Essays on Repeat

Writing a great essay is a skill that must be repeated on college applications. Perhaps repeated a dozen or more times in fact. As colleges began to opt into the Common Application, they have continued to add additional writing requirements to help students differentiate themselves from others. Now, we shouldn’t look at these essays as a burden. They are, in …

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Writing Those Darn College Essays

After working with students for years on college application essays, I have noticed trends in writing styles, topics and themes. Students are typically either very humble or oddly boastful in their essays. They also tend to use shortcuts to get their point across: the clearest example is the chronological essay (think “when I was five….  then when I was eight…. …

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Application Deadlines: Knowing the Terms

Applying to schools has become increasingly more involved. As the incentive for students to apply earlier and earlier increases, the application process has taken on new acronyms, deadlines, and strategies for maximizing a student’s chances at getting in. Some students fall in love with a school and the family has no financial need. Others may have some preferences and/or financial …

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Back to School: Make the Most of Your Year

The school year is quickly approaching; for some, it has already begun. Students (and parents) should approach the beginning of a new year strategically, setting realistic goals and road-maps to achieving them. Last year is over, those courses, grades, and activities are locked in. But now is the opportunity to start fresh, build relationships with new teachers, find new opportunities, demonstrate your true …

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Why Use an Independent Counselor

Why use an independent college counselor? College admissions has become extremely competitive, with each student applying to eight or more schools and some schools having single digit admissions rates. A well-developed strategy for researching schools, developing an application package, and navigating financial-aid and scholarships can remove a lot of stress from the process. Below highlights some of the benefits of using an …

Selecting Schools with a Profession in Mind

Selecting schools to apply to is a daunting task – narrowing down from thousands to eight to 12 takes time and energy. While most students do not have a clue as to what they want to be “when they grow up,” some students have their hearts set on a specific profession. They take this bias into the college selection process. …

The College Visit – Part 1

College visits are an important part of the college selection process. This spring, thousands of students will begin traveling across the country to check out college campuses. With thousands of schools to choose from, deciding on which campuses to visit can be mind-boggling. And, sometimes, students are just so overwhelmed that they may seem completely disinterested. Don’t worry – they …

Earning College Credit in HS

A small debate has always taken place about Advanced Placement tests and their ability to help a student earn college credit. Advanced Placement (“AP” for short) is a program run by the College Board (makers of the SAT exam) to give high school students the ability to take college-level courses. Teachers are trained on the curriculum for these courses and …