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Tagged: Personal characteristics

Dreaming of warm summer days…

January 4th, 2022

January 1st marks the date when people all over the world make a list of resolutions for the upcoming year: go to bed earlier, begin a new workout routine, etc. Sound familiar? What if this year your resolutions were more connected to educational goals in order to expand your interests? Warmer days may seem like a lifetime away, but it is never too early to get a head start on planning for summer activities that will help you achieve those goals.

Image via FastWeb

The long break in school is the perfect opportunity for students to find activities that promote personal growth and satisfaction. Whether you participate in volunteer opportunities, a part-time job or take a college course, try to create a balanced yet rewarding experience. Even if your summer plans are not academic in nature, there is still value in sticking with something that increases maturity, self-discipline and potential for college success.

Our friends at College MatchPoint have published a great resource that will help you determine the right opportunity for a positive impact this summer. This summer planning guide linked below offers excellent advice as well as a worksheet to help you accomplish your goals for summer 2022. I can’t wait to hear what your plans will be!

Article linked below from College Match Point: Guide to Summer Planning 2022


For many of today’s college-bound high school students, summer is
no longer nine weeks of total relaxation, but rather an opportunity
to spend time actively working, learning new skills, or diving deeper
into an area (or areas) of interest. Summer is the perfect time to
take calculated risks that push students into unfamiliar situations,
build skills, and enrich life experiences. Planning is the key to finding
the most rewarding experience.

We encourage students to consider what they enjoy, what areas they
could improve in, and what their goals for the future are in order
to decide what to do over the summer. With any activity students
choose to participate in, there should be opportunities to help
them learn more about themselves by expanding their interests,
gaining new experiences, or taking on responsibilities. Whether or
not it’s going to help in the college process should be secondary to
having a good growth experience.

While we don’t quite know what this summer might look like, the
summers of 2020 and 2021 showed us that students will be able to
find activities that work in a virtual environment, and in doing so,
they’ll learn more about themselves. With some creativity, they can
find new ways to engage in their interests and develop new skills.
Bonus points if they make a positive impact on others in their
community in the meantime.

Read more at>>

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How to be a stand out applicant

November 23rd, 2021

How can I make my application stand out for college or boarding school? This million dollar question is simply answered … students should show their intellectual curiosity, of course, but also their ability to connect with others and make a significant impact on the world around them.

Sometimes it seems as though admissions officers are only looking for students with an impeccable GPA, taking the most advanced courses and having an almost perfect SAT or ACT score. While these academic achievements predict future academic success, character also counts when determining if a student will be a good fit.

Colleges and boarding schools alike seek students who not only have a strong academic record but also show initiative, leadership, a sense of social responsibility and so much more. In the article linked below, MIT reveals the key components their admissions committee uses when evaluating applicants. This is a great read and it may help you think outside the box as you continue working on applications or, for younger students, building your activities list and considering how you can continue to make an impact on others.

Article linked below from MIT Admissions

What we look for

The match between you and MIT

Ask any admissions officer at MIT, and they will tell you that while grades and scores are important, it’s really the match between applicant and the Institute that drives our selection process.

Here are the key components:

Alignment with MIT’s mission

Remember that there are many ways to make the world better—we’re not looking for applicants to have cured all infectious disease in the world by the time they’re 15. Tutoring a single kid in math changes the world. Lobbying a senator to amend bad policy changes the world. There are thousands of examples.

Read more at MIT admissions >>

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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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Deep dive: show schools and colleges who you really are

January 7th, 2020

When applying to boarding school or college, you work to distill your entire life into a several-page application for someone to read and determine your fate. What do you include? How do you stand out against the other piles of applications?

Photo by Getty via Forbes

Sure, you include test scores, GPA, involvement in clubs and other extracurricular activities. But what really makes you, you? What do you do on a day to day basis that doesn’t necessarily “earn points” with the admission office but shows what you really value as a person? In the article linked below from Forbes contributor Brennan Barnard, you’ll learn how to take a deep dive into your daily tasks and discover exactly how to reveal what’s at your core to admission officers.

Seniors sending updates to admission offices may glean some ideas, and juniors looking ahead to next year’s applications can certainly benefit from Barnard’s article. Boarding school applicants, too, may find this article helpfulful as they put final touches on pending applications.

Article referenced below from Forbes, published November 20, 2019 written by Brennan Barnard

What Matters In College Admission

A look of surprise and encouragement washes over his face and with earnest he exclaims, “You mean that matters?”

I am sitting in my school counseling office reviewing a high school senior’s college application, and I have asked why there is no mention of the hours he spends at home after school caring for his grandfather.

Read more at Forbes>>

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