Blogs - 3/115 - Merit Educational Consultants

Surprising Pew poll found that 74% of adults think that race and ethnicity should not be considered in admissions decisions. 82% found that gender should not be considered. 61% of respondents support consideration of high school grades and 39% support standardized tests. And this study included every racial group and even Democrats and Republicans.

The US Supreme Court is preparing to hear 2 cases on the future of affirmative action policies at Harvard and UNC Chapel Hill in October 2022. With admission rates dropping for selective colleges this year, the public is looking for more fair admissions policies.
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Apparently, Americans consider these factors important:

Americans Evaluate What Colleges Should Consider

Factor
% Who Believe It Should Be a Major Factor A Minor Factor Shouldn’t Be Considered
Community service
19% 48% 33%
First in family to go to college 18% 28% 54%
Athletic ability 9% 36% 55%
Race or ethnicity 7% 19% 74%
Whether a relative attended the college 5% 20% 75% Americans Evaluate What Colleges Should Consider
Gender 4% 14% 82%

Pew broke down the responses on race and ethnicity in admissions by race and by political identity. The proportions who believe that race and ethnicity shouldn’t be considered were: 79 percent for white people, 59 percent for Black people, 68 percent for Hispanics and 63 percent for Asians.

In terms of politics, while 87 percent of Republicans said race and ethnicity should not be considered in admissions decisions, 62 percent of Democrats agreed.

The survey was of 10,441 American adults.

There is a lot of frustration amongst college applicants this year, when so many qualified students were denied admission to their top colleges. Seems like Americans are looking for fair college admissions policies.

SOURCE:

May 5, 2022

Americans don’t favor Affirmative Action

Surprising Pew poll found that 74% of adults think that race and ethnicity should not be considered in admissions decisions. 82% found that gender should not be considered. 61% of respondents support consideration of high school grades and 39% support standardized tests. And this study included every racial group and even Democrats and Republicans.

The US Supreme Court is preparing to hear 2 cases on the future of affirmative action policies at Harvard and UNC Chapel Hill in October 2022. With admission rates dropping for selective colleges this year, the public is looking for more fair admissions policies.
|
Apparently, Americans consider these factors important:

Americans Evaluate What Colleges Should Consider

Factor
% Who Believe It Should Be a Major Factor A Minor Factor Shouldn’t Be Considered
Community service
19% 48% 33%
First in family to go to college 18% 28% 54%
Athletic ability 9% 36% 55%
Race or ethnicity 7% 19% 74%
Whether a relative attended the college 5% 20% 75% Americans Evaluate What Colleges Should Consider
Gender 4% 14% 82%

Pew broke down the responses on race and ethnicity in admissions by race and by political identity. The proportions who believe that race and ethnicity shouldn’t be considered were: 79 percent for white people, 59 percent for Black people, 68 percent for Hispanics and 63 percent for Asians.

In terms of politics, while 87 percent of Republicans said race and ethnicity should not be considered in admissions decisions, 62 percent of Democrats agreed.

The survey was of 10,441 American adults.

There is a lot of frustration amongst college applicants this year, when so many qualified students were denied admission to their top colleges. Seems like Americans are looking for fair college admissions policies.

SOURCE:

May 4, 2022

May 5th is Japanese Children’s Day


In Japan, May 5th is Children’s Day — a special day that celebrates children’s health, happiness, and individuality. It used to be known as “Boys’ Day” and March 3rd was “Girls’ Day,” but in 1948 the name was changed to celebrate both boys and girls. Mothers and fathers are also recognized and celebrated on this day. You’ll see carp-shaped windsocks flying to illustrate the carp swimming upstream to become a dragon and fly to heaven. I love this day because we can bring out our Japanese samurai dolls riding on flying carp and eat mochi filled with red bean ham and wrapped in oak leaves! Let our children, be children; and let’s appreciate our parents and teachers!

May 3, 2022

If you are male and between 18-25 years old, you need to register for Selective Service

Did you know that all male US citizens (age 18-25) need to register for Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday? And, all non-US citizen men between 18-25 years of age also much register?

In California, only 38% of men registered when they turned 18 years old. Apparently 92% of men, 18-25 years old, have registered in the rest of the United States.

The penalty for not registering for the Selective Service is up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In 2018, the Selective Service referred over 100,000 names and addresses of suspected violators.

By registering and complying with the Selective Service, these men are eligible for opportunities both now and in the future: federal financial aid, state-funded student financial aid in many states, most federal employment, security clearance for contractors, job training under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Ace, and US citizenship for immigrant men.

To be considered for Small Business Loans and FEMA grants/loans, male applicants need to be registered with the Selective Service.

Not sure if you or your son has registered, check here

Want to register for the Selective Service now? Check here

May 2, 2022

California students receive College Savings Funds starting this year!

