Spring 2023 Newsletter
Hi there First name / friend,
Spring is here, and new beginnings are underway! Here in the Bay Area, the seemingly endless rains of the last few months are finally giving way to sun, greener hillsides than we've seen in years, and a wildflower explosion.
Congratulations to the seniors in class of 2023 who are making decisions about next year! It has been so rewarding for me to work with my first cohort of students as an independent counselor. The ball is in their court now, as they visit, talk to admission officers, faculty and students, and decide where to enroll. Remember-- most colleges have a May 1 Candidate Reply Date, and you are expected to have just one deposit in place on that date.
My class of 2024 juniors are deep into the college research phase. It is always such a fun part of the process, as we explore new possibilities for their future, shaped by their input and feedback.
This month's newsletter has something for everyone. One new beginning this spring is the launch of my website blog. You'll see that many of these newsletter links point back to it. It's a great platform for me to share timely updates, and you can also find an archive of my past newsletters there. 
Here's a quick recap of what you'll find in the links above:
  • It's the time of the year for 11th graders to think about Teacher Recommendation Letters, and I put together the best advice for thinking through your options and making the ask! It's an opportunity to practice adult skills, and to demonstrate gratitude. Younger students can benefit from awareness of this step-- build relationships and engage productively and collaboratively in your classes so that teachers will find it easy to support you down the line!
  • Seniors who have chosen their college may find help in connecting with a future roommate on this site built by students at University of Michigan!
  • Forbes Magazine shares some takeaways from this year's admission cycle. Topics include test optional, early apps and deferrals, the new direct admission pathways, and the impact of ChatGPT.
  • Insights on curricular choice in building a transcript. Math and language are two of the most frequently discussed disciplines, and I share a look at how they are assessed in admission offices.
  • Seniors who are pursuing a waitlist offer can find a complete set of tips on managing that uncertain outcome in my overview, compiled from years of experience and knowledge of current admission practice.
  • I offer a few (more) thoughts on selectivity, rankings, and mindset around college choice in response to the frenzy around a football conference. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about (re-)framing high school and the college ritual as opportunities for personal growth and affirmation, rather than a stressed race to make decisions in pursuit of outcomes that are not controllable. Look for more practical advice on this topic in the months ahead.
Finally, I have two big announcements:
  • I am letting my subscribers be the first to know that this spring I am offering a limited-time offer to jumpstart an 11th grader's search by providing a customized starter college list. I don't plan to offer this in the future! Details at the link-- you'll also see an email about this package soon, which you can forward to a high school junior in need of a boost in their college search.
  • My clients and subscribers are also the first to know that I'm moving MSquared HQ to Upstate New York this summer! This move has no impact on my students elsewhere in the country and outside the US. I am looking forward to settling in a vibrant college town and offering in-person counseling options to local clients, while continuing my primary practice through video conferencing.
I am grateful that as my practice and referrals grow, I have a great group of juniors currently on board. There are a few spaces left on my docket to onboard soon and have a healthily paced research and application process. Starting our conversation before the summer allows for more time exploring options and getting to know each other!
Families with students in grades 8-10 can also begin a comprehensive advising package now. We'll schedule regular check-ins to discuss course selection, extracurricular engagement, test prep, summers, and other topics related to making the most of high school and preparing for a low-stress college search. I really enjoy getting to know these young people and building a rapport with them ahead of the college conversation.
Follow the links for all this month's insights, and share with your friends!
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Spurring you on,
Mark Moody
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