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Archive for the ‘Get into College’

7 Important College Application Essay Tips

December 15, 2008 By: Brady Norvall Category: College application essays, Get into College 4 Comments →

You have consulted everyone, right? You have asked your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, classmates, teachers, siblings, coaches and confidants to find out what you can do to make your college application essay(s) stand out. You don’t know where to start, how to narrow your options, whether you should try to make it funny or academic- or both? First of all, stop talking to everybody else. They will only plant seeds in your mind that may lead to an eventual writer’s block. I see it every year. This is a personal essay. It’s you. However, the essay is the most important aspect of any college application, so you must execute it well. If there are a few basic pointers that I could give any high school senior they would be:


Photo by Bright Meadow


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Recession 101: College Applications and Shallow Bank Accounts

November 24, 2008 By: Brady Norvall Category: Admissions insider, Advancing your career, Application tips, Best College Tips, Choosing a College, Get into College, The financial insider, Top Stories 1 Comment →

During this time of economic volatility, we are all beginning to realize that life as we know it will forever be different. But that doesn’t change the ever-present questions on the mind of most high school seniors: What are my college options? What colleges should I apply to? Do I want my parents to foot the bill for an expensive education?

So what exactly should you do to gain access to the best college opportunities during this uncertain time?



Ivy League Students Speak: College Application Advice

November 19, 2008 By: Laura Kruse Category: Best College Tips, College Tips, Get into College No Comments →

When I interviewed my fellow Yale freshman suitemates about tips for getting into the Ivy League, they agreed that the admission process is often more about luck than strategy. While it’s important to keep this in mind if your heart is set on an Ivy League school, there are things you can do to improve your chances of admission. I asked my suitemates what they thought was most important for people to keep in mind when applying for college. Here’s what they had to say.



Avoiding Helicopter Parenting When Choosing a College

November 05, 2008 By: Jillianne Hamilton Category: Choosing a College, Get into College 4 Comments →

When kids are choosing, applying and figuring out how to pay for college, it’s important for parents to be involved. But the question is: How Involved? A helicopter parent is a term used to describe parents that “hover” over their children and try to control their decision-making process. While helping is important, being too involved (i.e.: forcing your child to go to your school of choice, writing your child’s college admissions essay for them) is not helpful to your child or the college in which they are applying to.  

So how do you provide the help your children need without turning into a helicopter parent? I discussed college admissions and helicopter parenting with lawyer, mother and author of: CEOmum - Parenting is a Full Time Job, Daille Nation-Ashley, or “Dee”.


Photo by DanieVDM.


SAT and ACT: Is There an Alternative?

October 31, 2008 By: Elizabeth Kraus Category: Get into College 1 Comment →

Today we have a guest post from Sarah Scrafford who regularly writes on the topic of college admissions and online universities for a number of blogs:

These is college entrance exam time for colleges and this has brought an intense debate over the effectiveness (or rather, lack of it) of the SAT and the ACT as a valid measuring stick for college admissions. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) report released last month has caused some confusion — questioning the credibility of these tests. 

The SATs were introduced as a way to allow all high school graduates, irrespective of race, culture and status, an equal opportunity of gaining admission to any of the educational institutions across the USA. However, after a considerable amount of research, the NACAC commission has found that wealthy students are at an advantage because of the extra coaching and training they can afford.


Ten Tips for Applying to College

October 24, 2008 By: Pauline Diaz Category: Application tips, Get into College 2 Comments →

I’m surprised I even remember applying to college. I figured after a year, I would’ve repressed the mornings eaten by hours of tests, afternoons spent stressing over what to wear to an interview, and late nights editing my personal essay. But the truth is, I did learn a few things from the college admissions process itself, and hopefully what I’ve learned will keep you from a few of your own unnecessary freak-outs.

Self-Portrait As A Stressed-Out Bride To Be

photo by BrittneyBush


Avoiding College Application Pitfalls

October 17, 2008 By: David Petersam Category: Admissions insider, Get into College No Comments →

If you’re a high school senior, no doubt you’re hip-deep in the college admissions process. This crucial time of decision-making is just the beginning of your journey. The admissions process consists of many things: completing the activity sheet, surviving the interview, gathering the teacher recommendations, and writing the essay. It’s a lot to do. And inevitably, along the line somewhere, many unsuspecting college hopefuls make a fatal mistake that keeps them from the college of their dreams. These common mistakes are made by thousands of eager applicants every year.

Photo courtesy of Marcio Eugenio

three women, courtesy of Marcio Eugenio

So how can you avoid them? Simple. Know what they are. Let me share a few common pitfalls I’ve seen in my years as an admissions consultant.


SAT vs. ACT: Which test should you take?

October 13, 2008 By: Jillianne Hamilton Category: Get into College 2 Comments →

For high school students all across the States, studying for and taking the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and/or ACT (American College Test) has been a dreaded past time. However, students who perform poorly on the SAT tend to do better on the ACT because of the different skill set used.

So, what are the main differences between these college entrance exams?


Photo by cheese roc.


SAT or No SAT? ACT or no ACT? These are the Questions

October 08, 2008 By: Brady Norvall Category: Admissions insider, Application tips, Get into College 4 Comments →

This is a very controversial topic. Even within my own mind, I have a conflict on this subject. On the one hand, it is so obvious that there is very little determining value on the scores one receives on his/her SAT or ACT. On the other hand, there must be some objective factor weighted in the admission process and it seems that the standardized tests are that element. So, as much as I would love to see all colleges and universities abolish the tests in their admission decisions, I am here, as one highly opinionated, education-focused person, saying that these tests - contrary to what this New York Times article says - will, in some form, live on in infamy.



