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What you need to know about test optional admissions

“Colleges will be test optional again this year, so I don’t have to worry about tests, right?”

In our practice we are asked a variation on this question frequently, and the answer is complicated.  First some background: virtually every college and university in the USA, as well as many international institutions, offered test-optional policies for the 2020-2021 application year due to Covid-related test cancellations, and it is looking like the trend will continue for 2021-2022…

Student sitting down with mentor/tutor

Why Mentors Matter In College

When students have a mentor during college they are twice as likely to be successful after graduation—reporting more engagement at work and scoring high on other measures of well-being. The Chronicle For Higher Education reported on a book by Hamilton College Sociology Professor Dan Chambliss who followed more than 100 Hamilton students during and after college to determine which aspects of their undergraduate years really made a difference long term. Relationships matter…

building at Harvard

Admissions chaos for high school class of 2021

Covid-19 turned the college application season upside down for current high school seniors. Tests were cancelled, student motivation was down, applications per student are up, and overall it may be a year where fewer students apply to college. The numbers of early applications to selective schools that admit less than 20 percent skyrocketed resulting in lower admission rates than the already minuscule rates of year’s past.

This chart shows the percent increase in early

Student with laptop in bed

Time to Plan Your Summer!

Summer is a great time to learn new skills, further develop one of your interests or gain work experience. Even though many programs have gone virtual or will have some modifications, there are plenty of opportunities to explore. It is not too early to start researching now. Here are a few ideas to get you started. (For more on summer program deadlines as well as summer jobs and internships, check out our previous post here.)

  1. Develop Your Creative Abilities. Grub Street in Boston
Procrastinating students

You Have Submitted Your Applications, Now What?

While it’s true that most of your work is done for your college applications, keep in mind that your actions and decisions in the months ahead can still affect the admission decision.

Even after you have been accepted to college, be sure to avoid senioritis.
  1. Keep Your Grades Up. Colleges will get a copy of your midyear report, which will show your senior-year grades at the end of the first semester or term. Avoid senioritis: Colleges do not view it favorably. You should not only carry

College Research: 5 Tips For Evaluating Fit

If you are a high school junior beginning your college search, you have probably perused a guide book such as The Fiske Guide To Colleges, visited college websites and maybe even logged into a popular college review site such as Niche or Unigo. If you find that many of the college descriptions are starting to sound similar and you aren’t sure what to look for, you are not alone. Here are five tips for getting the most out of your college research.

  1. Check the List of Majors. This seems
college students embrace

College Decisions: Be Proud of Yourself, But Be Gracious Too!

At 5 p.m. on December 15th, Tim logs into the account that he created when he applied to Early College just as he was instructed to do. He has been waiting for this moment for a long time, and he fervently hopes he will be admitted. The decision is there–and the first word he reads is Congratulations. Tim is in. He posts to social media: I did it. I am going to Early College next year!

Across town Reid has also logged into his account for the same college. However, the news isn’t promising.…

Alert: Summer Program Deadlines

It may seem very early to plan your summer activities, especially considering the uncertainties of Covid-19, but many programs anticipate opening this summer perhaps with some modifications. Students should check back for updates on the status of programs while also being aware that some popular summer programs have very early deadlines and interviews for coveted positions begin as early as January. Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Apply for A Summer Job. Work experience

Researching Colleges in Four Steps

Even as the seniors begin the agonizing wait for their college admissions letters, juniors are starting to think about the college process. In the absence of in-person campus visits, devoting  a couple of hours to researching colleges will help you evaluate which colleges meet your criteria for your colleges search, and, if live campus visits open up again, this research will help you decide which colleges to visit.

Get a Good Guidebook: Although a lot of information is readily…

Science center with students

Navigating A College Website: 10 Tips for Getting the Answers You Seek

Most college websites are chock full of useful information if you know what to look for. Whether you are a junior just beginning your research or a senior starting to analyze admissions offers, these tips might help you get some answers.

1. News You Can Use – Look at the news on the home page to see if the college seems like a lively, active place. It’s a positive sign if faculty, alumni and student work and research are highlighted and if interesting guests are visiting campus (or doing…

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