Did you know that every 1st grader in California will have a College Savings Fund to encourage and help public school students go to college? Governor Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have established CalKids creating a pathway to college. All children born in California after July 1st will have savings accounts opened for them. Every newborn will receive $25 as a base deposit. All students grades 1-12 will also have savings accounts opened on their behalf – low income students receiving $500 and homeless and foster children receiving an additional $500 – if they choose to go to college.

3.5 million public school students will get these college-fund accounts this year, and 300,000 new students will get accounts each year after. It is the first publicly funded universal child savings account program in the country.

Now this will give students hope and incentive to stay in school and go to college!

SOURCE:

May 2, 2022

Hazing and Greek life on college campuses

Just because hazing traditions in Greek fraternities and sororities in colleges have existed since 1838, this is NOT a good reason to continue these archaic and ritualistic activities today. Our freshmen students are enticed to endure disgusting, cruel, and even life-threatening dares to become pledges with the hope that they’ll be part of a social club where they’ll have a sense of belonging.

But wait – aren’t students going to college so they can explore academic fields and interpersonal relationships? Aren’t they driven to move out of their parents’ homes so they can be independent and do what they want to do in college?

Then why are these freshmen seeking the Greek life where they are forced to conform and lose all identity to pledge with a fraternity or sorority that dominates them? This mindset is designed to reinforce a hierarchy that ensures subservience of new pledges as they become acclimated to the organization. Interestingly, some members complain that they had more freedoms back when they lived at home.

During the past 2 years while college campuses were closed, hazing deaths completely stopped. But now that campuses are mostly opened, hazing has rebound in both men’s and women’s pledging rituals. Fraternities are notorious for forced consumption of alcohol, which has caused a fatality every year since 1959 (except in 2020-2021 due to the pandemic). Sororities engage in more emotional and psychological hazing, which doesn’t get the headlines that frats do.

Just last week, Baylor University announced sanctions against Pi Kappa Phi after a fraternity was found guilty of hazing pledges via sleep deprivation. This was just the tip of the iceberg. One student was confined to a cramped room and denied sleep for 48 hours. Then, he was forced to eat multiple cans of sardines, do calisthenics, and then forced to eat his vomit. This student was mentally and physically abused by the fraternity after he reported the incident to the Baylor Interfraternity Council, and he was encouraged to drop out for the semester because Baylor couldn’t keep him safe.

Wow.

The Greek society seems like an antiquated institution that we should have left behind in the 20th Century. The “Freshman” experience should be all about meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and diving into career options.

SOURCE:

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April 29, 2022

Didn’t get into college? 200+ colleges are still accepting applications!

While this college admissions season was unusually brutal this year, there are well over 200 colleges and universities that are still accepting applications. After the May 1st deadline for students to accept to the colleges that they plan to attend this fall, even more colleges will open enrollment to fill their incoming classes.

Check out colleges that are still accepting applications here.

April 25, 2022

NRG Firewise event – We did it!

The NRG Firewise event at the Locatelli Ranch was more than just a Firewise meeting. Some neighbors from our 260-household community met for the first time (in over 20 years!) and others reconnected as they came together for a common goal: learn what we can do to prepare for the inevitable wildfire.

Eighteen experts presented their “elevator speeches” to educate and inspire the guests. Supervisor Manu Koenig opened with good news about 2 road repairs and what we can do to move along easement issues that are holding up the third road repair. These speakers discussed how emergency communication works from the OR3 (9-1-1) to Central Fire/Cal Fire to ARES (ham radio). The sheriff explained how CodeRED sends out messages to those with cell reception and electricity, and then how they knock on doors when power is out. CalFire discussed Zonehaven, and how we need to “Know Your Zone” to get evacuation orders. We encouraged all guests to get the 4” white reflective address signs so fire and EMS can find homes when it’s dark and smoky.

  

 

Central Fire shared their upcoming Evacuation Smarts classes and what homeowners need to do to clear all combustible material around homes. We even learned equine evacuation tips. To encourage neighbors and road associations to work together, Rod Caborn gave tips on how to plan work parties to get the jobs done. RCD explained how families can get free chipping services.

 
Keith Trinity and Eric Swenson preprogrammed the Bao Feng UV-82C radios for our community. These MURS radios don’t require licenses (like ham radios) and they’re programmed so our entire community can connect on them. We can even hear fire, sheriff, and PG&E radio transmissions and the radios have been locked so we don’t accidentally interrupt those channels.

 

My daughter Nicole D’Arcy, ER doctor at Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center, gave tips on wearing non-synthetic materials during evacuations (synthetic fabrics melt on skin) and how to treat burns (with honey) and other injuries. One of my college advisory students, Sean Gomez, presented his cyber deck project that is designed to help our Firewise community during catastrophic disasters.


Our vendors brought innovative solutions using water from pools to refill fire trucks and roof-top sprinkler systems. Guests brought their metal fire extinguishers to be refilled at the event. California Fair Plan and State Farm agents were available to answer questions about non-renewed policies and to offer 10% and 2% discounts, respectively, for our community because we are now Firewise recognized.

