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Tagged: Applications

Early Action and Early Decision: understand the difference

September 18th, 2018

Is your heart set on one particular college?  Should you apply Early (note the capital “E”) to signal your devotion?  

  

Our last blog post focused on demonstrated interest.  Applying Early Action or Early Decision certainly allows colleges to see your level of interest in attending.  Many colleges admit Early Action and Early Decision candidates at higher rates than we see in the Regular Decision pool.

Applying Early Action involves no risk for the applicant.  It simply moves the deadline to an earlier date, typically November 1, and applicants receive admission decisions well ahead of Regular Decision timetables.  We believe that Early Action programs without strings are wonderful pathways for applications.

In contrast, Early Decision is binding.  This is an enormous commitment and you must be 110% certain that this is where you would like to enroll.  As with Early Action, the accelerated timetable allows for a much earlier decision to be returned, typically ahead of winter break.  If you’re certain about wanting to enroll, this is a great pathway … but if you worry that you might look back in March and wish your other applications were still active, then it’s the wrong choice.

(Interesting aside:  Early Decision is even making its way into the boarding school world!)

A small number of extraordinarily selective colleges offer their own twist on Early Action, called Restrictive Early Action or Single Choice Early Action.  In these cases, students may not simultaneously apply for Early Decision elsewhere and in some cases, they may not even apply Early Action at other private schools.  Make sure that you’re reading the fine print when going this route.

Would you like to learn more about the difference between Early Action and Early Decision?  The article linked below from CNBC highlights exactly what you need to know to make your best choice.

Article referenced below published on November 1, 2017 by CNBC, written by Abigail Hess

This month, thousands of high school students will submit early action (EA) and early decision (ED) applications to colleges.

The deadlines for these types of applications are typically between November 1st and November 15th. Applying early action or early decision each have their benefits, but they’re very different.

“Most people pair early action and early decision because of shared deadlines, but I find that the only similarity between the two is the timeline,” says Ian Fisher, director of educational counseling at educational advising firm College Coach.

“EA is actually much more similar to regular decision, both in terms of the competitiveness of the pool and the freedom to choose from among a range of options once they’ve been admitted.”

 

Read more at CNBC >>

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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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Admitted, denied or waitlisted

April 2nd, 2018

Did you hear a giant exhale last week?  The waiting game is over as most seniors received their remaining admission decisions; we’ve loved hearing from students about results.  Readers may be surprised to know that nearly all seniors saw each of these three words:  admitted, denied and wait-listed.  And that is as it should be.

The green light, yellow light, red light and lottery admission estimate system we have in place at Shrop Ed helps instill confidence that there will be good news as those decisions roll in.  As the number of applicants continues to rise, the number of rejections from colleges and universities increases as well.  This puts an extreme amount of pressure on students, and we hope that younger students and their parents understand the importance of creating an application list that includes plenty of green and yellow light options that feel like a fit.  Our seniors vouch for it.

Back to those three big words – here is some advice pertaining to each:

Admitted

Congratulations!  You can finally take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.  You now have until May 1st to notify the college of your choice that you will enroll.  Explore carefully between now and then to make sure you’re fully comfortable with your decision. 

Did you know that every admission offer is contingent on continued success?  Be certain to maintain your efforts in school, finishing strongly.  This not only insures a smooth transition to college in the fall, but keeps you on the right side of your admission offer.

Wait-listed

If this college remains your top choice, accept the offer and make clear that you are still interested by doing more.  Update your file, if the college allows, with your most recent grades, latest test scores (if not already on record), new accomplishments and distinctions, etc.  Remain proactive, reaching out to your admission counselor and demonstrating authentic interest.  If you would definitely enroll if admitted, state this unequivocally.

Denied

This is hard news to swallow, but it is a competitive world and the admission landscape has grown more challenging with each passing year.  Keep your head up and focus on the schools you were admitted to.  You are the same person today as you were before receiving the news; your strengths and potential to succeed are fully intact.

Not being accepted is difficult to handle, especially after putting your heart and soul into the college application process.    In the article we share with you today, writer Deirdre Fernandes from the Boston Globe digs a little deeper into the reality of disappointments surrounding U.S. colleges and universities.  

Article referenced below from Boston Globe

Published March 27, 2018

You’ve seen the viral videos: high school seniors leaping around the room, overjoyed at discovering that their top-choice college has welcomed them into the ranks of the incoming freshman class.

But for every victorious online posting, there are multiple high school seniors simultaneously being rejected from those very same schools.

Getting into the country’s most selective colleges is more fiercely competitive than ever, with many schools reporting a record number of applicants, boosted by an easier application process and more aggressive recruiting. Twenty years ago, for example, Tufts University admitted 33 percent of the students who applied; last year Tufts made offers to just 15 percent of the pool. Northeastern University extended offers to nearly four out of five applicants in 1998, but only one out of five this year. Williams College’s admissions rate has shrunk from 26 percent to 12 percent over two decades.

Read more at Boston Globe >>

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Juniors: open your eyes to scholarship opportunities

February 5th, 2018

Shrop Ed families know that despite urban myths, most scholarship assistance is offered by colleges directly.  Still, there are “external” scholarships for which students can apply, and their review processes are often highly competitive.

Most scholarship applications will be due in the fall, but there is one major scholarship deadline for juniors to pay attention to this spring:  that of the Bryan Cameron Education Foundation.  The Foundation limits the number of applications it will review for its Cameron Impact Scholarship and for that reason, it’s best to jump on the application well ahead of the posted May deadline.  The competition for these awards is daunting, as you’ll see when you read the statistics, yet we’re thrilled to have had two seniors in the Finalist round this year, one of whom was named a Cameron Impact Scholar!  Being a top student AND changing the world are important criteria for the award, and we’re thrilled to see intentional and excellent accomplishments recognized.

As we receive word of other major scholarship competitions, we’ll share information with the Shrop Ed community.  In the meantime, we urge all juniors interested in scholarship funding to set up an account on Cappex, which has a scholarship search engine that will match your profile to opportunities.

 

Read more at Bryan Cameron Education Foundation >>

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