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 Elite 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 logs into Facebook and posts on his wall: I did it. I am going to Elite College ...

December Snapshot: Self-Reported Test Scores

Rather than sending test scores directly through the College Board or ACT, students now have the option to self-report test scores at over 60 colleges.   Students who self-report test scores may list their scores on the college application or upload an unofficial score report, depending on the college's requirements. Once students enroll in the college, they must send the official test score ...

Stop the Insanity! Staying Sane During the College Admissions Process

With the November 1 early college deadline this week, the college application frenzy is going fast and furious. From filling out the Common Application to writing and rewriting essays to scheduling interviews, it is very easy for students (and parents) to get caught up in the flurry of activity that comes with the college admissions process. However, while a little stress during this process is unavoidable, ...

Early Decision and Early Action: What You Need to Know

If you are a senior in high school, you are most likely in the final stages of narrowing your college apply list. You may have noticed that some colleges offer early action and early decision deadlines. Before you decide on a decision plan, it is important to understand the benefits and disadvantages of early applications. Here are some frequently asked questions about early action and early decision: What ...

Every Essay Counts! How To Tackle the “Why This College?” Prompt

Many colleges ask a variation on the “Why do you want to attend our college question?” Their goal is to determine how well you know yourself and their college, if you have interests and ideas about what you want to gain from your college experience and to see if you are a good fit for the school. Keep these tips in mind as you write your “Why Us?” essay. 1. Be interesting.  Students applying ...

Revision and Editing: What Makes A College Essay Work?

So you have written a first draft of your college essay, and deep down you know it needs work. However, you are feeling a bit stuck because you find it really embarrassing to write about yourself. Plus, everyone keeps telling you that your essay must be personal, that it needs to SHOW not TELL, and that it needs to be interesting and grammatically correct. You know you need help, but where do you turn? ...

What You Need To Know About College-Specific Essays: Advice From Admissions Officers

Students spend lots of time and energy on their main common application essay or personal statement and sometimes rush through their college-specific supplemental essays without much thought or care. A recent presentation at the Independent Educational Consultants Association's national conference in Boston offered insight into the increasingly important role that supplemental essays now play in the ...

Tips for Getting Started on the Common Application

Before 1975, every college had a separate paper application that needed to be individually hand written or typed and sent via snail mail. The Common Application was introduced that year to provide a single application that could be completed once and sent to all schools.The Common Application has come a long way since then, and now includes over 700 college members’ individual questions and supplemental ...

Lessons From Early Applications: An Analysis of the Results to Date

With each admissions cycle, more and more students are opting to apply to a college under an early admissions plan. An astounding number of students are admitted early at some colleges and universities, sometimes leaving less than half the remaining spots for regular decision applications.Before we examine the implications of this data, here is a quick primer on the various early application options: ...

Researching Colleges in Four Steps

Even as the seniors continue the agonizing wait for their college admissions letters, juniors are starting to think about the college process. Winter and spring breaks and the summer before senior year are great times to visit colleges. However, before you sign up for a whirlwind, five-day, ten-campus tour, it is important to start researching colleges even before you book your plane tickets and plan ...
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