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Planning for the Future

I see too many students thinking that planning for the future doesn’t really matter. That’s just not going to fly. 

Students, I'm not telling you that you need to decide what you want to be when you grow up or what specific career you're going to have 20 years from now, but you must constantly think about your academic profile and what general direction you would like it to move in. I am simply asking you to think about what your academic profile currently looks like and where you want it to be next year, the year after that, and the year after that. Whether it's 12 months, 24, or 36 months, you must consider next educational step that you're taking.

I understand that it may seem...

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Are You Ready for A College Interview?

Since we're on the heels of college essay writing and application season, that also means that college interviews should be on your mind, any school that offers an opportunity for students to interview, a school that cares about its community. Interviews are a great way for colleges to get a true sense of a person. Being willing to share who you are and being well-prepared for an interview can give you a competitive edge in the college admissions process.

The key to a college interview is preparation. There are three types of interviews. There's the on-campus interview, one via video conferencing like Zoom, or one with an alumnus in your local area. It's always important to show your best self, and...

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The Role of The School Counselor

Whatever you call the school counselor at your child’s high school -- guidance counselor, college counselor, etc -- please know that they are an integral part of the college application process. A few elements of their job are:

  • to offer college advice to you and your child
  • weigh in on the selection of courses for each year
  • write a school counselor recommendation on behalf of your child
  • send the transcript
  • communicate with colleges about your child’s application and interest

Some school counselors do this better than others, and usually it depends on their caseload of students.

As a parent, you should attend any college preparation presentations that your school offers. You should also...

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Jobs Colleges Like to See On an Application

When it comes to figuring out what kinds of extracurricular activities colleges like to see high school students doing the debate can go on forever. Should my son or daughter do more community service? Should they play sports for all four years to show consistency? Should they join the science or business club?

Each student should do something extracurricular they genuinely enjoy. They need to be invested, curious and contributing. However, there is one thing all colleges like to see applicants doing, and that is working. Yes, obtaining a good old-fashioned job is a great thing for your child to do in high school. Whether it is part-time during the school year, or during the summer, working shows...

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Advice for Parents of Junior High School Student

 

Many eighth graders will be ending middle school soon and they're going to be going off to high school in the fall and want to make sure that you are equipped with the information that you need to be successful.

First and foremost, parents, please talk to your kids about college. The reality is that they're going to be applying to college in four years. And no one wants to be blindsided by how quickly it kind of came up. Talk to them about college, what the expectations may be of high school, and help them understand that they're laying the groundwork to have a successful college admissions process.

In addition, talk to them about possible majors, possible career interests. No one has to know what...

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How Important Are AP Tests in Admissions Decisions?

As many of you are in the midst of taking AP exams this week and last, I want to make something clear: do your best, but please don't stress. Grades, ACT or SAT scores, extracurriculars and essays are much more important than APs because typically AP scores don't go on your college application. They don't count towards your GPA, and they're not part of your transcript. There isn't even actually a place on your application that they're required.


So, the question is, do admissions committees even look at your scores, and how much do they actually matter? The answer is if you self-report, they will look at your scores, and how much that matters is probably none at all. AP scores affect the classes you...

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Planting a Seed

Juniors!

As you think about the next steps for your college application process, you may be thinking that now is the right time to reach out to a college admissions officer. The short answer is, if you're in the class of 2020, it's “yes!”

Now is the time that you can “plant a seed” with a college, and specifically with a college admissions officer after you meet them at a college fair, a local reception, or possibly you visited their college campus.

Planting a seed means introducing yourself to someone (an admissions officer) to learn more their school and also to convey your interest in the institution. There is no harm in getting somebody's business card and emailing them,...

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Does Contacting a Professor Help with Admissions?

I get this question all time and there is no blanket “yes” or “no”’answer. Different schools have different relationships with their faculty. Most professors have little impact on the decisions that the admissions office may make. They are teachers, and trust that their administrative colleagues in the admission office will admit and yield the best students for the university who may ultimately end up in one of their classrooms.

However, I do encourage students who have a particular academic interest to reach out to someone -- usually a professor -- in an academic office of interest. Why? Because that professor may offer greater insight into what their department does...

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How to Avoid "Senioritis"

 

Class of 2019!!!!!

Don’t do it…….

YES, I encourage all of my students to celebrate their acceptances and keep their eyes squarely focused on the goal: a college education. But there’s a problem going on that everyone needs to be aware of: slacking off from high school is recipe for disaster as well as a sign of immaturity.

The colleges that have accepted young adults, older teenagers, not kids who cannot discern right from wrong. Yes, mistakes can happen and adjustments can be made, but be the person and student who applied three or four or five months ago - the one “College X” accepted - follow these simple rules:

(Parents, PLEASE share this with your...

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Common Application vs. Coalition Application

Rising Seniors, as the time comes to decide where you’re going to apply to college, you’ll also have to decide what application portal you’ll be using to complete your applications. There are a few options, but the two portals that offer the largest number of schools are the Common App and the Coalition App. Neither will guarantee or hinder your chances of getting into the college of your choice, but there are some key differences you should know before choosing which one to use.

The Common App (www.commonapp.org) is just that - the most commonly used app among students. Its popularity can likely be attributed to the almost 800 institutions that house their applications there....

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