The week before Thanksgiving 2019, I was presenting to a group of parents of college-bound high schoolers who were extremely nervous about the whole “college admissions game.” Game? What game?

They were particularly concerned about their child going to a school that “must be ranked high, otherwise he/she would end up with no job.”  But they understood, those schools as “impossible to get into.” Major of study or careers is “secondary as long as my son/daughter gets in one of those schools.” Career and major are secondary to the college of choice? If we are worried about jobs at the end of this, why are they secondary? How could that be?

Then came one mom who was frazzled about her son receiving “a personal invitation to apply to a ‘super selective’ college.” How is that possible? Her son, after all, was “just a middle of the road, 2.7 GPA, 24 ACT, barely making through regular classes.” Was that a mistake?

Shortly after, a dad asked about additional options for footing the $60K/year bill for his daughter’s upcoming first year in college. $60K/year… That’s a brand new BMW or a decent country cabin to have vacations… Every year for four years. 

After having to calm the nerves of over 50 parents with facts and data with some real-life examples from our students, it occurred to me:  The college admissions bubble – which we knew had long existed – has blown so big that it creates questions, anxiety, and panic.

These were the Pre-COVID19 days for higher education and college admissions — otherwise known as the “dark ages of higher education.”  Those of us who have worked in or around college admissions for years would attest that this “bubble” would burst somehow, some time.  We just didn’t think it would be burst by something that’s only visible via a super sensitive microscope.

And yes, you heard that right. PRE-COVID19 days were indeed the dark ages (but only for parents and students — not for “prestigious” colleges, that is) for college admissions as parents and students were forced to live by the rules set by the “top 200, most prestigious” colleges that you’d find in any and every rank published in print or online. And the other 3,800+ colleges… They “aspired” to be breaking in that 200 somehow and in some way by playing the game by those rules. This was the “college admissions game” I mentioned earlier.

Rules of the College Admissions Game in Pre-COVID19

Post-COVID19 World of College Admissions Expected: The Age of Hope

Some things will change by default (for the better) while some things will change only if parents and students make a collective effort. Here is the breakdown:

By default:

By collective effort:

The only factor that might not change post-COVID19 in the college admissions game unless there is more of a concerted effort from families is the weight that’s put on college rankings rather than the fit.

While the changes that are expected to occur above might shift the focus of rankings from being “prestigious” and “selective” to more “career readiness” and/or “higher ROI,” the habit (or reflex, by now) of checking college rankings will continue — unless families become more intentional with their college choice, i.e. fit, moving forward.

After all, that’s for the better: fewer heartbreaks, false hopes, misguided facts, and broken budgets.

When it comes to college, no doubt we are overwhelmed with metrics. Metrics or numbers are used for our grade-point averages, standardized test scores, and class rankings. Colleges like metrics and for decades, it has been the gold standard in deciding student’s admissions. We are now adding an additional number to this pool, the number of the adversity score, also known as the “disadvantage level.” We find there are many parents and students that are curious about what the new Adversity Score on the SAT means. First, let’s discuss what is the SAT Adversity Score.

According to The Atlantic, this measurement is designed to capture the student’s socioeconomic status and give context to test scores, citing the Wall Street Journal. The College Board is using a range of environmental factors that may influence a student’s home and college life. These factors include neighborhood crime rates, housing values, and the communities average educational level, and poverty levels. These factors are all accessed to calculate a disadvantage level, scaled from l–100 and is based on census data from each student’s neighborhood. 

Student scores above 50 points indicate that the student has had to journey through more obstacles than average to get an education or have a means to college. Scores below 50 signify students who have appreciated more advantages than most of their peers.

Students do not see their scores and admission officers are given a glimpse of the “environmental context dashboard,” breaking down all the factors that are plugged into the score.

After learning and digesting what the adversity score is, some might speculate if there are any benefits to this score. We know the team developing the score learned that college was most concerned about the talent they were not seeing, for example, the applicants who might thrive on their campus but who have weaker transcripts due to disadvantages, the College Board CEO David Coleman has mentioned.

In the past, the SAT scores have been criticized as a representation for wealth and privilege, not intellect or college readiness. Studies have higher test scores tend to correspond with higher family income and education levels, and white and Asian students typically tend to score higher than their Latino or black peers. While one extra metric cannot fix these inequities, the inclusion of the disadvantage level is a step that experts believe is in the right direction

Firat Education prides itself on offering students the essential keys to be successful and grow as a learner. The Firat plan engages students with one-on-one support and guidance so they can excel in the areas needed for the highest possible college preparation test scores. Visit our website, contact us, or give us a call 713-871-1048 ext.1.



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Attention parents! Summer is creeping up on us slowly but surely. #Admissions events are beginning to wind down so be sure to visit your top schools for your child! Remember, it’s not just about getting into a school, but getting into #thebestfitschool for your child. So many factors can play a part in your child’s success; make sure you’re looking at the right ones. Search on and #findthebestfit.

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Summer is upon us and #admissions events are starting to wind down, so take advantage of what’s still being hosted! If you’re not sure where or how to start your #admissions research and process, then be sure to come to our event on Saturday, March 30th, where our #admissionsguru, Ibrahim Firat, will talk about how to get started to #findthebestfitschool for your child. From understanding the #applicationprocess, to identifying your own personal factors that apply to finding #thebestfit. The best fit doesn’t just mean a good athletics program or after-school activities, there is so much more to know to successfully prepare.

Whether your child is starting Kindergarten or college, most parents are looking for a school that will create a fulfilling educational experience for your child. But how do you pick the best school for your child? What options do you have? What questions should you ask and what should you know? Firat Education can answer your questions and help you with the questions that you do not even know to ask.

