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Articles / Admissions / 2016 Update: Part 3

April 26, 2020

2016 Update: Part 3

Looking back to May and June of 2016, we find these topics with their updates:

From May: A Journey Through College Confidential

Excerpts recap:

The College Confidential site is huge. If you go to its home page, you'll find all kinds of great incentives on which to click. However, one of the hidden gems resides way down at the bottom of that page.

Scroll down as far as you can go and click on that tiny link, “Site Map." That will take you to a long, long listing of everything that CC offers, in a somewhat alphabetized order.

For both newbies to, and veterans of, the college admissions world, this enormous site-compilation resource is like entering a candy store with a hundred-dollar bill in hand. What delights await us here?

Let's take a look at some of the listings. Looking for some practical college-process help? Check out these helpful Ask the Dean articles:

You get the idea, I'm sure. It would take a very long time to exhaust CC's content. New information is being added constantly and (how could we ever forget?) CC's discussion forum is by far the best and most informative on the Web. Check out these currently featured discussions:


If you will be entering the college admissions arena this fall, or you are a parent with questions about the ever-increasing complexity and challenge of getting into college, you need to look no further than College Confidential for a true inside look at accessing higher education. Have a great CC journey!


College Confidential is transitioning to Hobsons' longtime partner, Roadtrip Nation, an organization dedicated to helping students succeed in school and in life. (Learn more here: http://roadtripnation.com/about .)

Founded by three college students who hit the road post-college to try and find their own paths, Roadtrip Nation has grown into a national television series, educational curriculum, a range of best selling books, and an online content archive that are all focused on empowering students to define their own roads in life. The alignment of CC's college information resources with Roadtrip Nation's career exploration focus I think is incredibly exciting for CC students looking to build more intention and meaning into their college search.

What does this mean for CC and its members? In the near term, expect our community to carry on as usual. Looking to the future, though, I see a more vibrant CC. I know Roadtrip is very interested in growing the community and its value to students everywhere. I know they will help CC keep improving the ways we help our student and parent members.

Some of you know that CC was independent until 2008, when it was acquired by Hobsons. Joining forces with Hobsons allowed us to build a much stronger and more reliable infrastructure, and now, the transition to Roadtrip Nation is adding an entirely new student-focused dimension to CC.

Stand by for more information in the coming weeks. Here's to the road ahead!


From June: Boomerang Boom

Excerpts recap:

Two things happened this late spring that may be a caution light for parents: (1) college graduation and (2) the latest jobs report. As one pundit put it:

The May jobs report is a shocker, with nonfarm payrolls up only 38,000 and private jobs up a mere 25,000. Investors and economists are making the case that this was a weird, one-off, statistical glitch and that stronger employment is on the way. They might well be wrong.

If you smooth out the numbers with a three-month moving average, job increases have been slowing for five months. The three-month pace in December was 281,000 jobs. In the May report, the pace nosedived to 107,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.7%, largely because 458,000 people left the labor force.

This spells trouble for the economy …

The launching of newly minted college graduates into the “real" world is a highly anticipated event, one worked for by students and (mostly) paid for by parents, with some notable exceptions. So, what's a squeaky-new college grad to do if s/he hasn't already acquired that first job out of college?

The clock starts ticking as soon as diplomas are distributed. All those deferred student loans will begin coming due. This is when the sobering reality of casual, if not ill-considered, borrowing hits home. The blush of attending a “dream" school can easily turn into a nightmare hangover of near-lifetime debt.

Securing a decent-paying job is mandatory in order to meet those loan payments. In the face of the current economic slump(s), competition for those jobs is becoming more and more fierce. One doesn't have to have a Nobel Prize in economics to see that a national economy that adds only 38,000 jobs per report period is sputtering. The type and quality of those 38K jobs may be even more shocking than we care to confront, if we drill deeper into their specifics. …

… With all this in mind, I read with interest a well-timed article reporting on the current state of college graduates and their tethers to home sweet home. Millennials get real about moving back in with the 'rents begins with a rather shocking revelation:

The empty nests are filling up.

A report released last week finds that living at home with parents is, for the first time in recorded history, the most common living arrangement among Americans ages 18-34. And while experts will give you their reasons, they sometimes fail to capture the finer details, like, well, convenience …

The phrase “for the first time in recorded history" grabbed me. Maybe you've been there and done that. I have.

Back in the early Seventies, when I was a not-so-fresh college grad, I lived at home for a brief period while seeking my first full-time job. Things were tough back then too. Fortunately, I was able to find something relatively quickly and I was able to move out on my own and begin that journey called life.

But, that was then and this is now. Things are a bit different now (he said sarcastically). The Millennial Generation faces a completely different set of circumstances than we ancient Boomers did … on many fronts.

To sample the waters about this so-called “Boomerang" syndrome, I decided to see what the parents who frequent the College Confidential discussion forum had to say about this, since many of them are sitting, as we speak, with a new college graduate in their midst. Thus, I posted this thread — Millennials get real about moving back in with the 'rents — to get their take on Boomerangers. Here's a sampling of their points of view: …

… – D2 just graduated from college last week. She will be living at home and working for 2 years before she goes off to law school. Since my divorce, it has been only me at the apartment, so I am looking forward to have her around. But it is not going to be a free ride for her. We just worked out what she would pay me for rent (a lot less than what she would pay in NYC), and other expenses she would pay – electric, 50% housecleaning, and her own food. I travel during the week, so she will have the apartment to herself most of the time. And she is allowed to have friends over when I am not there.