College Entrance Tests; A Topic of Controversy

September 26, 2008 By: Dan Rosenfield Category: Admissions insider, Get into College 4 Comments →

Although developed earlier, the first significant use of the SAT began in the 1930′s.  By the middle 1940′s, Educational Testing Service began in Princeton, New Jersey, and the college entrance testing industry, comprised primarily of the SAT and ACT organizations, now influences the admissions decisions of the vast majority of students applying to four-year colleges.

Interestingly, there has always been skepticism about the value of standardized testing in the college admissions process.  In fact, the Princeton psyschologist who developed the first SAT was not entirely sold on its use and this week a report was released that asked colleges to seriously consider eliminating them. However, these tests aren’t going away anytime soon. Millions of students take them annually, and they are used not only for college admission, but for course placement, scholarship eligibility, and honors college eligibility. So what should you do about them?


Do Colleges Care about Your Senior Year?

August 25, 2008 By: Brady Norvall Category: Admissions insider, Application tips, Best College Tips, Get into College 1 Comment →

Welcome to your senior year. It’s an exciting time full of change and celebration. Many people have probably told you how unimportant your senior year is. For example, they maybe told you that your grades don’t matter one iota, although usually you should do better in the first semester than the second. Or maybe they told you that colleges will not look at your grades from senior year because they already have accepted you based on your 9th-11th years.  Well, my young, goal-oriented high schooler, THESE ARE LIES. Your senior year counts. Not only does your senior year count towards your high school graduation, it counts towards the trend that you have worked so hard to set over the past three years and that you promised you would continue to achieve when you applied to college. (more…)

Top 10 Things I Learned Applying to College

August 08, 2008 By: Daniel Ni Category: Best College Tips, Get into College 1 Comment →

Because Top 10 lists may be the most popular thing this side of Tiger Woods, I think it’s appropriate that I use one to explain what I’ve learned over the past year from the stressful college admissions process.


So, You’re a First-Generation College Student

July 21, 2008 By: Brady Norvall Category: Admissions insider, Choosing a College, Get into College No Comments →

If there is one demographic that is highly sought after by colleges and universities around the country, it’s the first-generation college students.  Because the financial aid process is so tragically unclear and never certain, first-generation college students are likely to stay close to home and attend a public university. In most instances, this is just fine.  However, limiting your applications to schools close to home can be risky because you won’t know what the financial aid package will be until you are admitted.  In other words, don’t hesitate to apply to your dream school just because it’s too expensive on paper.  Although the process seems tedious, don’t let it break your spirit.  Move forward, continue pursuing your dreams . . . (more…)

A Summer Checklist to Get You Into College

July 18, 2008 By: David Petersam Category: Admissions insider, Get into College No Comments →

You’re a college senior. Believe it or not, at this time next year, you’ll most likely be preparing to attend the college of your dreams. Now the question is, how are you going to get into your dream school? What should you be doing to prepare yourself for those all-too-fast approaching college application deadlines?


The DO’s and DON’Ts of the College Essay

July 07, 2008 By: David Petersam Category: Admissions insider, College application essays 1 Comment →

Last time, we discussed how to approach the college essay. Now, before you take a pen to paper (or keyboard to monitor), there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind as you write your application masterpiece.

Photo courtesy of mag3737


When to Hire a Private College Admissions Counselor

June 30, 2008 By: Brady Norvall Category: Admissions insider, Get into College, The recruiter insider 1 Comment →

Of course, like everything, every student has different needs.  It is not universally true that every high schooler undergoing the college application process needs to hire an admission “expert”. Granted, hardly any who call themselves such truly know much more than any guidebook could tell you.  There is, however, one thing that is indisputable: all young people need advocates in their lives.  Sadly, a common trend in education, private and public, alike, is that the high school guidance and college counseling departments are too overworked and underfunded to offer much more than one or two generic meetings to discuss the local and in-state university landscape.  Not to mention, they all too often quickly dismiss certain universities as unrealistic and impossible for the student to gain admission.  There have been very few instances that I can recall where I have said to someone that he/she can’t gain admission somewhere.  It’s just not a good habit to practice.  With the constantly changing state of the college admission process, you might want to look into hiring a private counselor if you meet any of the following criteria….



College Essays: Do You Have the Write Stuff?

June 25, 2008 By: David Petersam Category: Best College Tips, College application essays, Get into College No Comments →

You’ve accomplished a great GPA, you’ve made hash of the standardized test, and you’ve managed to squeeze in some great extra-curricular activities. But suddenly, you come to a screeching halt as you stare at a blank page, facing the ultimate test.

The college application essay.



What I Learned Getting Into Yale

June 16, 2008 By: Laura Kruse Category: College Tips, Get into College No Comments →

I started seriously looking at college applications last summer. A year ago, I never would have guessed I’d end up going to Yale. It wasn’t even on my list. If there’s one thing I learned about the college admissions process, it’s to always keep an open mind.



An Ivy League Essay: You in 500 Words or Less

June 09, 2008 By: Laura Kruse Category: Get into College 2 Comments →

While sparkling SAT test scores and a flawless transcript put you in the running for Ivy League admissions, your college essay can make or break your application. There are a few important things to keep in mind when writing your college essay.


It’s Not Too Early: A Step By Step Guide to Get Into College

June 06, 2008 By: Brady Norvall Category: Admissions insider, Best College Tips, Get into College No Comments →

No matter how much anyone tells you that you can prepare for the college application process beforehand, it’s inevitable that it will, ultimately, feel like a time-crunch. Too often, the process seems like a race against the clock. And, along with everything else going on during the senior year, organization is essential if you want to enjoy the admissions process or more importantly, enjoy your senior year.