COLLEGE STARTER Newsletter and Blog 

April 29, 2019 

Featured Article

The Fear (of Not Getting In)

 

Beginning in April of each school year, I sit down with my juniors for their first official college meetings. However, before they step onto the proverbial diving board and prepare to dive headfirst into the college admissions process, something invariably stops them from launching into the waters below: Fear!

 

It has become a running theme during my conversations with my students, this fear that threatens to destroy their dreams: They will be the one student in the school that gets denied from every college they apply to.

 

What I have come to realize is that this fear-of-not-getting-in exists within virtually every student, from the valedictorian on down. So, during our first-sit down, and even before getting into those sizable conversations about what type of colleges they might be interested in, Fear needs to be put to bed.

 

There is a great misconception, a myth even, that it is difficult to get into college. At the risk of sounding flippant, it’s not. In fact, out of approximately 5,000 colleges in the country, a good amount of the 1500+ two-year community colleges are open enrollment, meaning all a student needs to do to get in is simply apply. Another 500+ four-year colleges have selectivity rates between 75% - 100%. This includes household names such as the University of Colorado Boulder, St. Bonaventure College and the University of Arizona.

 

The root of this misconception can be found with those other household names, the Yale’s and Stanford’s of the world, whose minuscule acceptance rates skew the reality of college acceptance rates in general. To be clear, it is extraordinarily difficult, shockingly so in fact, to get into the country’s most prestigious colleges. Students from around the globe are getting denied at a clip of 95% from these schools. For the number one ranked student at any given high school in the country, Harvard is a reach. So let’s just put those colleges in a different category for the time being because frankly, they are. 

 

For now, let’s settle up with the Fear. The first thing I tell my student, the one sitting in front of me a pained half-smile fixed on her face, is that she will get into college. Multiple colleges. Guaranteed. And then I explain how we can ensure that:

 

  1. By creating a balanced list of 6-8 schools that fit both their wants and needs. The ideal list should consist of:

    • 3-4 targets

    • 2 safe targets

    • 1-2 reaches

 

Creating a college list deserves thoughtfulness and diligence. Students should involve their parent/guardian, accept input from their counselor, and be sure that their final list includes the categories mentioned above. Follow this blueprint and the student should end up with multiple colleges to choose from when the acceptance letters have finished coming in.

 

2. By staying focused, setting and meeting checkpoint goals, e.g. “Complete final copy of the college essay by September 15th.” Students who keep pace with their goals will stay ahead of the process, keep deadlines at bay, greatly reduce stress levels, and ultimately produce stronger application packages.

 

3. By staying within themselves. If a student’s dream school is Vanderbilt University and they are a 3.0 GPA student who has never taken an AP or Honors course their entire high school career even though their school offers 18 of them, my strong advice is to take a pass, not a chance. Their time is better spent finding right-fit colleges that align with their transcript.

 

4. By loving their safe-target. If a student’s dream school is the University of Michigan, but it’s a reach, go for it! Work hard, however, to find that same – or similar! – love for a couple safe options.

 

Students, hear me out. The important thing to remember is that colleges are as interested in you as you are in them. Although the process can often feel completely one-sided, I assure you that colleges are looking for unique, thoughtful, civic-minded, enthusiastic learners who can bring diverse personalities, thought-provoking ideas, advocacy, and a sense of empowerment to their campus. They are looking for you!

 

Lastly, remember, you are not alone. Ask your friend at lunch or your lab partner in class, “Hey, do you have this fear that you won’t get into any colleges?” I can almost guarantee they feel the same way you do. Then go speak to your counselor and I know what they will tell you: “You will get into college. Multiple colleges. Guaranteed.”

April 4, 2019 

Featured Post

 

I Don’t Care About Harvard or Yale and Neither Should You

Before I start, let me be completely transparent. I am privileged. I am a white male who grew up decidedly middle class. I went to college and earned a Master’s degree. My parents have been married for 54 years. I have never experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. I have never witnessed domestic violence and there is no history of substance abuse or mental illness in my family. No one in my family has ever been incarcerated.

 

I am the definition of white privilege.

 

Yet, the latest college admissions scandal has hit home for me professionally, as a school counselor at a large public high school in a diverse, urban school district. So much has been written these last few weeks about the inequity, the unfairness, the racialized norms and continuous institutionalization of our young people of color that we can now officially confirm what we already knew: the uber-selective colleges, i.e. < 10% selectivity rate, are truly only accessible to the top 1% of the top 1%.

