Spring Break Week: Time to Plan for College

Spring break may conjure images of pools, white sandy beaches, and tan lines, but for high school juniors and seniors, this week away from school could be better spent planning for college. Spring is a crucial time for high school students, so it’s important that they use their time wisely. Here are some ways high school students can make the …

The College Visit: Part 2

It’s that time of year: college visit season. With spring break on the horizon, high school seniors and juniors are heading out to visit their top college choices in hopes to discovering a campus that suits their every need.  In our previous post on college visits, I talked about how it’s important to limit the number of colleges visited, diversify …

“Stealth Applications” and “Junior Joiners”

Last week, I had the great opportunity to attend the Wisconsin School Counselor Association (WSCA) conference. This was an opportunity to meet high school counselors from across the state as well as professionals in college admissions, financial planning, and test preparation. Below are some highlights, particularly from a session in which directors of admissions were able to answer questions from …

To take or not to take: SAT Subject Tests

While most students are required to take the ACT or SAT test for college admissions, little realize that the SAT Subject Tests are other tests that many selective schools require for admission, course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Here is everything students need to know about the SAT Subject Tests: What are they? The SAT Subject Tests …

The College Scorecard

The State of the Union address on Feb. 12 put jobs and education front and center. No matter which side of the aisle you sit on, most people agree that the costs of college are rising to astronomical levels. Following the State of the Union, the President’s administration released the College Scorecard. The Scorecard, from the U.S. Department of Education’s …

The Common Application Essays Are Out!

About a month ahead of schedule, the Common Application has released its new crop of essay options. As I mentioned previously, the Common Application has been working on an entire revamp of its site, including these new essays. Also included in the redesign plans are the further restriction of words/characters, the elimination of the “Additional Information” upload, and other areas that …

Deferral or Postponement: It’s Not the End of the World.

Being “deferred” or “postponed” after applying to college can be gruesome. It is almost a purgatory of sorts: “you are not in, but you are not out, either.” And the fact that these students will have to wait longer for that letter is maddening. Some students want to forget about this school, but they need to remember that deferment or …

Selecting High School Courses

This is the time when students need to think about courses for the next academic year. Registration at your school will likely take place at the end of January (or early February). Course selection is more important than you may expect: Strength in curriculum has consistently been the #2 consideration for college admissions officers (with #1 being grades in college …

Summer Opportunities for Boosting that Application

As the official start to winter nears, high school students should already start to look towards summer. That’s right – although it is almost six months away, now is the time to begin researching and applying for summer opportunities.   The number one piece of advice, from a college-focused perspective, is that students should not be idle. They need to …

Obtaining Teacher Recommendations: Do Not Wait

A vital part of the admissions application is the teacher recommendation. Many schools require one and some even ask for two or three. There are some generally accepted guidelines as to who should write recommendations, how many you should submit and the process for requesting them. Some of the recommendations you’ll see below suggest letters should come from teachers in …