– S1 lives at home. He is 29 and does not seem eager to move out. He has a propensity to do everything that is the least difficult, whatever it is …

– Dd can live me with as long as she wants. I have no issue with that. I would love the company. She can save on her expenses and build her nest egg.

– We covered the cost of college for our children. When they graduate, we tell them they can live with us for a year, totally expense free. We encourage them to save as much money as possible since they have no student loans. However, after a year, it is time for them to move out …

There are many other comments on that thread, so please check it out. Perhaps you have a strong opinion about the issue or have personal experience with it, like the posters cited above. Feel free to join the discussion. …


… The post-recession increase in multi-generational living among 25- to 34-year-olds is apparent among both men and women. The share of this age group living in multi-generational households increased by about 2 percentage points from 2010 to 2012 irrespective of gender.

The growing tendency of young adults—male and female—to live in multi-generational households may be another manifestation of their delayed entry into adulthood. Previous Pew Research Center studies have shown that young adults are marrying at later ages and staying in school longer. Both of these factors may be contributing to the rising share of young adults living with their parents or other family members.

In addition, the declining employment and wages of less-educated young adults may be undercutting their capacity to live independently of their parents. Unemployed adults are much more likely to live in multi-generational households than adults with jobs are. A 2011 Pew Research report found that in 2009, 25% of the unemployed lived in a multi-generational household, compared with 16% of those with jobs. Since job-holding is strongly associated with higher levels of education, the increase in young adults living with their parents since the recession is most apparent among those without a bachelor's degree.

The long-term increase in multi-generational living since 1980 also reflects the country's changing racial and ethnic composition. Racial and ethnic minorities generally have been more likely to live in multi-generational family arrangements, and their numbers have grown with increased immigration since the 1970s. In 2012 about one-in-four Hispanics and blacks lived in a multi-generational household. Asian Americans were the most likely of the major racial and ethnic groups to live in multi-generational arrangements (27%). By comparison, 14% of non-Hispanic whites lived with multiple generations of family. The racial and ethnic patterns of multi-generational living were fairly similar in 1980. That year, racial and ethnic minorities made up 20% of the population; today they account for 37%. …

This uncomfortable fact, which many economists have recently accepted, suggests that we are living not simply in an unequal society but rather in two separate, side-by-side economies. For those who can crack the top 20 percent, there is great promise. Most people in that elite group, Rank told me, will spend at least part of their careers among the truly affluent, earning more than $250,000 a year. For those at work in the much larger pool, there will be falling or stagnant wages and far greater uncertainty. A college degree is an advantage, but it no longer offers any guarantee, especially for those who graduate from lower-ranked for-profit schools. These days, a degree is merely the expensive price of admission. In 1970 only one in 10 Americans had a bachelor's degree, and nearly all could expect a comfortable career. Today, about a third of young adults will earn a four-year-degree, and many of them — more than a third, by many estimates — are unlikely to find lifelong secure employment sufficient to pay down their debt and place them on track to earn more than their parents. If they want a shot at making it into the top 20 percent, they now need to learn a skill before they get a job. And for many, even with their parents' help, that's going to be an impossibility.

For all these grim forecasts, people now in their 20s are remarkably optimistic. Arnett, who recently conducted a nationwide poll of the group, discovered that 77 percent still believe they will be better off than their parents. A Pew survey found that only 9 percent of young adults believe they won't be able to afford the lives they want. This combination of confidence in the face of historic uncertainty might seem confusing, but Arnett argues that optimistic boomerang kids might not be as blithely naïve as their parents imagine. Many are rejecting the Dilbertian goal of a steady, if unsatisfying, job for years of experimentation, even repeated failure, that eventually leads to a richly satisfying career. Sleeping in a twin bed under some old Avril Lavigne posters is not a sign of giving up; it's an economic plan. “Stop dumping on them because they need parental support," Arnett cautioned. “It doesn't mean they're lazy. It's just harder to make your way now than it was in an older and simpler economy." …


On to July and August next!


Be sure to check out all my college-related articles at College Confidential.

Written by

Dave Berry

Dave is co-founder of College Confidential and College Karma Consulting, co-author of America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and Other Top Schools, and has over 30 years of experience helping high schoolers gain admission to Ivy League and other ultra-selective schools. He is an expert in the areas application strategies, stats evaluation, college matching, student profile marketing, essays, personality and temperament assessments and web-based admissions counseling. Dave is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has won national awards for his writing on higher education issues, marketing campaigns and communications programs. He brings this expertise to the discipline of college admissions and his role as a student advocate. His College Quest newspaper page won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's Association Newspapers in Education Award, the Thomson Newspapers President's Award for Marketing Excellence and the Inland Press Association-University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Mass Communications Inland Innovation Award for the Best New Page. His pioneering journalism program for teenagers, PRO-TEENS, also received national media attention. In addition, Dave won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award for Celebrate Diversity!, a program teaching junior high school students about issues of tolerance. His College Knowledge question-and-answer columns have been published in newspapers throughout the United States. Dave loves Corvettes, classical music, computers, and miniature dachshunds. He and his wife Sharon have a daughter, son and four grandchildren.

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