 

So as educators, parents, and high school students, why are we still talking about Harvard and Yale as if their decisions somehow legitimately affects any one of us? It is like me sitting in the stands at a Major League Baseball game and getting emotionally heated over a game I cannot control. None of us spectators are playing and we aren’t getting into the game anytime soon. Deep breaths, this isn’t about you.

 

You want the truth? The odds of any college applicant getting into Harvard or Yale or Penn are slim to none. Valedictorians across the country spend their entire lives going for the gold only to be rejected in one fell swoop by all of the Ivies on Ivy decision day. Frankly, the way that the Ivies coordinate their decisions, as if their renderings ought to be recognized as a national holiday simply so they can deliver a roundhouse gut-punch to 35,000 teenagers, is abhorrent.

 

Which brings me to my real point. With so many terrific four-year colleges spread throughout the country, why then do we continue to focus on the select few that consistently treat even our best and brightest so poorly? Why do major news outlets continue to beat readers over the head with story after story about the same few colleges, only adding to the college admissions hysteria in the process? Why, when so many other institutions are offering a terrific education with less fanfare while getting the same results, are we forced to pontificate the goings-on at campuses almost no viable applicant will see or get to know without a visitor’s pass? We are better off reading stories about Bigfoot; at least we will be entertained.

 

When Frank Bruni wrote his book Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, he set out to debunk the myth that one had to go to an elite college in order to achieve high levels of professional success. What he found was that there are countless leaders across industry who graduated from excellent-to-ho-hum colleges, enjoyed them, and still went on to have vast professional success. Go to any section of the New York Times this week and you will find a who’s who list of individuals who obtained their undergraduate degrees from colleges that do not have admissions rates in the teens. Kamala Harris, senator and presidential hopeful (Howard University), Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice (Holy Cross), Logan Green, Co-Founder of Lyft (University of California, Santa Barbara), Bret Easton Ellis, bestselling author (Bennington College), and the list goes on.

 

I am tired of talking about, reading about, and answering questions about Harvard and Yale. Let’s discuss Le Moyne and Ithaca or Penn State or Fordham. Are you interested in super selective colleges that also admit students at a reasonable rate? Then let’s talk about Bucknell and Carleton, the University of Richmond and NYU, Boston University and Trinity. Let’s talk about all of the amazing colleges, dotting the country, offering supreme educations in every corner of every state.

 

But for me I would just rather not talk anymore about Harvard or Yale or the handful of other alien spaceships that will almost certainly never land on our students’ front lawn, because to be honest, I don’t care about Harvard or Yale and neither should you.

 

February 3, 2019 

Featured Advice

 

Pay close attention to a college’s Retention Rate.

Why? Think about this: What can we infer about the general satisfaction of its student body if a college’s retention rate is 40%? Hint: More than half of the students are dissatisfied enough that they don’t return after freshman year. There can be many reasons for this, e.g. financial hardship, they don’t feel supported by faculty and staff, they aren’t being challenged, they don’t feel safe, etc. For whatever the reason, 6 out of 10 students aren’t returning and for any potential applicant this should be a huge red flag. Retention Rate is among the first data points that I tell my students to look at when they are researching colleges. Anything below 70% should warrant real pause.

College Admissions in the News

 

Does It Matter Where You Go to College?

 

"The simplest answer to the question “Do elite colleges matter?” is: It depends on who you are." Read more.

 

Who's going to review your college applications – a committee or a computer?

 

How do algorithms impact college applications? Learn how some schools may use artificial intelligence to help streamline the admissions process.

 

How do Juniors Prepare for the College Application Process

 

Eleventh grade is a crucial year when it comes to applying for college. Juniors can get help with these 11 tips on what to do throughout the year, from reviewing test scores to creating college lists. Learn more.

 

The Meaning of College Acceptance Rates

 

College acceptance rates can be disconcerting for students, especially if they are interested in attending a top-tier school. Understanding selectivity rates and putting them in perspective by considering the number of applicants can help. Read on.

 

Upcoming college fairs

 

Below are a couple of links showing the college fairs that are happening locally this spring. Lots of great opportunities to connect with regional admissions reps

 

Westchester-Putnam College Conferences

College Fairs New York

January 17, 2019 

 

Featured Advice

 

I’ve been deferred, now what?

Getting deferred from one of your top-choice colleges can be deflating, but all is not lost, you are still very much in the game! Take these tips on how to attack your deferral:

 

1.      Find out who your regional admissions rep is and send them an email. It’s a way to remind your admissions officer that you exist and that "X school” really is your first choice.

