“Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” 

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear Arete Families:
We are sending warm wishes for health and wellness to you and your loved ones. Our seniors, born into 9/11 and now facing a global pandemic their senior year epitomize resilience, grit, and courage. We would like to take a moment to acknowledge their hard-won accomplishments.

Here is Arete's Class of 2024:

American University
Amherst College
Babson College
Barnard College
Boston College
Boston University
Brandeis University
Brown University
Bucknell University
California Institute of Technology
Carnegie Mellon University
Claremont Mckenna College
Colgate University
Colorado College
Columbia University
Connecticut College
Cornell University
CUNY Macaulay Honors College
Drexel University
Duke University
Emory University
Florida State University 
Fordham University
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Hamilton College
Harvard University
Harvey Mudd College
Hunter College 
Indiana University
Johns Hopkins University
Kenyon College
Lafayette College
Lehigh University 
London School of Economics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
McGill University
Middlebury College
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Notre Dame University
Oberlin College
Pomona College

Princeton University
Rice University
Rollins College
Skidmore College
Stanford University
SUNY at Albany
SUNY at Buffalo
SUNY Binghamton
SUNY College at Oneonta
SUNY New Paltz
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Swarthmore College
Syracuse University
Temple University
The College of William and Mary
Tufts University
Tulane University
University of California - Berkeley
University of California - Los Angeles
University of California - Santa Barbara
University of Cambridge
University of Chicago
University of Illinois 
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
University of Miami (Herbert Business School)
University of Michigan (Ross School of Business)
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Business School)
University of Rochester 
University of Southern California
University of St. Andrews
University of Texas - Austin
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Villanova University
Wake Forest University
Washington and Lee University
Washington University - St. Louis
Wellesley College
Wesleyan University
Williams College
Do You Need Help Making a Decision? 
Student visit days have unfortunately been canceled due to Coronavirus. Many schools, such as George Mason University and Williams College have responded by extending their deposit deadlines to June 1st.

We expect that more schools will follow suit to allow admitted students to consider new financial circumstances and to conduct research outside of a traditional campus visit. 
We know that this makes the  decision making process challenging, especially for students who haven't had a chance to visit however, here are our recommendations to help with the decision: 

  • Attend virtual admissions events such as “webinars” or live chats. Check your email and visit the admissions page for information on admitted students events. 
  • Like many of us, colleges and universities have built up strong networks and communities in digital spaces. We highly recommend that students explore these accounts and sites, such as their admissions page, their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 
  • Check out Youtube for “Day in the Life” vlogs from students. 
  • Reach out to any friends or friends of friends who currently attend or recently graduated. Don’t be afraid to speak to people you don’t know very well. People are understanding of the need to adjust to the current limitations due to the Coronavirus, plus people often enjoy talking about their college experience!

Withstanding the Waiting Game: What to Do if Waitlisted

Though it may not feel like it, a waitlist offer is something to be proud of because it shows you were and are considered a strong candidate for admission! Stay positive! If you receive a waitlist offer, it is best to respond as soon as possible, either accepting or declining a spot on the list. If you have decided you want to remain on the waitlist, the opportunity to prove yourself awaits. 

Nota Bene: Just as some decision deadlines have been amended, waitlist dates will likely be extended as well. Many schools will receive decisions from admitted students later than usual, so notification about the waitlist will likely follow suit. Be patient! 

Here are some steps to take: 

Reach Out to the Admissions Office.

Convey your appreciation for the admission officer’s time during these difficult circumstances as well as your wishes for their health and wellness. Emphasize your commitment to their school. Let them know that if accepted, you will attend. Take the opportunity to share more of yourself with the admissions office, if you have any skills or areas of knowledge you are cultivating during this period of quarantine. 

Tip: Do NOT say how disappointed you are that you are waitlisted. Rather, tell the admissions office that you are grateful to still be considered.

Send an Additional Letter of Recommendation.

Ask your school’s college counselor to call the admissions office of your chosen college and have them express your commitment to attending. It is beneficial to supplement your application with an additional letter of recommendation; ask another teacher to send a strong letter on your behalf. If you have already asked the teachers who know you best for a recommendation, seek out an employer or mentor.  You can also send a peer letter or if you know a student who attends the college you are waitlisted at, ask them to write a letter on your behalf.  Make sure that the person understands the importance of this letter and note that they should highlight examples of good character, leadership, and intelligence.
Keep Your Grades Up.  

Keep your grades up or do what you can to improve them, despite the changes in schooling. Even if you do not receive typical grades during this period, you should strive to prove that you are a hard worker.
Demonstrate Continued Commitment to Your Passions.
Even though you cannot demonstrate a commitment to your clubs or teams in the same way this semester, you should think creatively about ways to remain engaged. Colleges prefer students who follow through and remain consistent. Check out our “Call for Creativity” below. 

Feel free to reach out to Arete if you need help with your waitlist strategy at 917.826.4460.

Advice for Rising Seniors

A Call For Creativity
The spring and summer of junior year are often periods filled with extracurricular activities, community service, and other events and projects that help students stand out as applicants. We feel for our students who are deeply disappointed they will not be able to see their sports seasons, theater productions, or community service projects to fruition. It is important to acknowledge this disappointment while finding the motivation to explore outside-of-the-box opportunities. 
It will be pivotal to your application strength to highlight your flexibility, ingenuity, and leadership. How can you continue to engage with organizations or social issues you care about while at home? How can you take your skills to the next level? Most importantly, how can you be of service to others at this time of severe hardship? 

