean, one way or the other as long as it's not just hanging out there in limbo, as you said.

It's good. Like, it's good for the applicants. It's good for everyone around. You don't have all these students running around the country trying to, you know, get into a test center.

Shveta  9:40


Venkat  9:33  

So okay, so um, so I guess we are seeing the effects of what this virus has done over the last six, eight months on a lot of these things, you know, education and economy and it's just, it's just crazy.

Okay, so any, any other thoughts before we wind down today?

Shveta  10:02

Stay tuned for the Fall!

Venkat  10:07  

We're in the midst of it. Okay, very good. thank you as always. I'll talk to you next week. But for now stay safe.

Shveta  10:14

Thank you. You too.

Venkat  10:16


Venkat  10:25

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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