2.      Don’t have sour grapes; be polite and positive

3.      Short and sweet. For example:

“Good morning, Ms. ___________,

 

I was recently deferred at “X school” and while I am disappointed, I remain hopeful that I will ultimately be admitted as “X school” remains among my top choices. If you are interested in seeing any of my current grades or have any questions about what I have been up to this fall/winter, please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.” 

 

College Admissions in the News

 

Upcoming college fairs

 

Below are a couple of links showing the college fairs that are happening locally this spring. Lots of great opportunities to connect with regional admissions reps

 

Westchester-Putnam College Conferences

College Fairs New York

 

How ‘Micro-Internships’ Could Make All Types of Students More Employable

 

Time and again when speaking with admissions reps they tell me that employers are looking for college graduates with work experience and strong soft skills. Gaining internship experiences in college is imperative as a jumpstart to your career. Love this micro-internship concept from Parker DeweyClick here.

 

Test-optional Does Not Mean Test Blind

 

When colleges look at a student’s application, they are looking at grades first and foremost. After that, they will look at course rigor, SAT/ACT scores, the college essay, extracurricular activities, and recommendation letters. If a student decides not to submit SAT/ACT scores, the college will take a harder look at their cumulative grades.See more.

 

Popularity of Early Decision Continues to Grow

 

Early Decision application plans used to be a powerful tool for students to use as an early indicator of demonstrated interest and to lessen the stress of an elongated application season. To some degree, selective colleges have weaponized the application plan, essentially strong-arming students into applying ED if they want to have a realistic chance of getting accepted. Learn more here.

 

Hampshire College Potential Shutdown: A Shot at the Bow on "Middle Class" Private Colleges

 

Other lesser-known schools have been bought or folded into larger universities, e.g. Mt. Ida/UMass, Amherst, but Hampshire College potentially shutting down or merging with another institution is eye-opening. It’s a sign that the “middle class” private schools could be getting eaten up by the more selective schools and the state schools. Click here.

July 16, 2018 

 

Featured Advice

 

The Common Application Goes Live August 1!

 

… But that doesn’t mean that you have to wait to begin filling it out! The Common Application rollover allows students to begin answering the questions in the seven sections of the “Common App” tab: Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities, Writing and Courses.

 

Have these items ready when starting in order to make the process as seamless and simple as possible:

 

  1. Copy of your high school transcript

  2. List of senior year courses

  3. School counselor name and all contact information

  4. Standardized test scores and dates

  5. Parent/guardian educational history and occupation/employer information

  6. Sibling grade level and educational information

  7. Completed extracurricular activities profile

 

Have a downward trend or some inconsistencies in your transcript?

Would you like to explain in more detail an activity in your extracurricular profile?

 

Use the Additional Info space in the Writing section of the Common Application to bullet some of this “additional” info. As the College Essay Guy professes, “This is maybe the most underutilized space on the Common App.”

 

Interested in learning more about the Additional Info space on the Common Application? Check out my free live online video workshop on August 28.

 

June 15, 2018 

 

Featured Advice

The worst thing that a rising senior can do this summer is nothing at all.

 

With junior year behind you and no other academic obligations on the calendar, the summer is the optimal time to work on college applications. Create and begin filling out the Common Application, prepare for an additional SAT or ACT exam, visit colleges, complete your college essay, are all examples of checklist items that all college bound rising seniors should be working on this summer. For a more exhaustive college timeline for 9th – 12th graders, click here.

 

College Admissions in the News

A couple of days ago, the ACT and the College Board today released new concordance tables that allow users to compare scores from the new SAT® test (redesigned in 2016) and the ACT® test.

 

The 2018 ACT/SAT concordance tables, derived from a joint comprehensive research study conducted by the two organizations over the past nine months, are based on scores of nearly 600,000 graduating seniors in the class of 2017 who took both tests. See table here.

 

What Worries You Most About the College Admissions Process? Unvarnished Tales of Getting Into College in the U.S.

 

The good, the bad and the ugly of college admissions in the United State: With the admissions process in the rearview mirror, college-bound high school seniors tell all. Read more.

 

650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

 

Here is a list that touches on everything from sports to travel, education, gender roles, video games, fashion, family, pop culture, social media and more. Click here.

 

Should Your Teenager Work This Summer?

 

Three reasons why yes.

 

Does Saving For College Mean You Will Get Less Financial Aid?