The Greater Houston Area has specialized programs that will enable you to send your son or daughter to attend public schools in which you are not zoned. Firat Education can help you apply to these programs and eliminate the need to move into a more preferable school district. There are also a variety of private schools in the Greater Houston area which can make choosing the right education for your son or daughter’s needs quite the task.

Choosing the right high school is a process that should start as early as the completion of your son or daughter’s seventh-grade year. Firat Education will work with your son or daughter to gather their strengths and make sure that you apply to the schools that are a perfect fit for your child and family. Furthermore, Firat Education will assist with the application process and can help prepare your child for any standardized tests required to apply.

Meet with Houstonia Magazine‘s Dream Catcher Ibrahim Firat to help discover, select and apply to the high school that will most benefit your child. You will be personally working with Firat Education’s Chief Educational Consultant, Co-founder and Author of The Firat Guide, Ibrahim Firat, during the high school admissions counseling process. With his professional expertise and knowledge of the application & selection processes for private schools in the Greater Houston Area, he will help you every step of the way on the path to finding the right school.

Ibrahim Firat has personally met with private school Admissions Counselors in the Greater Houston Area, including Duchesne, Strake Jesuit, Lutheran High North, Lutheran High South, Fort Bend Christian Academy, Houston Christian Academy, St. Agnes Academy, St. Thomas High School and many more.

Selecting a school for your child, no matter what his or her age is a very important task, and it sets the course for his or her future.  Firat Education can assist you in identifying, preparing, and applying to the schools that are the best fit for your child and family. Learn more on our website or call (713) 871-1048, Extension 1.


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Welcome back from #SpringBreak everyone! It can be challenging to get back into the groove of things, but #admissions events are now back up and running. Did you use this past break to assess the #campusvisits and #openhouses you’ve visited thus far? Schools are already sending out acceptances for the 2019-2020 so it’s already time to start thinking about 2020-2021 for you and your family. It’s never too early to think about any grade level–not just college. #LowerSchools and #UpperSchools both influence the pathway to #college that your child embarks on. Narrow down your #topschool choices for both and be sure to check out our weekly blog to be in the know on all things #admissions in the Greater Houston Area. #findthebestfit

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#SpringBreak is fast approaching but there are just a few more #admissions events before the break! Prepare your #campusvisits and think of what offerings you want your child’s school to have. Yes, there’s an #applicationprocess, but you’re also interviewing THEM. Make sure the school you choose fits your needs as much as your child’s. #findthebestfit

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And we’re back with another set of weekly #admissions events in the Greater Houston Area for #privateschools. These events are gradually starting to wind down as we get closer to Spring Break, let alone even the Summer! So plan ahead and be sure to make a list of your top schools, the reasons they’re your top, and be sure to check here to see when there’s an #openhouse or #campustour coming up for that school. What makes a school your top school? The schools hosting these #admissions events, highlighted in our weekly blog, are also featured in #thefiratguide! Use it to complement your search in finding #thebestfit for you and your child. #keepcalmandsearchon

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March is creeping up on us and soon enough it’ll be #SpringBreak! Have you made it out to any #admissions events hosted so far in 2019? Check out your schools of interest to help you define how you want to approach the new #schoolyear of 2019-2020. Where do you see your child going? Better yet, where do you see your child succeeding? Every #HoustonPrivateSchool has a lot to offer, but you have to #findthebestfit to match your child’s needs and yours. Remember to check back here to plan out your weekly calendar and get those #admissions events in. #campustours #campusvisits #admissions #findthebestfit

Applying for college can be an equally exciting and nerve-wracking time especially when you consider all the details that go into planning. From college admission test scores and essays to career planning and choosing the right college, it can be overwhelming for parents and students alike. Finding a team that supports and empowers students can be essential during this process.

Firat EducationFirat Education provides elite support services and recommends students seek college and career counseling during their junior and senior year of high school as these are considered the critical years for preparedness. Our Chief Educational Consultant, Ibrahim Firat, is fully versed in the competitive dynamic of college admissions and takes a systematic approach to develop a plan to help you stand out in your college endeavors. With his professional expertise and knowledge of the application and selection processes, as well as the secrets and strategies of college admissions, Ibrahim Firat will help you navigate the right fit in career choice and education with a variety of tools, including our optional College and Career Assessment. Just a few of the many areas of expertise he will guide you in include:

Firat EducationFirat Education offers a College and Career Assessment which includes a three-session assessment of personality, interests, skills, and abilities, in order to identify the most fitting careers, college majors and up to 30 colleges based on size, location, academics, and extracurriculars that are the best fit for the student.

Our College Counseling Program and College Career Assessment aligns all services to not only assist you in meeting your goals but surpassing them altogether. We assess areas you might be struggling with as a student and find the right tools, such as tutoring, to help you achieve your goals. Ensuring your scores are on the rise improves your odds of being admitted to the college of your dreams. Before your pen even hits the paper we are here to help by offering test preparation, assisting with your academic strengths and helping you become a more confident learner by noting areas of weakness and making the proper adjustments along the way. College should be an exciting time, not overwhelming; we are here to help you throughout the entire process with your questions regarding tuition, crafting the perfect admissions essay, campus life, sports, and everything in between.

Firat Education has been proudly serving the Greater Houston area for over 10-years and is committed to helping you achieve your desired academic goals. Our primary goal is to provide exceptional educational service and the finest, most elite quality care for our clients. Schedule your Educational Assessment today and let us show you how we can help you achieve your goals and obtain your desired results by creating your personalized roadmap to educational success.