Get Creative! 
  • Reach out to Senior Living Facilities to see how you might be able to ease the effects of social isolation on the residents
  • Organize virtual meetings for your clubs and community service groups
  • Lead virtual workouts and training exercises for your sports team
  • Challenge yourself with a free Ivy League Course on Coursera or EdX.
  • Start a blog  (cooking, poetry, yoga, service, fashion, sports)
  • Build a digital gallery for your artwork
  • Write training guides for new volunteers for your community service organization of choice
  • Conduct a virtual fundraising campaign or collect donations for any of these incredible organizations:
    • NYC Hospitals
    • Local and International Organizations
      • Feeding America and its network of food banks are continuing to provide food to people in need during these times of uncertainty.
      • As the global leader in child-focused humanitarian response, Save the Children mobilized immediately to provide support, including medical supplies and preparedness training to the most vulnerable region impacted by coronavirus. Save the Children is working around the clock to keep children healthy, safe and protected.
      • Take action to help the World Health Organization detect, prevent and respond to the coronavirus by giving to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
      • Taste of Tribeca Community Fund is buying meals from Taste of Tribeca participating restaurants, to feed entire shifts primarily at NY Presbyterian Lower Manhattan.
      • International Medical Corps - Provides training to frontline healthcare workers, deploys medicine and supplies, creates epidemic resource teams, and deploys screening and triage stations around the world in conjunction with the World Health Organization. 
      • Doctors Without Borders - Provides medical care where it is needed most worldwide. 
      • Sheltering Arms - Emergency fund established to support the critical needs of New York City’s most underserved families and children. 
      • City Harvest - Feeds children, families, and all of our neighbors in need during the pandemic.
      • The Bowery Mission - Provides shelter, food, and clothing to homeless or food-insecure New Yorkers. Includes Amazon wish list of most critically needed items that can ship directly to their facility. 

Standardized Testing

Arete has been inundated with calls regarding what to do with canceled tests, future college requirements and so on. Policies are changing daily so feel free to contact our office if you have any questions. As of today (April 3, 2020) the testing policies are as follows:

Advanced Placement exams will be offered virtually this year. The take-home exams will be in essay response format and only cover material traditionally taught between September and February. While Arete tutors are helping students prepare virtually for AP’s, it is also important to know that Collegeboard is offering free, live AP review lessons to help students prepare for their take-home examination. This can be a wonderful resource for families who are saving money on tutoring right now or who want more information.

If you’re having trouble holding yourself responsible, pair up with a fellow classmate, or enlist the help of a friend to check in as an accountability partner. By being organized, proactive, and self-aware, you can get the most from your online class even when life outside of school becomes chaotic.


Currently, assuming school is back in session in the fall, the 2020-2021 admissions cycle will likely see increased weight given to senior fall grades, as this spring’s grades will be less heavily weighted for all applicants. This means that seniors will have to carefully manage the application process and their academics. Many schools are offering PASS/FAIL rather than letter grades. This does NOT mean that students should shirk their academic responsibilities. Teacher recommendations will be increasingly important and how you handle online school will be noted. So keep your grades up and your commitment and integrity intact.

The College Admissions Process

The first thing to remember as you begin the college process during this time is that an overwhelming majority of applicants are facing the same challenges and changes. That being said, selectivity is not going to loosen up.  Seniors should use the summer months to work on their college applications. The Common Application opens on August 1st. Supplemental essay questions will also be released at this time. We recommend that students solidify their college list and prepare their personal essay in June and July and then begin working on supplemental essays in August. Please reach out to us if you would like to build a schedule or if you need help strategizing on essays. 

Tutor Spotlight: Sally B

Sally is one of our long-term tutors. She moved to the UK in 2018 to continue her studies in health, medicine and society at the University of Cambridge, where she currently lives and works in cancer research. Prior to her Cambridge studies, Sally majored in English Literature and Global Health & Health Policy at Princeton University. Upon graduating with honors, she pursued pre-medical studies at Columbia University. 

Sally is currently offering one-on-one and group sessions. She tutors students in biology, chemistry, English, French, history, and a range of standardized tests (SAT, SATII, GRE). Her group sessions are science-focused, and she will soon begin teaching a course from Cambridge called ‘Lakes to Labs’.  The course will explore biology and chemistry concepts, elucidating the molecules, procedures, and processes that link nature to science and medicine.

To sign up or receive more information,  please reach out to Lyndsey, our tutor coordinator, at 774.571.5691, LyndseyL@areteeducation.com

Sally's Subjects: English, Writing, Literature, History, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, Group Science Classes, French, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests (Math 1, Math 2C, Biology, Chemistry, Physics), GRE, LSAT, MCAT.

Wishing you health,

Nikki Geula (CEO) & The Arete Education Team

- College, Graduate and School Advising - 
- Academic and Standardized Test Prep -
- Tutoring -

Phone: 917.826.4460
Email: Arete@AreteEducation.com

Lyndsey Lewis, Tutor Coordinator: 774.571.5691

Copyright © Arete Educational Consulting, All rights reserved.

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