 

True or false? The richer you are, the less you’ll receive in financial aid. This statement is generally true. But if you know the rules of the game, saving for your child’s education won’t significantly reduce their financial aid award. Read more.

 

By going test-optional, the University of Chicago just caused a disturbance in the elite college market. 

 

An ultra-selective university just dropped the ACT/SAT. So What? Read more.

 

 

May 19, 2018 

Featured Article

She was accepted to 113 colleges. Here’s why it may not have been such a good thing.

 

A couple of weeks ago, the NY Times ran an article about a high school senior in North Carolina who was accepted to 113 colleges. The student was rightly feted for her overall accomplishments but one quote in particular stood out to me: “‘I felt if I can get into all of these,’ she said, ‘What else I can get in?’” Reading her words I could not help but feel that this quest essentially amounted to trophy collecting by virtue of participating. 

 

So am I throwing water on this teenager’s accomplishments? No. And yes.

 

Let me be clear, getting into college is a huge milestone and one that ought to be celebrated, but it’s not as challenging as one might think. As I have written before and as the data indicates, over 1500 two-year community colleges are open enrollment, meaning all a student needs to do to get in is simply apply, while another 500+ four-year colleges have selectivity rates between 75% - 100%. With this in mind, a student like the one profiled in this article, who had earned a 4.0 GPA, could conceivably apply to 2000 colleges and most probably get into all of them. The challenge is not getting into college, but rather finding a right-fit college that matches your likelihood of getting in and staying in.

 

Assuming that applying to 113 colleges is an outlier, applying to 20 or more is not terribly uncommon. Here is why this is not such a great goal.

 

Applying to college is expensive

 

If a student does not qualify for a fee waiver, or the college does not offer one, they are required to pay application fees for each, with a median price of $40. On top of that, each college will require students to send their official SAT or ACT scores directly from the companies administering those exams; the College Board and the ACT respectively. Each of these score reports cost between $12-16 apiece. All told, if a student applies to 20 colleges, they could be looking at fees well north of $1k.

 

Supplemental essays are hard and time-consuming

 

Each application is different. While the Common Application has made it easier to apply to multiple colleges using one platform, there is still quite a bit of heavy lifting when it comes to filling out the individual college questions on the application. This is especially true for many of the more selective colleges, as they often require supplemental essays. These short answer responses or longer-length essays are an integral part of the application with colleges paying close attention to the details including spelling, grammar, flow, authenticity, etc. Long and short, it takes time, patience, and editorial skills to get each response just right. Do a poor job and it could be that tipping point between being accepted and being denied. If a student applies to 20 colleges, and many require supplemental essays, it may be unlikely that she will be able to write strong responses for all. A better approach: Think quality vs. quantity.

 

More is not always better

 

I use this analogy a lot. Think about going to the grocery store to purchase a can of olives. Upon arriving at the olive aisle, you look up and find three shelves stacked with olives. Green, black, pitted, whole, Manzanilla, Kalamata, Moroccan Salt-Cured, and the list goes on. All you want is a can of black pitted olives; you would be happy with 3-4 choices. Now you have 20 and you feel overwhelmed. Shifting this analogy back to the college application process, if the student has done the upfront work, curated a balanced college list consisting of eight schools (3-4 targets, two reaches, and two safety schools), they will have a manageable amount of acceptances to choose from when the time comes to deposit, making that decision a lot less daunting.

 

The fall is busy. Like, really busy.

 

I am a school counselor in a high school and I can tell you from experience that the first day of school feels like you’ve been shot out of a cannon. There is no easing into it; everyone arrives at the same time and you’re off to the races. Picture any given day for a high school senior outside of academic school hours between early September to November 1st: Soccer practice, band practice, prepping for an additional SAT exam, college visit(s), studying for an AP Literature and Composition exam, homework, a weekend away for a school trip, afterschool clubs, movies with friends, babysitting, household duties, etc., etc., etc. 

 

Am I forgetting something? Oh, applying to college. 

 

There are less than 60 days that stand between the beginning of senior year and the early college deadlines . It’s no small feat to complete expertly packaged college applications that you hope will get you into your dream school—never mind your target schools—considering the obligations that envelope a teenager’s day-to-day. Thinking that a student can produce 20+ high-quality college applications is most probably untenable, not to mention unnecessarily stressful. 

