Is Community Service Still Important for College Admissions?

Many parents face a dilemma: Should their teenagers focus on gaining work experience or devote their time to community service? The answer is not an either/or situation. Both experiences are invaluable and complement each other in significant ways.

Building Work Ethics Through Employment

Having a job teaches students essential life skills. It instills a sense of responsibility, fosters teamwork, and helps them understand the value of earning money. A job requires students to wake up early, follow a schedule, report to a supervisor, and work collaboratively with colleagues. These experiences are vital in developing a strong work ethic and practical skills that will benefit them throughout their...

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What is a Safety School Nowadays in College Admissions?

As we approach the end of June and step into July, the excitement of summer is in the air. It's also a pivotal time for high school students and their parents as they navigate the college admissions process. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is, "What is a safety school nowadays?" With so many colleges admitting so few students, it's crucial to understand what constitutes a safety school and how to identify them effectively.


Let's first discuss what we mean by safety schools. Also referred to as likely or foundational schools, these are institutions where, based on a student's academic performance, extracurricular activities, and interests, they have a high probability of being...

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The Impact of College Admissions on Mental Health

College admissions can be a stressful and anxiety-provoking time for both teens and parents. Social media comparisons, pressure to get into prestigious schools, and the uncertainty of the process can all contribute to feelings of inadequacy, isolation, and overwhelm.

 

I emphasize the importance of teens avoiding the "comparison trap." Social media feeds are often filled with carefully curated portrayals of success, leading teens to feel they need to measure up to an unrealistic standard.

Strategies for Parents

Parents play a crucial role in shaping their teen's experience during college admissions. Here are some key takeaways from my advice:

  • Manage Your Own Expectations: Let go of assumptions...
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Unveiling Hidden Gems: College Essay Prompts to Propel Your Teen to Admission Success

As a seasoned college admissions counselor and master strategist, I've guided countless students through the intricate college application maze. One critical aspect often underestimated? The power of a truly impactful essay.

Forget generic formulas. Today, we unlock four hidden gems: essay prompts that stand out in a sea of applications. These prompts empower your teen to showcase their unique experiences and remarkable qualities.

Beyond Rebellion: Unveiling Growth Through Challenge
(Prompt 3)

This prompt delves far deeper than mere dissent. It's about grappling with established ideas, fostering independent thought, and, ultimately, personal growth. Imagine an essay where your teen recounts defying...

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Don't Let Your Teenโ€™s Essay Become a Dud: Prompts to Avoid in the College Application Scramble

As a parent of a high school senior, you know the college application process can be a whirlwind. It's easy to feel overwhelmed between transcripts, test scores, and extracurricular activities. But there's one area where your teen has significant control: the essay. 

 

The college essay is their chance to shine, to tell their unique story and showcase their personality beyond numbers on a page. However, with so many prompts available, choosing the right one can be tricky. 

Here at Strategic Admissions Advice, we've helped countless students craft compelling essays that make them stand out. Today, we'll discuss three essay prompts to avoid and offer some guidance for a successful...

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Spring into Action: A Guide for Parents of High Schoolers (9th-11th Grade)

Is your teen in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade? Spring is here, and it's the perfect time to get ahead of the game for the upcoming school year and college applications. 

Spring has sprung, and for many parents of high schoolers, it's a time of renewal and anticipation. As the school year winds down, thoughts naturally turn towards what's next, especially for those with teenagers in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. This guide will equip you with the knowledge and actionable steps to ensure a smooth and successful academic journey for your teen.

11th Grade Parents: College Application Countdown

The pressure is on for 11th graders, and rightfully so. Here are three key areas to focus on this spring:

  • ...
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How to Leverage College Fairs for Your Junior

College Fairs: A Launchpad for Demonstrating Interest

While college fairs won't single-handedly secure an acceptance letter, they offer a golden opportunity: demonstrating interest. Many colleges consider a student's expressed interest during admissions. It shows genuine enthusiasm and initiative, setting your child apart from passive applicants.

Why Demonstrating Interest Matters

Think of it this way: colleges want students who truly want to be there. Demonstrating interest showcases your child's commitment to their institution. In a competitive applicant pool, this can make a significant difference, especially for borderline cases.

Making the Most of College Fairs

So, how can your child...

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How Using Historical Data Can Help Your Teen Get Into College

As parents of a teen entering their junior year, the college application process can feel daunting. Between crafting compelling essays and navigating financial aid, creating a strategic college list often takes a backseat. But what if there was a way to leverage data to inform your decisions and increase your teen's chances of success?

 

This is where historical data comes in. By understanding how colleges have admitted students from your teen's high school in the past, you gain valuable insights that can empower you to build a balanced and effective college list.

 

The Power of Data in College Admissions

The landscape of college admissions is constantly evolving. While factors like...

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How Parents Can Help with College Essays

Unveiling the Importance of Essays

Essays, the true gems of college applications, offer your teen a unique opportunity to stand out in the highly competitive admissions landscape. In this week’s blog post, we'll explore three essential tips to guide your teen through the essay-writing process, ensuring they maximize this golden opportunity.

Tip #1: Collaborative Brainstorming

Parents, you hold a wealth of knowledge about your teen's experiences, aspirations, and uniqueness. Seize this knowledge by delving into the essay prompts during relaxed moments, perhaps during a long drive or over dinner. Initiate discussions illuminating aspects of their lives, helping them identify compelling stories...

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Standardized Testing is Changing. Is Your Teen Ready?

Today, let's delve into the evolution of standardized testing and how it impacts your teen's journey toward higher education.

 

Understanding the Digital Shift

The SAT® and PSAT-related assessments are going fully digital. As part of that shift, the tests will also be adaptive.  In adaptive testing, the questions a student encounters as they move through the test depends on how they answered the prior questions. The introduction of the digital SAT begins tomorrow, March 9, and signals a shift in testing methods. This transition brings challenges and opportunities for students navigating the college admissions process.

The SAT and PSAT-related assessments use a multistage adaptive...

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