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Summer splash: diving into college applications

June 25th, 2018

In the world of college admissions, all summers are important for high school students but we see a special opportunity for rising seniors.  In between your structured activities, summer is the perfect time to make major progress on your college applications.  And for rising juniors, setting up a Common App account now gives you the opportunity to add activities and honors over time.

As you approach the Common App with great thoughtfulness, you really want to consider what the reader wants to know. When I sat on college admission committees, the applications that stood out most gave me a sense that the student was sitting right next to me and I could engage in conversation with him or her.  The way you describe yourself should be compelling, while giving an accurate description of your interests and accomplishments.  I encourage all students to approach their work in this way.

A few things to consider when composing your application…

  • Sometimes the activities line does not give you enough space; use the “additional information” portion of the writing section to add important details.
  • The essay prompts used for fall 2018 entry will remain the same for students beginning their applications now.  The choice of which prompt to address is less important than the story to tell – the essay should provide a window into your life.
  • The Common App will be offline from July 27 (midday) to July 31 in preparation to launch the 2018-2019 application on August 1.
    During this time, colleges’ questions are updated and the previous year’s applicants are stored.

    • Account Rollover retains an active applicant’s college list and the seven sections of the ‘Common App’ tab: Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities, Writing, and Courses & Grades.
    • After August 1, students may log on with the same username and password, respond to a few questions and find their previous work intact.
    • College supplements, however, will be refreshed and any work on those would be deleted – so while it is okay to peek at last year’s questions, do not tackle college supplements in your Common App until after the Rollover period.
      • Some colleges will place new essay and short answer prompts on their admission sites ahead of the Rollover so it can be wise to check each college’s website for a head-start on institution-specific questions.

Many of our students already have opened their Common App accounts.  If not, please go to www.commonapp.org to get started today!

 

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How does your personality impact success?

June 11th, 2018

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test has been used for over 75 years and is often applied as a screening process by businesses to determine success in the workplace.  Many psychologists believe that this particular test which categorizes people into 16 different personality types is outdated.  

In today’s blog post, we are sharing an article from the BBC, in which psychologists Ian McRae and Adrian Furnham have developed a “new and improved” way to determine success across all areas of the workplace.  Their new test called the High Potential Trait Inventory includes 6 traits.  Not only is this type of test helpful in the workplace but also great for high school students to utilize when considering future career choices.  Either test is a great way for students and really all people to get to know themselves and how they can choose a successful path to go down.  

Article referenced below from BBC

Published on May 9, 2018 by David Robson

Are you curious, conscientious and competitive? Do you also have the more mysterious qualities of “high adjustment”, “ambiguity acceptance” and “risk approach”? If so, congratulations! According to new psychological research, these six traits constitute a “high potential” personality that will take you far in life.

The truth, of course, is a little more nuanced. It turns out the same traits, in excess, may also impede your performance, and the real secret to success may be to know exactly where you fall on each spectrum, and how to make the most of your strengths and account for your weaknesses. But this new approach promises to be an important step forward in our bid to understand the complex ways our personality affects our working life.

 

Read more at BBC >>

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Reward your hard work with a thoughtful summer book list

May 29th, 2018

Over the next several weeks, millions of high school seniors will don their caps and gowns and receive a diploma they have been working towards for the last 4 years.  Here in Kentucky, they’ve already started!  I am truly proud of each and every one of the ShropEd graduates and I know major accomplishments are to come.  If you are graduating high school, middle school or college this is the time to celebrate!

The school year is filled with projects, homework, sports and many other commitments.  Now, warmer temperatures have finally arrived and the days are longer; with the hustle and bustle of the school year behind us, summer seems to be the perfect time to encourage both reading and mindfulness.

Today, I want to share with you a list of books put together by college admissions officers and college advisors.  The theme of this list is mindfulness and in this busy world we live in, I hope by reading some of the books from this list we will gain mindfulness and live a more thoughtful (and less stress-filled) life.

Article referenced below published June 14, 2017 from The Washington Post

Each summer I publish a summer edition of great reading with recommendations from college admissions counselors and deans, compiled by Brennan Barnard,  director of college counseling at the Derryfield School in Manchester, N.H., and a contributor to this blog. Here is a unique list of 50 fiction and nonfiction books with some titles that can appeal to just about everybody.

Read more at The Washington Post >>

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Are test-optional colleges more diverse?

May 14th, 2018

As more colleges eliminate standardized tests from their admission requirements, the long-standing debate about whether test-optional schools provide more diversity on campus is still going strong.  Studies have documented a correlation between family income and test performance.  The higher the income, the more opportunities for test prep classes, which in turn increase scores.  This typically leaves low income families, including many minority students, at a disadvantage.  

Our experience shows that test scores do not always reflect a student’s strengths and abilities and we have a great appreciation for colleges that are test-optional, interested in understanding all facets of an applicant.

One significant question remains to be answered: does a test-optional admission policy really diversify a college campus?  In today’s article from Inside Higher Ed, writer Scott Jaschik lays out all the evidence.  After reviewing this article, what are your thoughts? 

For a full list of schools that have a test-optional or flexible test policy, please visit www.fairtest.org.

Article referenced below published April 27, 2018 by Inside HigherEd

Each year, more colleges announce that they are ending requirements that applicants submit SAT and ACT scores — joining hundreds of others in the “test-optional” camp. Just this week, Augsburg University in Minnesota made such a shift. The university’s announcement said that the policy had strong faculty support and was seen as likely to boost the diversity of the student body. High school grades in college preparatory courses are the key to good admissions decisions, said officials there, just as their peers have said at many other institutions.

Read more at Inside HigherEd >>

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