 

The only thing we have to fear…

 

Ultimately, I think students end up applying to many more schools than they should because they are afraid that they will be the one student in their class that gets denied by every college they apply to. Therefore, they hedge. I get it and I empathize with this sentiment, but the correction should not be to apply to two dozen colleges “just in case.” Students who work diligently to build a college list that includes a mix of targets, reaches and safer options, while accepting input from their parent/guardian/mentor and school counselor, will undoubtedly end up with multiple colleges to choose from when the acceptance letters have finished coming in. Moreover, they won’t feel like they’re standing in the olive aisle as sweat beads form on their forehead.

 

Here’s the deal. I love it when one of my students comes into my office, smile fixed broadly across their face, and tells me they have been accepted to this college or that one. I am an educator who loves working with young people and their happiness brings me satisfaction both professionally and personally. However, the truth of the matter is that, while the young lady, her family, and the educators in her life have every right to feel proud of her accomplishments, in general, this approach is less than sound. Remember, just like on television, eight (colleges) is enough. Do the early legwork, stay ahead of your deadlines, hit your checkpoints, focus on quality over quantity, have fun with it, and allow yourself to enjoy senior year without getting too bogged down.

 

College Admissions in the News

 

Study: Colleges That Ditch the SAT and ACT Can Enhance Diversity...

 

This is great news for equity, but be mindful, that for test-optional colleges, they will be looking even more closely at GPA and course rigor. Read more.

  

Values Exercise for College Essay…

 

For current juniors getting ready to dive into their college essay, this values exercise from Ethan Sawyer, aka the College Essay Guy, is a really excellent tool for identifying your core values and aspirations while brainstorming the essay. 

 

SAT v. ACT: Which test should you take?

 

Take five minutes and find out which college entrance exam is best for you. Click here for the survey.

 

Podcasts from Revisionists History…

 

This is “old news” so to speak, but two terrific podcasts from Revisionist History. Carlos Doesn’t Remember (a brilliant student from South Los Angeles who attends an exclusive private school; a cautionary tale about how hard it is to rise from the bottom to the top) and My Little Hundred Million (the hidden ideologies behind giving and how a strange set of ideas has hijacked educational philanthropy.)

 

College Decision Day Bring Relief, Excitement and Big Worries about Money…

 

…The biggest question: Can I actually afford to go? Read more.

 

Quilts, Cows, Money and Meaning: College Essays That Stood Out

 

This year, the NY Times picked five college application essays about money to publish. All are unique essays in their own way and each focus on the operative -- tell the admissions officers more about YOU.  Read five (5) of them here.

 

APRIL 23, 2018 

 

Featured Article

 

The Fear (of Not Getting In)

 

Beginning in April of each school year, I sit down with my juniors for their first official college meetings. However, before they step onto the proverbial diving board and prepare to dive headfirst into the college admissions process, something invariably stops them from launching into the waters below: Fear!

 

It has become a running theme during my conversations with my students, this fear that threatens to destroy their dreams: They will be the one student in the school that gets denied from every college they apply to.

 

What I have come to realize is that this fear-of-not-getting-in exists within virtually every student, from the valedictorian on down. So, during our first-sit down, and even before getting into those sizable conversations about what type of colleges they might be interested in, Fear needs to be put to bed.

 

There is a great misconception, a myth even, that it is difficult to get into college. At the risk of sounding flippant, it’s not. In fact, out of approximately 5,000 colleges in the country, a good amount of the 1500+ two-year community colleges are open enrollment, meaning all a student needs to do to get in is simply apply. Another 500+ four-year colleges have selectivity rates between 75% - 100%. This includes household names such as the University of Colorado Boulder, St. Bonaventure College and the University of Arizona.

 

The root of this misconception can be found with those other household names, the Yale’s and Stanford’s of the world, whose minuscule acceptance rates skew the reality of college acceptance rates in general. To be clear, it is extraordinarily difficult, shockingly so in fact, to get into the country’s most prestigious colleges. Students from around the globe are getting denied at a clip of 95% from these schools. For the number one ranked student at any given high school in the country, Harvard is a reach. So let’s just put those colleges in a different category for the time being because frankly, they are.

For now, let’s settle up with the Fear. The first thing I tell my student, the one sitting in front of me a pained half-smile fixed on her face, is that she will get into college. Multiple colleges. Guaranteed. And then I explain how we can ensure that:

 

  1. By creating a balanced list of 6-8 schools that fit both their wants and needs. The ideal list should consist of:

    • 3-4 targets

    • 2 safe targets

    • 1-2 reaches

 

Creating a college list deserves thoughtfulness and diligence. Students should involve their parent/guardian, accept input from their counselor, and be sure that their final list includes the categories mentioned above. Follow this blueprint and the student should end up with multiple colleges to choose from when the acceptance letters have finished coming in.