During lunch, Harpin’ Jonny and Clark played the harmonica and guitar – creating excellent entertainment. Guests enjoyed delicious burritos from Taqueria Vallarta. And the best part – guests talked to Central Fire, Cal Fire, the sheriff, Dr. D’Arcy, vendors, and other neighbors. We had over a dozen Firewise leaders from nearby communities join us to collaborate and discuss working together.

After the 2 sessions of speeches, Carlon’s Fire Protection demonstrated how to use a fire extinguisher and allowed guests to put out fires. Then Frank Locatelli and I demonstrated how to safely use a chainsaw. Frank used his gas-powered chainsaw, and I used my 10-inch battery-powered Makita. Both cut through tree branches like they were butter.

 
Thanks to the Locatellis for preparing their property for 150+ guests. Special thanks to Manu Koenig, David Reid, Keith Trinity, Eric Swenson, John Gerhardt, David Dean, Marco Mack, and Nicole D’Arcy for speaking during the first session.

    

Thanks to Marco Mack, Nick Baldridge, Sean Murray, Tony Akin, Angie Richman, Rod Caborn, Crystal English, Phil Irwin, and Sean Gomez for speaking during the last session. Appreciate vendors Cindy Weigelt, Karen Corscadden, Drew Hogner, Alicia Murdock, and Danny Cortazzo for sharing their services and products with our community.


We are fortunate to have a responsive and supportive fire department. Central Fire’s Chief John Walbridge, Marshal Mike DeMars, Deputy Marshal Marco Mack, and Wildland Fire Hazard Specialist Tony Akin – and incoming Chief Jason Nee – have coached and guided me as I organized our NRG Firewise community. They’ve met with our road associations, individual homeowners, and nearby Firewise groups to give us tools we need to protect our homes.


Thanks to Carolyn Stallard and Dave Warren for helping with Firewise maps and spreadsheets, and thanks to our event volunteers: Teresa and Frank Locatelli, Nate Pickens, Kelly Gardner, Rick and Ruth Moe, Dania Moss, Rod Caborn, Spencer Balliet, Keith Gudger,  and Becky Steinbruner. read more

April 15, 2022

A little help from Central Fire

So lucky to live in Central Fire Dept’s district! They actively work with my entire NRG Firewise community of 260 households to educate us about how we can reduce our wildfire risks by inspecting our homes, meeting with our road associations, guiding me on assessing priorities — and even helping me put up our event banner! From Chief John Walbridge to Mike DeMars to Marco Mack to Tony Akin (and many more!), we work together as a community. Thank you Central Fire!

April 5, 2022

2022: Record College Applications; Record Rejections

This year, the most competitive colleges rejected record numbers of applicants than in recorded history. That means that their previous admit rates of around 5% (Harvard) have dropped to 3.19%. We’ll get more data when other selective colleges release their admissions statistics for this year.

So what caused this uptick in applications this year?

Over 1300 colleges offered test-optional admissions due to COVID and difficulty finding testing sites during the pandemic. That means that students who usually score poorly on standardized tests, like the SAT and ACT, didn’t have to submit their scores and relied on their GPAs and extracurriculars. This opened the doors to many high school seniors who thought they would have a shot at an Ivy College.

After Harvard won the battle over using affirmative action in the complicated rubric for accepting students, elite colleges admitted record numbers of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (increase of 5% for Black and Latinx applicants). Nearly 25% of Harvard’s incoming class comes from families with incomes under $75,000.

I’m curious to learn about how many legacy students were admitted this year. That’s a statistic that wasn’t published in the first wave of data for 2022.

Remember, these stats are just for the super elite colleges. Of the other 4000 colleges and universities in the United States, most are actually clamoring to get students to enroll for classes this fall. Some smaller colleges and community colleges have actually closed due to lack of enrollment during the pandemic.

For those students sitting with a handful of rejection letters (or emails), hope you take comfort in knowing that this year’s rejections are the highest ever and that colleges did not reject you because you weren’t qualified – they just received thousands of applications from qualified students who filled some aspect of their rubric for filling their incoming classes this year.

So if you’re not Black or Latinx, your parents went to college, or your parents aren’t alumni who have donated buildings, your application has to be that much stronger to compete with the students selective colleges are seeking this year. White and Asian students may be facing a different kind of problem – especially if their families are wealthy.

Take a breather from all the stress and anxiety you’ve faced over the past couple of months, and create 4-year plans for each of the colleges that you received admission to. Then, compare programs, majors, research opportunities, location, and costs.

By taking advantage of unique classes, top professors, internships, research programs, and clubs, you can create an excellent undergraduate education that prepares you for grad school or the start of your career. Lay out your entire 4-year plan before you head to college this fall. That way, you’ll pave a path that will create the network of colleagues – and letters of recommendation — for your future plans.

So, chins up! Those colleges will miss out on what you could have brought to their campuses this fall. Watch out world – here you come!

SOURCE

March 30, 2022

Celebrating National Doctors Day!