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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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How to Get Off a College Waiting List

Last week colleges across the country notified current seniors about their admissions decisions. Some students were admitted, others were denied, and some were waitlisted.

Now the first two are easy. It was a 'yay" or "nay" decision. But understanding what a wait list is and why colleges use them, and more importantly, how to get off of one, can often cause some confusion.

Students, if you've been waitlisted or parents, your child's been waitlisted, please consider this: first and foremost you must confirm your interest on that waitlist. Colleges won't assume that you want to remain on the waitlist. If they send you something online, that reply card, a simple click of a button must be returned to...

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What Parents Should Ask Their Child's 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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Types of College Applications

As of today, there are three kinds of applications that students can use further for college. There's the common application, which has about 700 different schools to choose form. There's the coalition for free application access which is also available which has about maybe 350 schools, and thee are schools who have their own individual applications that you can fill out online. Every application should be online, whether it's the common app, the coalition or schools' individual application, they can all be found online.

Before you start doing either of them, or any of them I should say, please make sure it's for the proper year, class of 2020 should be the one you're considering now, but again you...

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When Should My Child Start Their College Application?

A question I get asked a lot about college applications is: When should my child actually start doing their application. I highly encourage students to start over the summer. They can start their application now actually online at commonapp.org but to complete the college application, to actually be prepared to submit it they should probably do it in July, August, and September. The early bird catches the worm in this process. I need to say that again. The early bird catches the worm.

Many schools will actually prefer that students submit their applications in the front end of their senior year so they can make sure that it's complete. So they can make sure that if there are any questions or...

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The College Essay Does Not Have to be Stressful

People ask me all the time, what's the most important or stressful part of the college application process? And most people would assume if the essay right, this great big personal essay that has to be perfect in order to be admitted to college. Yes, the essay is important. It's an opportunity, students, an opportunity for you to share with colleges who you are, what you think about what's going on in your life so that they get to know you better. But it shouldn't be stressful. It should be an opportunity.

So I would like you to think of it in layers. If you could take five days to write an essay, an introduction, two days to write the body, another day to write a conclusion, say three to five...

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How Can My Child Start Their Common Application Now?

Juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, but particularly you juniors, do you know that the common application is available now? Yes, even though it’s only March, you can start your common application right now and I encourage you to do so.  Just go to commonapp.org and create an account, check off “other student” and indicate what class year you are (2020, 2021, 2022). By starting your common application now, you're able to gather the information you'll need from your parents and your school, as well as list the activities you’re involved in.

There's no harm in doing it now even though you're not going to apply until between August and January. Please visit commonapp.org and...

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Should I Write My Common Application Essay Now?"

Yes, the common application essay questions are available at commonapp.org, and you can brainstorm what they are, bounce off ideas from your friends or family, but you don't need to really write them right now.

It's February, and with so much time left for you to grow and decide on what you want to write, I'm not quite sure that you're ready.

Take your time. Do your academic work, talk to your teachers about who's going to write your recommendation and, obviously, plan out your testing. The essay process will have its time. Trust me.

So right now, do not work on your essay. Just do what you're supposed to be doing. If you want more advice, we're at StrategicAdmissionsAdvice.com and Strategic...

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Was Your Child Deferred? Here's What To Do Next

With most early admission programs, you can expect three possible decision outcomes: admitted, deferred or denied. In this post, we will focus on what to do if you find yourself in the second group.

First, let’s define what it means to be “deferred.” With an admissions deferral, the college has decided to postpone your admission decision to a later date and will reconsider or review your application with the Regular Decision applicant pool. Because one of the benefits of applying early is knowing whether you have been accepted to your top school or not, it is understandably frustrating when you are neither accepted or denied. However, that is also the bright side - you receive a...

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