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Early Application Options

With early application deadlines right around the corner, we thought we should explain what they all exactly are and why you should consider them (if you can afford it).

This is a great explanation from the International College Counselors.

BENEFITS OF APPLYING EARLY 

  • Improving your chance of being accepted
  • Improving your chance of getting a scholarship
  • Gaining time to prepare for college and study for high school classes/AP tests, if accepted
  • Gaining more time to apply to other colleges with later deadlines if you get rejected
  • Ensuring peace of mind

Early policies can maximize a student's chances to get into a school, but the policies need to be carefully read. While the definitions for each...

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College Visiting for Juniors

Today I'm talking to juniors, the class of 2021. Believe it or not, you're going to be applying to college in 12 short months. Right now, you need to consider visiting colleges and learning more about them. Whether it's Columbus Day or Veterans Day, several three-day weekends are coming up this fall that you can take advantage of. They're expecting you to attend their open houses, so please go to the websites of the schools that you're interested in and see when they have prospective students' days, particularly for juniors they are called Open Houses.

I would start with something local to you. There's no need to get on a plane or a train right now. Check out something that you can see within driving...

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What To Do When An Admissions Officer Visits Your School

Now that school is in full swing (right?!!!) your school's college counseling office should share with you the colleges that will be visiting and when. Colleges tour high schools all over the country to either introduce or reintroduce their school to prospective students. 

For the college admissions officer,  this is a time to get to know the high school students since they will be reading these particular applications. As a student, this is an opportunity to become more familiar with the college to which you're considering or applying while getting some "facetime" with the person who most likely will be reading your application.

Here's what you should do.

Review the college visit calendar...

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The Coalition for College Access

Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success

A new player entered the college application game three years ago and still may be presenting more problems than solutions.  While the jury is still out on the impact it will actually have on college admissions, I thought I would at least share what I know.

The Coalition (LINK: http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/) is a scaffold of sorts to aid parents and students in the college admission process. It provides you with a free platform of online tools, which aim to streamline the college application experience. As the name itself suggests, the Coalition is an initiative for making college applications easy, affordable and accessible to all...

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The Most Important Thing I've Learned in Over 20 Years in the College Admissions Profession

I've been in college admissions as an admissions officer, I've worked on the high school side, I've been an independent consultant, and I own an educational consulting company. So what have I learned that I think is always pervasive and always important, for college admissions?

There's a school for everyone. I know that sounds cheesy, but there is a school for everyone, really. You do not have to go to one of the top 15 schools. You don't have to go to something that's ranked in US News & World Report. There are so many schools for you to choose from, that I believe after 20 years in this business, that everyone lands on their feet, somewhere. They may transfer in later, but they always find the...

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Reaches, Targets and Safeties

Juniors, we're now in July. At this point, you should have a good handle on the reach schools you're applying to, the target schools you're applying to, and the safety schools you're applying to. You have your transcript from the end of your junior year. You have your standardized testing. Maybe you’re taking it again, but regardless, you should know the range of schools you're applying to.

I want you to think about this very judiciously. You should apply to fewer reaches, a glut of targets, and a couple of safeties. Applying to tons of reach schools with the attitude, "You know what? I have nothing to lose, everything to gain in throwing 15-20 snowballs on the wall to see what sticks" doesn't...

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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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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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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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