The Social Media Effect on College Admissions

A student’s internet presence has begun to play an increasingly more important role in his/her college application. With the popularity of tools like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, colleges (not unlike many employers nowadays) have begun reviewing applicants’ online presence as part of the admissions process. In a study released last month, Kaplan Test Prep found the following statistics: Google: 27% …

The Importance of High-Impact Extracurriculars

Today I had the opportunity to sit with admissions officers at a large public institution. They reaffirmed my dedication to helping students find their voice and shine through their essays. As we evaluated applications together, I learned how they view different activities. While I’ve said for years that students need to become very engaged in extracurriculars they are passionate about, …

Be Proactive: Plan for the Rest of the Year

As we head into November, it is time for parents to regroup from back-to-school season and start helping their students plan through June. Now is the time to review grades, standardized test timelines and extracurricular involvement. Grades The first quarter has either finished or is close to complete. This is a perfect time for an academic check-in with students. Really …

Common Application Changes on the Horizon

Changes are coming to the Common Application for the class of 2014. The Common Application is an application that over 400 colleges and universities accept to evaluate candidates for admission. It has been around for quite some time, but only recently has the number and selectivity of its schools increased. Before the Common App, students had to submit individual forms to each …

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 …

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…. …

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 …