Remember when we were all little and played the game telephone? We sat in a circle. The teacher or whoever was the counselor, game leader, etc. whispered into the first person’s ear and that first person was to pass on to the second person the ‘secret’? Then that person whispered into the next person’s ear, then to the next…
When that ‘secret’ came to the last person, that last person divulged the secret and the counselor stated what the original statement was. It was lightyears from what the original statement was. Guess what? We still play that game, but yet in a different way.
This seems to happen in the college application process with parents and students. We, as IECs, spend approximately ⅓ of our time researching with each individual student. Sometimes we can get all the answers, sometimes we do not. Sometimes, the answers are at our fingertips, sometimes the answers are elusive. We know these last few years have been in turmoil with test optional, a whopping number of applications at high profile universities, etc. and this is where rumors are abundant. Some US universities interpret international transcripts differently- one university has been downgrading IGCSEs during COVID, others have been taking them at face value. I can just hear the chatter because one university is doing this, maybe all are. The point being, check your sources. This is what we, as IECs do, we check our sources.
Here is a great example. I heard that one university, a fabulous one I love, is cutting back their freshman class because it was oversubscribed last year. Truth or rumor? Do I take that from at face value, or do I follow up with a call to admissions? I followed up with the university and it was, in fact, a rumor.
Students and parents call all the time with, “I heard from so and so that University of Hogwarts is changing their requirements to include standardized testing, I heard it from my hair dresser.” Viable source? Well, sometimes it is. I love my hairdresser, I couldn’t go out in public without him. But, when parents come from a cocktail party after discussing ‘trends’ and whispering in our ears, we do cross check our sources. When students come to us and let us know what a student says from perhaps another school, we will cross check our sources. This is all the same as the childhood game of Telephone. Parents, students, you can also crosscheck your sources.
And remember the old adage, don’t believe everything you hear.