Posts in College Admissions
Why Your Extracurricular Activities Matter (in College Admissions and in Life)

Like the name implies, extracurriculars are the things you do outside of your normal curriculum. In other words, an extracurricular is any organized group activity or hobby that is an extra to what you do in your studies.

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Q&A: Why do college acceptance rates keep dropping each year?

The experts say that admissions rates (i.e. the percentage of applicants who get offers of admission) are falling at top colleges because prospective students are applying to more schools than they used to, while the number of available spots hasn’t really picked up.

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Q&A: Can I talk about a mental illness on my college applications as a reason for a dip in my grades?

As an on-again, off-again admissions reader, I’ve always been trained to take into account extenuating circumstances like an illness (in whatever form) or death in the family when evaluating an applicant’s profile.

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Q&A: I have an after school job at a hospital. Can I put that on a college application?

Yes, you can and should put an after school job on your college applications. I would say only about 1 in every 8 cases when I read undergraduate applications did the applicant list a job…

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College Admissions 101: Choosing between the ACT and SAT

If you’re worried about which test to take for college admissions and going back and forth, look no further! There are enough decisions to make in the coming months; don’t let choosing which test to take add to your list of stressors. In fact, many students take both. Taking both tests allows you to compare which scores reflect your abilities better. Colleges accept both, so whether you choose the ACT or the SAT, you won’t be making the wrong decision.

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Q&A: What are some things I can do in high school to help me get into good colleges?

As an experienced admissions file reader, there are some basic guidelines I would give any applicant, that if followed, would make their application profile more competitive for top schools, like the Ivies.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Everything You Need to Know About Attending Community College

If you’re still questioning what you want to do after graduation, this is the post for you. While friends and classmates are sending in their deposits and planning where they’re going to live next year, you’re stuck between taking a year off, going away for school, or taking community college courses.  


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The Ins and Outs of Asking for Letters of Recommendation: A Step by Step Guide for College Applications

Like your college essay, letters of recommendation allow admissions counselors to gain a better sense of who you are. While your SAT scores and grades give an idea of your academic capabilities, your recommenders can speak to your personality, your work ethic, and what you might bring to the campus culture.

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College Admissions 101: The Essential Application Timeline for Senior Year

Going into the admissions cycle with a plan will help you stay on track and prevent being overwhelmed. Rest assured, as daunting as it seems, the college admissions process is manageable and doable. We’re here to take the mystery out of the process and help you feel prepared for senior year.

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13 Parents Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal, Others Face Additional Charges, Colleges Taking Action

This week, thirteen parents involved in what is being called the biggest college admissions scandal in U.S. history, including actress Felicity Huffman, and one coach will plead guilty to using bribery and other forms of fraud to cheat the college admissions process.

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Planning Your College Visit: Tips for Before, During, and After Your Trip

Visiting a college is the best way to find out if it’s the right fit for you. If you’ve always imagined yourself going to a large school in an urban setting, or a small school in a rural setting, taking the time to visit will solidify your decision. Here’s what you need to know about college visits.


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Common App Debuts New Transfer Requirements Grid

Common App’s new Transfer Requirements Grid provides an easy-to-read chart that helps prospective transfer students better understand the deadlines, fees, and specific application requirements for the 600+ colleges and universities who accept the Common App for transfer applications.

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College 101: How to Create an Initial List of Target Colleges

Starting the college search from scratch is intimidating. There are hundreds of schools across the country and they all vary in size, location, program offerings, internship opportunities, and more. How do you know where to start? If you’re early in the college search stage, this list is for you.


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College 101: How to Write a Resume for College Applications

These days, resumes are needed for more than just job applications. In fact, a growing number of colleges are requiring prospective freshmen to submit resumes as a part of their undergraduate applications. While grades, test scores, and extracurricular involvement form the basis for most admissions decisions, a stellar resume can be the deciding factor for an admissions officer when it comes to choosing between a group of similar candidates.

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Rising Seniors: 6 Easy Ways to Prepare for College Admissions Over Summer Break

In the lazy days of summer, applying to college will often be the last thing on your mind. You’ll want to take advantage of the free time and spend time doing what you want (as you should!). But, even setting aside just an hour or two a week towards preparing for college admissions will help you have a much smoother fall.

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Accepted into College? Here’s What You Should Do Next

It’s finally here. You see a large envelope in the mail, and a part of you already knows what’s coming. After the long nights studying, the hours writing and editing, you take a deep breath in and open that long-awaited letter. Finally, you’ve been accepted into college.

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College Essays 101: How to Answer the 2019-20 Coalition App Essay Prompts

Offering free college planning tools and a space to consolidate and save documents for your college application, Coalition for College aims to give all students, especially low income and first-generation students, access to college. One perk of the Coalition App is that it allows you to save your essays and notes to yourself in one place, MyCoalition Locker. You can have mentors, teachers, and parents read your drafts and provide feedback.

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The Pros and Cons of Taking a Gap Year Before College

Taking a gap year has all sorts of connotations. Some might assume you’re going to spend a year gallivanting through Europe. Some might think you aren’t driven, you’re scared of committing to college, you’re not dreaming big enough. Whatever the negative connotations surrounding the gap year, for many students, taking a break has professional, personal, and financial benefits that you’ll reap for years to come.

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Stanford Students File Suit Against 8 Colleges Involved in Admissions Cheating Scandal

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, a new lawsuit alleges plaintiffs, Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods, were denied a fair opportunity to gain legitimate admission to elite colleges, and that their Stanford degrees were devalued, by a college admissions scheme during which wealthy parents used side doors and cheating to get their kids into some of the nation’s top schools.

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Elite Universities Respond to the College Admissions Cheating Scandal: Here’s What They Had to Say

A new cheating scandal recently revealed by the FBI has named over half a dozen elite universities and colleges as victims in a scheme funded by parents seeking to guarantee their children admission into top schools.

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