 

2. By staying focused, setting and meeting checkpoint goals, e.g. “Complete final copy of the college essay by September 15th.” Students who keep pace with their goals will stay ahead of the process, keep deadlines at bay, greatly reduce stress levels, and ultimately produce stronger application packages.

 

3. By staying within themselves. If a student’s dream school is Vanderbilt University and they are a 3.0 GPA student who has never taken an AP or Honors course their entire high school career even though their school offers 18 of them, my strong advice is to take a pass, not a chance. Their time is better spent finding right-fit colleges that align with their transcript.

 

4. By loving their safe-target. If a student’s dream school is the University of Michigan, but it’s a reach, go for it! Work hard, however, to find that same – or similar! – love for a couple safe options.

 

Students, hear me out. The important thing to remember is that colleges are as interested in you as you are in them. Although the process can often feel completely one-sided, I assure you that colleges are looking for unique, thoughtful, civic-minded, enthusiastic learners who can bring diverse personalities, thought-provoking ideas, advocacy, and a sense of empowerment to their campus. They are looking for you!

 

Lastly, remember, you are not alone. Ask your friend at lunch or your lab partner in class, “Hey, do you have this fear that you won’t get into any colleges?” I can almost guarantee they feel the same way you do. Then go speak to your counselor and I know what they will tell you: “You will get into college. Multiple colleges. Guaranteed.”

 

College Admissions in the News

 

Justice Department Launches Probe of College Early Admissions…

 

Another article about colleges that select <10% of their applicants. There are plenty of worthy debates that should be had about Early Decision application plans, e.g. the benefits, the inequity, the myths, etc., but can we spend some time discussing the multitudes of strong four-year colleges accepting >60% of applicants that also have excellent graduation and retention rates. Here are five off the top of my head: Le Moyne College, Bryant University, Clarkson University, Manhattan College, and Sacred Heart.

 

Community College as a Pathway…

 

There are multiple pathways for getting a strong, four-year college education. Starting at a community college is one of them and one that an increasing number of higher achieving students are gravitating towards. Read more.

 

ACT/SAT…

 

The ACT is now offering FREE ACT prep for students, much like Khan Academy has been doing for the SAT. Good news for equity.

 

More on the SAT…

 

Rising SAT Scores Affect Admissions: “The scores are much higher, which means more people have moved toward the top and therefore see themselves as being in the running for these tops schools." Read more.

 

And finally…

 

No amount of college research replaces getting onto a campus and seeing it firsthand. Unable to make a college visit? Check out Youvisit.com.

 

 

APRIL 2, 2018 

 

 

Featured Advice

 

I’ve Been Waitlisted.  Now what?

Find out who your admissions rep is and send them an email

  • Don’t have sour grapes; be polite and positive.

  • It’s a way to remind your admissions officer that you exist and that "X" school really is your first choice.

 

Update your information

  • New and improved SAT or ACT scores.

  • Membership in a new extracurricular activity.

  • A new leadership position in a group or team.

  • A new honor or award.

  • An updated resume.

 

Send a New Letter of Recommendation

  • Is there someone who knows you well who can really promote you effectively? If so, an additional letter of recommendation might be a good idea. Ideally, this letter should shine a different spotlight on you than a letter they have previously received.

 

Send Supplemental Materials

  • You don't want to overwhelm the admissions office, but you should feel free to send in writing or other materials that will show the full breadth of what you can contribute to the campus community. 

 

College Admissions in the News

The stress of the college application process cuts both ways, both for students AND parents. Applying to college is supposed to be fun – but do constant questions about your child’s progress add more anxiety to the process? READ MORE.

The decisions coming out of the California UC schools seem to mirror some of the admissions results that we are seeing at east coast private schools. Many private colleges are taking a large portion of their class from the Early Decision applicant pool (for instance, Washington and Lee University took 55% of their entire class this year from Early Decision applicants). Where does that leave those who apply regular decision? READ MORE.

Although parents often ask me which 
SAT Subject Tests their kids should take, the truth of the matter is that so few colleges require SAT IIs. READ MORE.

In so many of my conversations with college admissions counselors, the feedback that they pass along to me is, “Send us students who can communicate, collaborate, and write!”  This article is written for graduate students, but the principles are true for high school students and undergraduates as well. READ MORE.

I always say the worst thing a student can do during the summer is nothing at all. READ MORE.

 

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