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What the 2022 admissions cycle taught us (from Larry Cheung)
Written by Jack Delehey on June 03rd, 2022
Today, we’re doing something a little different. I am going to step to the side and let Larry Cheung, Founder of Tigerway Prep take over my newsletter.  
The goal here is to introduce you, my readers, to supplementary insight, beyond my expertise. Larry and I have thoroughly reviewed 2022 admissions data…and I am happy to introduce his conclusions right here in this blog! At the end, if you enjoyed this newsletter takeover, shoot me a reply and let me know? Would you like me to do more of these?

I trust Larry & his expertise tremendously. I hope it is beneficial to you.

Letter to parents (written by Larry Cheung, Founder of Tigerway Prep):

The last 12 months have brought incredible change to the college admissions landscape now that Universities have had 1 full cycle of freshmen class data to evaluation academic performance to understand the importance of the SAT Exam and high school course rigor.

We recently witnessed MIT has decided to switch their testing policy back to test-required. This development should have been fully expected and I expect other STEM-based heavy schools to follow in MIT's direction shortly (which is why the SAT continues to be an edge for students who want to have more options).

Behind MIT's decision to reinstate the SAT exam is that they want to ensure their students can truly handle the course workload. While there are many rigorous high schools in the U.S., there are also a fair number of high schools that practice grade inflation. It is also quite challenging to know the true weight of the value of an A across the many different high schools in the U.S.

At Tigerway, we believe that more Top 30 U.S. ranked colleges are likely to reinstate the SAT, particularly the schools with heavy STEM programs.

For students who want to study STEM, business, or healthcare, it is highly recommended that you invest your effort in securing a high SAT score along with presenting the best possible aspect of your application.

Now I want to take a moment to discuss the admission trends that I have seen this past cycle, where many students witnessed very low admission rates.

Objectively speaking, the Top 50 schools received more applications from students than in previous cycles, and lower ranked schools are seeing flat/decline in applications. This implies the competition for scholarship and admissions at desirable schools is larger than ever.
Here on the East Coast, we continue to see that Early Action/Early Decision applicants have an edge in schools such as Northeastern, Boston University, and Tufts. We believe that the Regular Decision pool skews the probability out of favor for most students, but of course, is still a route to applying to schools.

We also believe that families who qualify for financial aid also were given a certain degree of advantage. This is because financial aid is paid directly by the government, and not the University itself. For families who don't qualify for financial aid, yet have their teens presenting median-level data for their applications, we objectively believe these applications have the largest uphill battle. The ability to pay full-tuition or the need to have financial aid coverage presented two types of students types that we saw have preference in the process.

Just like many observations we are seeing in the U.S., the middle class - and in this case the middle part of the distribution curve for students academically - is being squeezed.

The best way for middle class families to stand out in the admissions process is to continue to focus on the 3 proven pillars: the GPA, the SAT, and the Extracurriculars.

Focus on what you can control, and in many cases, a bit of hard work and determination will lead to progress in all three of those pillars.

If you need help on these areas, Jack and I can help you. Jack focuses on College Planning while I focus on Academic Growth on the SAT while simultaneously building stronger study habits for college success and beyond.

We wish you continued luck in the college admissions process.

Educator at Tigerway
Strategist on Youtube
Top Creator on Patreon

Jack again. A quick word before I sign off.

Nearly every Top-40 school in the country experienced their lowest admission rate year of all time. As Larry stated, the quantity of high quality applicants this year, all vying for the same number of seats in college was mind-blowing.

In my opinion, it’s never been more important to come up with a plan of attack–one that includes a holistic college admissions plan…as well as ruthless standardized test practice. I can help with the former…and Larry is the best in the biz when it comes to the latter.

Would you like to learn more about Larry & the Tigerway team? You can do so here.

Larry has helped thousands of students across the country find test-prep success, ultimately helping them gain acceptance into their dream school. For this reason, Tigerway is my top recommendation for all paying members of my own program. If you have a high school sophomore or junior, I cannot recommend his services enough.

If you’re interested in a start-to-finishing, all-encompassing, no-rock-left-unturned college planning approach, let’s chat (for free!)

And lastly, if you want to see Larry and I nerd out on all things college planning and test prep, check out our two virtual interviews together over the last year (#1 here and #2 here).


Jack Delehey

Jack Delehey (Vanderbilt '14) is a college admissions expert originally from Concord, MA and now resides in Denver, CO. It is his goal to pass on his college admission knowledge, strategies, and unique perspective to high school students in a young, fun, relatable, older-brother type manner.

The college application process is often confusing and stressful. But it just doesn't have to be that way! If you are interested in gaining clarity, peace of mind, and a detailed step-by-step program to help your child through the college application process, reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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