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Tagged: Applications

To do: application updates

February 1st, 2022

It’s February! You’ve done the work; applications have been submitted and now you’re supposed to relax and just wait, right? Well, maybe not!

Sitting back and relaxing is not all that easy while you play the waiting game. I’m asked all the time if there is anything students can do to improve their chances after applying, and the answer is yes, particularly if weeks or even months have elapsed since application submission.

Whether you’ve applied Regular Decision or been deferred through an Early plan, sending updates through college admission portals or writing letters can be helpful. Discuss new academic interests and projects, along with any new extracurricular accomplishments, research progress, etc.

Some colleges indicate through their “update guidance” that they want to know how serious an applicant you are.  So, letting a school know it’s your top choice and why can be beneficial, too, if you have clarity about that.

Image via Medium

The information in the article linked below from Medium, although aimed at college applicants, is useful for college and boarding school applicants alike.

Article linked below from Medium, published on February 15, 2019 written by Theo Wolf

Guide to Sending an Update to Colleges After Applying

So you’ve sent in your applications and now you’re nervously waiting to hear back. You might be wondering if there’s anything more you can do to help sway the decision. The answer is yes! While we don’t recommend inundating the admissions office with updates (there’s a classic story known in college admissions circles about a kid who sent postcards to the admissions office every week), in some cases it can be helpful to send an update to the schools you’ve applied to.

Should I submit an update?

You should submit an update to colleges if you have made significant progress in some aspect of your candidacy story, whether you’ve greatly developed your Spike, won a major award, received serious recognition from a well-known website, etc. If you haven’t done anything noteworthy, an update email is unnecessary, as it will be unlikely to move the needle on your application and may actually annoy admissions officers (they have a massive amount of reading to do this time of year). You don’t need to send an update on grades (unless it’s requested of you), since that will be in your counselor’s midyear report. We particularly recommend an update if the college cares about demonstrated interest.

Read more at Medium>>


Seize the days of winter break!

December 21st, 2021

Winter break comes at a time when students could use a little breather from daily routines. With little homework and few school obligations, you can finally slow down and spend some quality time with family and friends. Believe it or not, a little rest and relaxation can unleash productivity! So while I do believe in the importance of down time, I also think winter break can be an opportunity to get a few things accomplished.

Image via Classrooms

For high school seniors, regular decision application deadlines are imminent. This rings true for boarding school applicants, too, as some deadlines fall in early January. Tweak your applications and make final revisions to your essays. Tackle remaining work thoughtfully while you have the time, and you’ll feel less overwhelmed in the new year. Your future self will thank you!

For younger students who aren’t in the midst of admission application season, this time off of school can still be productive. Whether you choose to pick up a new hobby or get organized for the new year, the article linked below from will give you some fantastic ideas about how best to seize the days of winter break.

Article linked below from, published on November 15, 2021 by Carolina Brown

Making the Most of Your Winter Break

It’s finally here. You’ve worked hard throughout the semester and have earned your break. Whether you’re in high school or college, you’re sure to be ready for a break after months of endless homework, quizzes, and tests. Winter break is a great time to relax and unwind while preparing yourself for the upcoming semester. 

3 Ways to Continue Your Learning

Nobody said you have to relax all winter break if you don’t feel like it. You might find that it pays to keep your brain active and focused on learning things, even if you have a break away from your courses.

Read more at>>


Admit, defer, deny: early admission news

December 7th, 2021

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for high school students awaiting admission notifications, the time couldn’t be dragging any more slowly. In the month of December, many students who applied early will receive one of these three responses…admit, defer, deny. So what next steps should you take after hearing the news?

Image via Niche


If you are accepted into your top choice school, hooray! Follow the school’s instructions carefully to determine a follow-up plan.


It is not easy hearing “no,” especially for something you are so passionate about. Allow yourself time to feel without judgment. There is a mourning period and you will get through this. It may be difficult to think about right now, but there are many wonderful choices out there that might actually be a better fit for you. Each college on your list is a great option and you still have time to add a new college or two.


Getting deferred by your top choice school can be disappointing and the response to deferral is not so cut and dried. You will find many opinions on how to respond when you receive this news, but I think the article linked below from Niche says it best. The advice given from author Michaela Schieffer provides simple steps to follow in this scenario.

Article linked below from Niche, written by Michaela Schieffer published on January 21, 2019

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Into College if You’ve Been Deferred

At some point in your senior year, there will be a moment when your mailbox (or email inbox) holds your future, determining the location of the next four years of your life. This anticipation can quickly turn to disappointment if the letter from your top-choice colleges, to which you applied early decision, is anxiously opened, only to view the word “deferred” in place of your anticipated acceptance.

Thankfully, the college admissions game is not black and white. While a deferral is certainly not the preferred answer, nor does it indicate an acceptance, it should not be considered a rejection. A deferral from an early decision cycle refers to the decision by the school to consider your application in the regular decision cycle. In short, the school is offering you another chance at admission.

Early action deadlines are designed to offer admission to a limited number of students, in order to allow the admissions department to better plan for the upcoming regular decision cycle. This preliminary round allows the admissions team a chance to evaluate their early admits in light of their projected goals for the academic year. If their goal is to admit a well-rounded freshman class with unique perspectives, the department will need time to pause and regroup before the regular decision round begins.

Read more at Niche>> 

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Emotional IQ and the connection to college applications

February 18th, 2020

Shrop Ed advisees have grown accustomed to hearing me stress the importance of developing as a person first, maximizing potential and impact, which results in the secondary benefit of becoming a stronger college candidate. This is a lifelong skill, not just for the sake of college admissions but, more importantly, for everything that follows.

Mindfulness, the practice of being present, is a valuable tool that strengthens self-awareness, self-management and empathy (emotional intelligence). Having a high emotional IQ is linked to long-term success and according to Belinda H. Y. Chiu, author of the book The Mindful College Applicant, it can also help you through the college admission process. The article linked below is a Q and A with Chiu, highlighting ways to cultivate these important skills during this crucial time.

Article referenced below from Inside Higher Ed, published January 13, 2020 written by Scott Jaschik

‘The Mindful College Applicant’

College admissions has had a tough year of scandal and embarrassing headlines. Belinda H. Y. Chiu offers a solution: for college applicants to be more “mindful.”

Drawing on her experience in the high school and college sectors, she outlines her vision in The Mindful College Applicant: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence for the Admissions Process (Rowman & Littlefield). She responded to questions about the book via email.

Q: This past year has seen a college admissions scandal and plenty of other reports of admissions favoring the wealthy. What makes you think higher education is going to change?

A: From ancient times in Greece and India to today, higher education — what is taught, how it’s taught and who is taught — has been constantly changing. And factors like wealth, class, gender and race have always been at play. Many institutions of higher education are making concerted efforts to broaden outreach and access by making standardized tests optional or committing to admit more students [who are] first in their family to attend university, and to strengthen financial aid by eliminating loans or tuition for qualifying families. Of course, there’s still much more to do to address inequities. But if change is the one constant, that means change is always possible.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed>>

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