College Confidential 2020 in review

I’ll get the “hindsight is 2020” joke out right away. Very few things went as planned last year and College Confidential was no exception. Look no further than the top 5 threads (by total posts) in 2020:

title posts
School in the 2020-2021 Academic Year & Coronavirus (Part 1) 17940
Coronavirus in the US 12484
Coronavirus: What are You doing ( if anything) to prepare/ What are you personally observing? 7735
Coronavirus May 2020 - Observations, information, discussion 5352
Thread for BSMD 2020-2021 Applicants 4719

Other than the very popular pre-med thread, the hot topic was Coronavirus. Clearly health was on our minds last year. The pandemic changed also the way colleges operate from decision dates to whether any in-person classes would be offered. CC jumped into action to help students and their parents get the information they need in topics such as:

The other big event on the forums was a new platform. While we haven’t completely settled in, we’ve already seen improved metrics. One encouraging trend: people are spending more time reading threads on average than in the past. In 2021, we expect to make the forums even more useful for people who are going through the process of selecting and applying for schools. And, of course, we treasure the smart conversations going on about all sorts of topics.

In other ways, the forums are continuing as normal. Here are the most popular categories by new threads created last year:

threads posts category
3799 26575 College Search & Selection
3281 16483 College Admissions
1329 7933 What Are My Chances?
927 8924 Financial Aid & Scholarships
815 77621 Parent Cafe

These categories are the core of our mission to foster a community dedicated to helping students and their families achieve their higher education goals. And that’s our plan for 2021 and beyond. No matter what the future holds, we’ll keep working to improve College Confidential as a forum and as resource. Thank you for being part of this endeavor.

I’d love to hear your perspective on 2020 in the replies below.

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Good post.

Yes, it’s been a tricky year. I am a daily user of this site who both posts and moderates.

As an old timer who has been through the process with two kids, I can say that my heart really goes out to all the parents and students who had to get through not only the pandemic, but also a very confusing college application cycle. Just wow. Hats off to all of you who are hopefully sitting on a couple of acceptances and good luck to those still waiting.

As a moderator, the most noticeable issue we had to deal with was angry posts directed towards others. It’s understandable, given that people were on edge, worried, scared, and dealing with myriad problems apart from college stuff. I don’t know if everyone has gotten things out of their system, but this site is certainly much calmer than it was in March-June. It wasn’t easy moderating last year, for sure.

My perspective overall is that I can’t wait until 2020 is quite a ways behind me in the rear view mirror.

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I’m curious as to the activity level of the 50+ schools listed under Musical Theatre Schools. The main forum listing show “1/month”. Is that correct?

I used to visit multiple times each day, and spent long periods of time at night going through threads.

After things got a bit heavy handed, and the slow-motion-train-wreck platform change played out, I’ve become an occasional visitor.

It’s too bad.

I don’t know anything about the MT listings, sorry. Maybe @CCadmin_Jon has more info about that.

It is accurate. I do think we should consider merging some of these categories together. It’s not my top priority at the moment, however.

It’s been wonderful to get to know the moderators last year and I’m glad to know things have calmed down for you. There were moments in the summer where I wondered how you all maintained your composure. Thankfully we have a great moderator team. I neglected to mention that we added five new moderators in 2020, including @Lindagaf!

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Well, there is a reason why the individual forums for MT schools has such little traffic. In recent years, when the forum went through one of its overhauls, they eliminated the yellow dots by the individual MT school forums that indicated that new posts were posted. Those forums used to be quite active but once the yellow dot notifications went away that there were new posts, people didn’t want to bother to open each and every MT school subform to determine if there were new posts. So, things reverted back to REALLY OLD days before those subforums existed and people would create threads on an individual school right inside the MT forum general forum itself. And that was too bad.

Secondarily, the whole MT Forum which was extremely active daily, is much less so this year with the forum change. I have been on CC for 18.5 years and have been active in that forum to notice these changes.

I want to add that I really hope that the MT Forum is not merged with something else. While activity is way down since CC changed, this has been the best online MT college admissions site online.

I don’t care that much but was curious who the other 4 added moderators were. When I click your link I get a message that says “Oops! That page doesn’t exist or is private.”

As to @lindagaf’s comment that there were tempers flaring, I think you are right about it being the year. First, we are dealing with our kids, so everyone is probably a bit overly defensive. But more importantly I think lots of people, myself included, are just starting every day in a low level angry state. I think I speak for the world when I say I’m really over Covid and all the havoc it has wreaked on my life the last 10 months. I have to keep myself in check (here but more IRL) and keep things in perspective. It does not take as much to set me off as it used to. I’m not proud of that and working on it.

Thanks for being a moderator.

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New link

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