Hold Your Horses!

Yesterday I met with a student who is a rising senior.  She was pumped to begin working on her supplements and had the prompts pulled up on a document all ready to begin. I admired her enthusiasm and applauded her dedication to utilize each day of the summer to stay ahead of the ball, but I had to burst her bubble and say, “slow down.” The prompts she proudly displayed on her screen were from last year’s application season. Most universities and colleges do not release supplements until August 1st while others release July 1. It is so important to check and be sure that you are looking at current information for the 2018-19 school year.  While some supplemental questions will remain the same, there [...]

Hold Your Horses! 2018-06-09T15:00:47+00:00

Manufactured Activities, Is It Worth It?

I belong to a Facebook group called College Admission Counselors. It’s a platform where counselors, those who work for a high school, independent counselors, and those on the college side can reach out for support, ask advice, and talk about the most current issues in the college admissions world.  I recently read a post where a counselor leans in to his colleagues for advice. He describes his student who is a straight A student with excellent scores, but has few to no awards and a limited activities list. The counselor was seeking out organizations where this said student could apply for awards and perhaps receive one or two in order to pad his application.  I breathed a huge sigh. Is this what we want for [...]

Manufactured Activities, Is It Worth It? 2018-05-23T00:54:20+00:00

Why college admissions waitlists are getting longer?

Each day the EAB, the Education Advisory Board, puts out a daily briefing of news in higher education. Here is the posting from May 16.  This article speaks to the surge in applications and the rise in waitlist decisions that universities make. At the end of the day, the combination of the increase in application numbers and the number of applicants universities accept in the early decision round forces these long waitlists.    Why college admissions waitlists are getting longer?May 16, 2018. Published by the EAB Daily Briefing Enrollment is a delicate calculus; minor changes in application numbers can have a big impact on the number of students colleges admit and waitlist. High-school students today are applying to more and more colleges, and schools have [...]

Why college admissions waitlists are getting longer? 2018-05-17T19:32:27+00:00

A Thank You Goes A Long Way!

For many seniors this is the time of the year when they can breathe a huge sigh of relief. They can almost see that light at the end of the tunnel.  Prom is around the corner, senior cut day is imminent, and AP exams are almost a thing of the past, But wait, not so fast. There are so many people who played key roles that helped each student get to this point. These people are often the forgotten ones, but I am here to remind parents and students alike that a thank you note goes a long way. Remember how apprehensive you were to ask one of your teachers to write a letter of reference for you? It was one of the first significant [...]

A Thank You Goes A Long Way! 2018-06-13T19:54:47+00:00

Rankings: Beware and Don’t Be Fooled!

  Since 1983 US News and World Report has published an annual rankings of colleges and universities. These rankings became all the rage that soon the report outgrew the magazine and became a separate annual reference called Best Colleges.  Even though the magazine is now defunct and no longer exists in print, the rankings live on and have taken on a life of their own. American media devotes considerable attention to the annual publication and families with children about to embark on the college admissions process turn to these reports and rankings as a way to guide them through the process. Afterall, rankings guide consumers when it comes to assessing washing machines, hospitals and even movies.  Why not use rankings when it comes to colleges? [...]

Rankings: Beware and Don’t Be Fooled! 2018-02-24T18:50:15+00:00

Campus Visits

One of the most important aspects of the college application process is visiting college campuses. Information sessions provide a wealth of information about the academic program. They will give you facts about the different majors that offered, the student teacher ratio, and other details that make the program unique. Touring the university’s campus with a current student as a guide is invaluable. Prospective students will have the opportunity to visit a dorm room, walk through the library and other buildings around campus. Critically important is what is not said but noticed.  As you walk around the campus, make observations. What kind of posters hang in the student center? On the bulletin board in the dorm hallway? Grab the school newspaper and read some of the [...]

Campus Visits 2018-02-21T01:24:25+00:00

Forms, Forms, and More Forms

Perhaps the most complex and daunting aspect of the college application process is making sure that all the forms are completed in a timely and correct manner.  One important form is the FAFSA which is an acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is the platform that the government uses to determine if a student is eligible for financial aid. In order to fill out the application, the filer and the student have to apply for a FSA ID.  This takes no more than five minutes to do, but be sure to store your ID number in a safe place as you will need to use it when filing.  The next thing that is important to have is your tax statement from [...]

Forms, Forms, and More Forms 2018-02-21T01:25:30+00:00

The Dreaded Question

The dreaded supplemental question that stumps most seniors is “Why University X?” Perhaps the student may not really want to attend the school, and it’s only on their list because it’s a safety school or maybe the question is just too broad and getting started seems impossible.  Whatever the case, the question is not optional.   A common mistake is when an applicant writes a travel brochure for the city where the university is located.  “The hustle and bustle of New York City is exhilarating” or “the proximity of the beach in Los Angeles just can’t be beat” are common errors.  Believe me, the admission officers know what makes their city so special.  They live there! Here is what needs to be communicated: Why do you [...]

The Dreaded Question 2018-02-21T00:35:24+00:00

How Involved Should Parents Be When Their Child is Filling Out the Application?

 Students are often overwhelmed with everything they have on their plate.  They have school work to get done and grades are extremely important especially senior year, they have extra curricular activities, looming last chance standardized tests, and then to top it all off they need to fill out the applications. It would be very easy for parents to intervene and take the weight of the world off their children’s shoulders and take over and begin filling out the application for them. Who knows better than a parent all the personal and demographic information? While our seniors are overwhelmed, it is certain that if the time they spend on social media and binge watching the latest Netflix show is tallied, they would have plenty of time [...]

How Involved Should Parents Be When Their Child is Filling Out the Application? 2018-02-21T00:38:33+00:00

Deferred? Now What?

Whether this is your first time being rejected in your lifetime or your tenth (remember that time you didn’t make the team or you did not get invited to the Homecoming dance?) it hurts. It is a stinging kind of pain.  One that hits you at your very core and makes you wallow in self doubt. These are all natural reactions.  Allow yourself time to grieve, to be upset, to ask why me and not him? Eat that ice cream sundae with another friend who is in the same boat, and then wipe off your pants because you have some work to do and bigger fish to fry. Resist the urge to contact the school and ask them what went wrong. You will have an [...]

Deferred? Now What? 2018-01-12T00:13:33+00:00