The long and winding road toward college admissions

Think about taking the SAT II Subject tests this May or June. Plan early so you don’t miss the registration deadlines.


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Juniors: Five Items for your ‘to-do’ list

If you are a Junior in high school you don’t need us to tell you that with the end of spring break and the opening of your final marking period–the college exploration process is in full swing.   Here is a short list of ‘to-do’ items that you should take care of before the end of the year.  1) Teacher Recommendations Teachers with a reputation for writing great recommendations get booked early.  Think about who you would like to write a letter supporting your application (remember some schools ask for two teacher recommendations) and ASK that teacher before the end of the school year.  As you consider the best person for the job, remember that the best teacher to ask is not always the one who gave you the easy ‘A’.  You should select a teacher that knows your best work and who has challenged you intellectually.  If you are applying to a math or science program, you might be required to have a recommendation from a math or science teacher.  Additionally, if you plan to apply to schools that ask for more than one teacher recommendation, ask teachers from different subject areas so that your recommendations represent assessments of different skill sets.  2) Standardized Tests Devise a test taking strategy.  If you have already taken the SAT and are not ‘in love’ with your scores, take the ACT –the same is true if you have already taken the ACT.  You do not have to take an expensive prep class to do your best.  There are some low cost and free options which can help you.  Check out the College Board and ACT websites and www.number2.com  for some free and low cost options.  Becoming more familiar with these tests, will help you perform at your best.  You should plan on taking each of these exams no more than two times each.  If you are considering a test prep company you should be know all the facts.  Take a look at this article for some more information  3) Academic and Professional Goal Setting Spend some time exploring the majors and career paths that you might consider for your own future.  There are many avenues you should follow as you research your interests.  We have listed some ideas below: Speak with adults you know who are in a particular field or studied an academic area in which you are interested. Look...
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College Admissions Myth #2: Admissions is all about the numbers.

College Admissions Myth Busted: Admissions is *NOT* just an exercise in crunching the numbers. Do admissions officers look at more than the “numbers” when making admissions decisions?  That is, do colleges and universities care about anything else besides GPA and standardized test scores?  Absolutely. Yes they do.  We are asked this question all the time by our clients and we strongly believe that there is as much art as there is science to the admissions process.  Remember the game show “The Price is Right”?  In the admissions scenario, the ‘numbers’ you present at the stage door (your test scores and GPA) get you into the audience (i.e., application pool) and poised for serious consideration.  It is the rest of your application –your essay, recommendations, and the many extras that make the application unique and (quite frankly) interesting– that get you admitted or, as Bob Barker might have it, to “come on down” because it’s your turn to join this college community. Of course admissions officers want to accept students who can handle the work at that particular institution.  The numbers –most importantly the rigor and upward trend of the transcript– show them that you likely can and get you in that audience.  Once there, however, you need to show the school that you have more to offer than just the numbers.  You need to show them how you will contribute to the campus.   The Science and Art of College Admissions This is where the science ends and the art begins.  Remember, a college campus is a community complete with artists, musicians, athletes, scientists, politicians and much, much more.  If all admissions officers had to do was look at the numbers and accept the top 6%, 10%, or 20% (depending on selectivity), then their job would be easy, and actually so would the applicant’s.  But this is not the case.  Remember, colleges read all of the material you submit and sometimes it comes down to splitting hairs in admissions.  What does Applicant A offer as compared to Applicant B?  Maybe A is involved in student government but B is an oboe player.  Maybe A came to campus and updated her application to let the admissions office know about an award won.  Maybe, maybe not.  That is what makes each application unique and why the art of admissions is much more subtle and difficult than the science. Test Optional Admissions The ever increasing number of schools...
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Standardized Tests

List of test optional schools The ACT exam The SAT and The College Board
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