Summer ‘to do’ list can provide a less stressful senior fall

Aah, summer time! But, there are a number of items that should be on your college ‘to do’ list right now.


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The Relevance of Algebra and Other Truths

Q: What possible relevance will Algebra have in my life? A: A lot more than you might think.


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Senior Year 101: Reduce the Stress of the College Application Process in a Few Easy Steps!

Solid advice on how to get yourself (or your student) situated for a great start to the new school year and beyond…


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Everyone has a Great Story

When considering what to write about for your college essay–remember this: everyone has a great story to share.  A good essay tells so much about you and can make what was formerly a two-dimensional application come alive. When admissions officers read applications, your transcript and standardized test scores will top the list AT MOST INSTITUTIONS as the most important items.  Once you have jumped through this first quantitative and sometimes fiery hoop, you are now in the running with other students who also have good grades and great scores. Now what do you do?  How do you compete? A great essay makes you come alive, makes you a three-dimensional human being — someone who can add to campus life.  Showcasing yourself and some important qualities about you that are not evident from the other parts of your application is a great way to push your application to the top of the electronic pile.  Spending time finding a great story that truly shares more about you is an investment worth your time. Remember, some of the best essays are written about mundane or everyday events.  Don’t worry if you haven’t got an earth shattering tale to tell.  Most of us don’t.  Even if you haven’t yet scaledMt.Everestor won an Oscar, don’t fret.  Sharing your story in an engaging and interesting manner will do wonders for your overall application. Let me give you fair warning, however, writing a great piece will take time. Don’t leave writing your essay for the last minute.  A good essay must be written, reflected upon, rewritten, and rewritten again.  Many people –even the best writers– have difficulties writing.  Always remember that whatever your skills are as a writer, you can always write a better essay than your first draft.  Even the professionals have editors. In our essay writing house parties we help students limber up their writing muscles through brainstorming, mental gymnastics and other fun games.  We show students that they do have interesting stories to share and help them see how they can write an uncommonly good essay for their Common...
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We have busted the myths, now some facts

Admissions facts that stand the test of time. 1.      There are no guarantees. Even if you have a perfect score on the SAT or the ACT along with a 4.0 GPA–you are not guaranteed a place at your first choice institution.  Look at this example: 83% of high school valedictorians that applied to Princeton University in 2010 were rejected (see Princeton’s data here).  That is a hard fact! 2.      Critical and changing unknowns. Schools have their own agenda.  Their goal is to populate a community.  Remember, this is not just a numbers game.  Admissions is a balance of selecting students who fit the academic profile of the school and will bring to campus a rich variety of academic and co-curricular interests.  Applicants cannot possibly know what a school is looking for over time.  For example, a school might have just decided to increase biology majors or received a grant to increase the number of cellists.  As you can see the list can go on and change all the time. 3.      Competitive process. Remember all those valedictorians applying to Princeton?  Talk about competition.  Additionally, more students are applying to more schools (colleges) which increases the competition at all schools.  Many of our clients’ parents are surprised to learn how competitive the New York State system (SUNY) of colleges and universities have become.  It is not your parents SUNY any more! 4.      Costly investment–you know this.  The cost of higher education increases every year.  This is a big investment in your future.  You will spend a lot of time and money on your undergraduate education.  It makes sense to spend some time exploring your options and making good choices. Because there are many critical facts about the college selection process that applicants cannot control, we advise focusing on the things you can control.  It makes sense to spend time exploring your academic, professional, and co-curricular interests during your sophomore and junior year of high school.  Find out what you want out of your undergraduate education.  This effort will help you to focus and engage in the college selection process. 5. The pay off is priceless–if you spend time, effort, and possibly some money now during the exploration phase–you will reap the benefits of this investment when you are completing your applications. This will allow you to focus on the schools to which you will ultimately apply.  And once your hear back from schools you will be in a better position to compare your options and make the best decision for you. Let the exploration...
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