#CampusChat 8-27: The High School Counselor Relationship
Aug27

#CampusChat 8-27: The High School Counselor Relationship

Did you know that your student’s high school counselor can be a valuable asset in the college admissions process? How do you establish the relationship? How can they help with college prep? How should you student connect with his/her counselor? These questions and more will be answered during this week’s #WednesdaysParent edition of #CampusChat with our guest Shelley Krause (@butwait). She has served as a Regional Dir. of Admissions at @PreviewingPenn, & Associate Dir. of admissions @TCNJ_Admissions. Currently, she is in her 10th yr as a member of the college counseling team @RutgersPrep, New Jersey’s first independent school.  She is also the lead curator of collegelistswiki.com, a counselor-curated collection of over 250 college lists. If you have any questions about the counselor / student / parent relationship bring them to tonight’s chat. What: #CampusChat Where: On Twitter using #CampusChat hashtag (follow @suzanneshaffer, @pocsmom and @butwait) When: Wednesday 9PM ET Topic: The high school counselor relationship See you there. We’ll be saving you a...

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Smart Definitions: College Admission Application Types
Oct30

Smart Definitions: College Admission Application Types

If you are a high school senior and want to apply to college early, you should know there are several different college admission application types: Related: When it comes to admission advice, consider the source Early Decision – for students who are really sure of their first-choice school and are ready to accept an offer of admission (and financial aid package, if applicable). Early Decision application deadlines typically fall between October 30 – December 1. Students are notified during December and January. Deadlines vary by school. Applying ED carries certain expectations: That the college you applied to is your first-choice and you will accept the offer of admission. That you will apply to only one school as an ED applicant. That acceptance of an offer admission is binding. And, it is expected that you will withdraw all applications to other institutions. Early Action (a.k.a. Early Action I) – for students who want to apply early (before the regular application deadline). Of the college admission application types, this is one for which the offer of admission is non-binding, meaning you are not under any obligation to accept the offer of admission. The Early Action option makes sense for students who are sure of their first-choice college but don’t want the restrictions that come with applying as an ED applicant. Some benefits to applying Early Action include early consideration for competitive majors where the number of slots is limited and perhaps access to certain scholarship opportunities (details and opportunities will vary by institution and program). Early Action II – similar to EA I, but with a later deadline (still prior to the regular admissions deadline). Same conditions apply: non-binding; ideal for students with top/first-choice schools. Not Ready to Apply Early? If the timing’s not right to apply early then Regular Decision works just fine. Regular Decision – means you will apply by a specified date that usually falls between January and March, after which application review typically begins. Students will be notified by a certain date in the spring (usually by early April since the national candidate reply date to accept the offer of admission is May 1). Rolling Admissions – means applications are accepted on an on-going basis and are reviewed as they come in. Students are typically notified withing 2-4 weeks following submission. Always check with each college you’re considering to find out which of the above application methods “apply” to their institution.  Related: When to hit...

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Your College Admissions Essay: Get Real
Oct04

Your College Admissions Essay: Get Real

John Carpenter, Director of Admissions and University Counseling at the United World College, UWC Costa Rica, responded with this guest post to one of the takeaways from NACAC about what college admissions officers are really looking for in a college admissions essay. The full text of this also appears on his blog: askJohnaboutcollege.com. We encourage students to ask college admissions officers about what they are looking for when reading an applicant’s essay. When should students ask about this? While on the college visit, of course! Colleges Want You to Get Real in the College Admissions Essay by John Carpenter “What is real?” asked the Rabbit. Does anyone remember that question from The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams? It was one of my favorite books when I was younger, but it really didn’t speak to me until I was already an adult.Being real is a good thing to think about–especially as you’re cranking out college essays and applications. The temptation is to try to make yourself appear super amazing, and nobody is going to blame you for trying to do that either–especially when it seems that every other kid applying to college has created her own business, won a national debating trophy,opened a homeless shelter for abandoned children, and cured leprosy. However, the very best way to grab an admission officer’s attention is to be the person you are. Seriously. In other words, write about whatever is important to you, but in your own REAL voice. “Real isn’t how you’re made,” replied the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you.” Happens to you? Holy cow, what does that mean? “What has happened to you” can be exactly that–something that you’ve sustained or overcome, but more often than not, being real comes from something that you’ve noticed or learned or paid attention to. In other words, it’s whatever it is that made you into the person you are now–the thinking, questioning, maybe uncertain-about-some-stuff person that you are. Write about that. So maybe what has happened to you is that you’ve thought about something in a new way recently. That’s real. Or you’ve gotten disgusted about something at your school, or on the news, or in your family. That’s real. Or maybe you’ve just been afraid of not having anything to say about yourself on a college application. That’s real, too. Forget trying to impress someone you’ve never even met with your application, resume,and college admissions essay. Just tell the colleges who you are. Dirt and all. Well, maybe just some of the dirt–but the point is, you don’t have to “do” things to make a good impression. All you have...

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Business Tops the List of Undergraduate Degrees Awarded
Jan30

Business Tops the List of Undergraduate Degrees Awarded

Business Tops the List of Undergraduate Degrees Awarded Still trying to decide what to major in when you go to college?  Of the 1,563,000 bachelor's degrees conferred in 2007–08, the greatest number of degrees (335,000) were awarded in the field of business.  Curious about majors? Consider asking these questions while on your campus visit: What's the most popular major or degree program? How often do students change their major here? What percent of students graduate in four years? For more college visit tips and questions to ask both students and faculty, explore the College Visit section of this site. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010) Digest of Education Statistics, 2009 (NCES 2010-013),Chapter 3....

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Our Best Tips on Preparing for the SAT

1. Know the deadlines. 2. Take the SAT Practice Test.  The main advantage is to become familiar with how questions are worded. Be sure to take them as timed tests. See the SAT Practice page for a variety of options. 3. Read every day.  The worst thing you can is not read everyday.  4. Study Vocabulary.  It's essential and, ideally, studying vocab should take place over time as opposed to weeks/months before the test date. Reading should include a variety of genres, topics, and reading levels. Resources such as Word-a-Day challenges, cross-word puzzles and dictionary games add fun, easy ways to expand your vocabulary.  5. Get a good night's sleep before the test date.  Also, relieve the stress with a little...

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Top 10 Questions for the Undecided Major
Mar10

Top 10 Questions for the Undecided Major

Applying undecided is fine, provided the college in question has a good program for helping new students explore available majors. Deciding where to apply is just one of the important decision points on the path to college. Deciding which major to choose is another, and with many schools offering anywhere from 40 – 70 majors, the number of choices alone can be overwhelming. The good news is that it’s usually OK to enter college as “undecided.” Many schools offer freshmen experience or introductory programs to help students navigate the choices and make good decisions about their futures.  If you’re not sure about what to declare as your major, or what impact entering college as “undecided” will have on your future options, we suggest asking the following questions during your campus visit: Q1: What guidance do students receive towards helping identify a major that would be a good fit? Q2: Is there a course students should take the first semester to help in the search for a major? Q3: What is the average time to a degree for a student who enters the university “undecided?” Q4: What majors are restricted? Q5: What are the restrictions? Q6: Is there an application process for restricted majors? Q7: Is the restriction capacity or performance driven? Q8: How likely is it that a student who meets the qualifications will be able to enter a specific restricted major? Q9: What is the percentage of students who apply for a restricted major who get accepted? Q10: How many students typically enter your school as undecided? *** Christina McIntyre, developer of BecomeAlum, an academic planning tool for enrolled students, recommended the above list of questions as follow up to an earlier post: BecomeAlum Founder on Planning Your College...

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