Smart Q & A: Is Optional SAT really Optional?
Jun01

Smart Q & A: Is Optional SAT really Optional?

QUESTION (via Twitter): from: @suddenlyfrugal Admissions officer told us optional question on common app isn’t optional. So are SATs really optional at SAT-optional schools? ANSWER: by: Jeannie Borin, M.Ed. , founder of College-Connections The word “optional” regarding college essays and test optional colleges is a choice.  However, it is recommended to complete any optional college essays.  Admission officers are attempting to gain as much insight about the applicants as possible.  Writing an additional essay is an opportunity for the applicant to show yet another experience, interest or side of themselves not revealed elsewhere on the application. Currently, there are about 850 test optional colleges in the United States (a list can be found at www.fairtest.org). Many colleges have selected not to require test scores because they consider other components more relevant in determining a student’s success in college. If a student does well on standardized tests, they can still send scores to test optional colleges.  However, they do not need to do so to gain acceptance. Students need to understand that without test scores, their grades, courses selected, extracurricular activities, essays and recommendations are extremely important. Jeannie is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (ICEA). Do you have an admissions or college visit question? Ask and we’ll do our best to answer your question. Click here to submit a question for our experts!   PREVIOUSLY ANSWERED: Senior Year Honors or AP Classes? Is it Better to Apply “Undecided” or Declare a...

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Visiting College Campuses
Feb23

Visiting College Campuses

By: Jeannie Borin, M.Ed. College-Connections It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many buildings, programs and informational tours. A preplanned checklist of what you want to see is a good idea.  Here are some things to look out for while you tour different colleges. Admission Criteria Requirements and What to Include with Application When to Apply GPA & Test Scores (if required) Scholarships Offered Student Support/Counseling Center Academics Professor Availability Popular Programs Average Size of Class (ratio to student) Possible Internships Study Abroad Opportunities Available Technology Library Facilities  Campus Life Greek–Fraternities/Sororities Weekend Activities Special Campus Events How Many Students Live on Campus? Commute? Sport Events Dining Facilities Party Scene   Campus Setting Where is College Located? Too Remote? Too Urban? Near a City? What is Surrounding Community Like? Campus Town? -  Look of the College Dorms and Nearby Housing Lecture Halls & Classrooms Clean, Easy Access, Transportation Libraries Security & Safety, Campus Police Availability Current Building Projects How Well Are Current Facilities Maintained? Recreation Center  While visiting, here are some additional suggestions: Take a campus informational tour. Set up an interview with an admission officer. Audit a course. Speak with a professor or representative at the department in your field of interest. If you are pursuing athletics, talk to a coach in your sport. If possible, stay overnight in a dorm with a friend or relative. Pick up the campus newspaper. Spend time in the Student Union and eat in the cafeteria. Speak to students and ask questions. Find the center of campus and have a seat for 30 minutes. Take a look at the college bookstore. Ask a student what he/she loves and hates about the college. Tour the community surrounding the campus. Ask a student if you can see their dorm room. Ask yourself if you could feel at home at this college. Take lots of notes and pictures. Most importantly: Enjoy Yourself! Jeannie Borin, M.Ed., is founder of College-Connections, a Professional College and Educational consulting firm and also a frequent participant in...

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On CampusChat: College Web Search Techniques with Jeannie Borin

How do you begin to search for a college on the web? "Google it," right? Then what? Did page 1 of the 22,100,00 million results in .33 seconds (ex: California colleges) help you find what you were looking for?  If not, then join us on Twitter for tonight's CampusChat at 9PM, Eastern. Our guest host is Jeannie Borin, M.Ed., president and founder of Los Angeles-based College Connections, an independent college counseling firm. Jeannie's experience in college admissions counseling spans 25 years. She has been awarded professional membership with the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and is affiliated with the National and Western Association of College Admissions Counselors, as well as the Higher Educational Consultants Association.  Watch the video of Jeannie below as she provides an overview of the college admissions process.   Bring your questions about using the web to search for the right college to #CampusChat tonight at 9PM EST, led by @collegevist. Follow @jeannieborin tonight's guest and use the hashtag #CampusChat to track the...

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