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Tagged: Applications

How to handle Uncle Bob and Aunt Bertha during the holidays

November 27th, 2018

Navigating through holiday social events while keeping track of application deadlines, topped with interrogations by family members about your future plans, can be a bit overwhelming.  It’s a little bit like filling your plate with turkey, stuffing, vegetables and cranberry sauce and then trying to make room for the sweet potato casserole!

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, now is a great time to reflect on conversations had with family and friends.  And with the winter holidays quickly approaching it is important to find balance while remaining productive, enjoying some time off while continuing to check things off your “to-do” list.  

The article we share below has many great tips and tricks to help guide you through the rest of the holiday season.  December is a month when many students will hear the outcome of Early Decision and Early Action applications and for seniors, waiting can often be the hardest part of this process.  Keeping busy and having a plan can help you through this time.  

Article referenced below published on November 14, 2018 by Counselors’ Corner, written by Patrick O’Connor.

Completing college applications can be hard work, work that often runs through the holiday season. Since everyone else is taking some time off, this would seem to be the perfect opportunity to hang out with your family, especially since this could be your last Thanksgiving/New Year/Kwanzmasakah as a full-time occupant of your parents’ home. How could this possibly be a bad idea?
“My friend,” says you, “you clearly don’t know my parents, or my Uncle Bob.”
And yet, I actually do. Here are the three keys to thriving (not just surviving) this holiday season:
Read more at Counselor's Corner >>

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Does your social media presence help you or harm you?

October 2nd, 2018

Social media is a powerful platform and while it can be a great tool for networking, the disciplinary consequence of posting something inappropriate could be detrimental to your school or college admission prospects.  Some colleges are using your social media “brand” as fair game when evaluating you for admission; perhaps boarding schools are doing the same.  For that reason, application season is a great time to review your online presence.  Consider your profile as a way to show the world your best self, beyond your test scores and grades. 

In the article referenced below, Thao Nelson, a lecturer at Indiana University, writes an open letter to students discussing the importance of taking your future self into consideration when posting on social media.  Colleges and schools want to enroll people who strengthen their student body, so “when in doubt, leave it out” is a great motto to consider before liking or posting online.

Article referenced below published by World Economic Forum, written by Thao Nelson

Dear Student,

Harvard recently rescinded admission offers for some incoming freshmen who participated in a private Facebook group sharing offensive memes. The incident has sparked a lot of discussion: Was Harvard’s decision justified? What about the First Amendment? Do young people know the dangers of social media?

I’m a business school lecturer, career services counselor and former recruiter, and I’ve seen how social media becomes part of a person’s brand – a brand that can help you or hurt you.

Read more at World Economic Forum >>

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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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