#100 Can You Really Trust What Colleges Say Matters in Admission? with Rebecca Stuart-Orlowski, David Blobaum, and Becky Priest

In this episode, Lisa, Rebecca, David, and Becky discuss:

  • A critique of the information and misinformation of the latest NACAC Annual Survey of Colleges. 
  • The role of ACT and SAT scores even beyond the admissions process. 
  • The impact of Institutional Priorities in the admission of students.
  • Colleges have differing expectations for various majors, including highly competitive majors. 
  • Whether the ability to pay affects students’ admission rates.

Key Takeaways: 

  • To understand what schools seek for admissions, the common data set is more important than the NACAC survey for the colleges your student is considering.
  • The survey does not reflect admission by major but is critical for your student to understand.
  • College is more than just getting in; it is also about affording college. 
  • Test-optional admissions help the most wealthy students and the least wealthy students. It hurts those in the middle class the most. 
  • Institutional priorities, like the ability to pay, influence admission but are not covered in the survey.


We always have to take these surveys with a grain of salt. I encourage families to do their homework, to work with professionals, or to work closely with their school counselor to understand the nuances of college admissions because until things change, it continues to be very opaque.” – Rebecca Stuart-Orlowski


About Becky Priest:

Becky Priest is the College Counselor at The Cambridge School, where she has overseen the design and build-out of their college counseling program. She also has over 20 years of college financial aid experience at all levels. She is currently serving on the Classic Learning Test’s Board of Academic Advisors.


About David Blobaum:

David Blobaum is a nationally recognized expert on standardized exams and college admissions. He graduated from the University of Chicago with honors. He co-founded and runs 1Summit Prep, a supplemental education company that specializes in SAT and ACT tutoring, and he is the Director of Outreach for the National Test Prep Association, which advocates for the appropriate use of standards in college admissions.


About Rebecca Stuart-Orlowski:

Rebecca Stuart-Orlowski has been an educational consultant specializing in profoundly gifted, 2E, advanced STEM, and homeschooled students for 11 years. She has a Specialized Certificate in College Counseling, a BA in Communicative Disorders, and 2 teaching credentials, Multiple Subjects w/ a Multicultural Emphasis & Communicatively Handicapped. She taught deaf, deaf/blind, LD, and 2E students for 4 years. She’s a member of IECA, cochair of the IECA Homeschool Affinity Group, and a member of NACAC and WACAC. 




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Connect with Rebecca:

Facebook: facebook.com/OrlowskiCollegeConsulting 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/rebeccastuartorlowski

Email: r.orlowski.consulting@gmail.com 


Connect with David:

Website: davidblobaum.com

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/david-blobaum/

X: twitter.com/David_Blobaum 


Connect with Becky:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/becky-priest-458b204b 

Website: cambridgeclassical.org 


Connect with Lisa:

Website: flourishcoachingco.com

YouTube: youtube.com/@flourishcoachingco

Instagram: instagram.com/flourishcoachingco

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/flourish-coaching-co

Access the episode transcript here