Describing Extracurricular Activities In Digital College Applications Can Be An Exercise in Frustration

Students commit hours of their lives, year after year, in organized activities afterschool and on the weekends. (Their parents, as chauffeurs/Uber drivers, coaches, snack providers, co-chairs of every fundraiser, etc, equally spend years of their lives as their kids’ support team.)  Thus, at the moment of capitalizing on their efforts, as part of the online college application activities & awards…

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Completing Online College Applications Can Be More Complicated Than Expected

Self-reporting classes and grades on a digitalized college application may seem straightforward, yet the first challenge is families take a crash course in edu-speak.  Block schedules, quarters, semesters, trimesters, one grade, two grades, three grades per class require precise manipulation of the standardized digital format so students accurately report their academic history. However, the actual form where students self-report their…

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Colleges Are Still Accepting Applications for Fall 2022

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” For any student who wants to attend four year college this Fall 2022, there’s openings still available, contrary to popular belief. The National Association for College Admissions Counseling recently released their annual College Openings Update, a listing of colleges still accepting applications for Fall 2022.  So, students who are still looking for a…

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Advice about Test Optional/Test Free/Test Blind Admissions Policies

With test optional/test free/test blind admissions policies, applicants (and their families) are empowered with choice how to present a student’s unique qualifications for admissions. Yet, like with any choice, being informed to choose responsibly is essential.  First, as previously posted in What’s the difference between Test-Optional, Test-Blind, and Test-Free College Admissions Policies?, students must understand the difference between test optional,…

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Reason #45,693 Why College Applicant Portals Are Important

The applicant portal is an online dashboard assigned to students by each college’s admissions officers to track their application, be notified of any missing information, possibly alerted to scholarships as well as likely most important to students: receive admissions decisions.  Typically, admissions decisions are sent through the applicant portals or email, fewer admissions officers send responses using US Postal Mail.…

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What’s an Applicant Portal?

Many college applicants think they’re done with applications once they click, “Submit”, but they’re not. Nearly every university’s admissions officers send an online applicant portal, which is multifunctional, where students can:  Track the receipt of all required application materials, like Letters of Recommendation, transcripts, Mid-year Reports (a form and transcript with the Fall term senior year grades, sent by the…

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So, you say you’re done, ay?

In the academic meritocratic realm of teenage braggadocio, everyone’s been done with their college essays, except you. At least, that’s what nearly every college applicant believes about their friends, peers, frenemies, academic archrivals—only adding stress to an already complicated self-reflective, autobiographical writing process.  Yet, The Common Application’s own statistics about the daily record applicant submissions on November 1, the day…

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Coalition Application Website Technical Difficulties Resolved

Updated November 15, 2021 at 2:15 pm PST As of approximately 4:30 am PST on November 15, 2021, the Coalition Application announced the site was running once again. Many students reported persistent technical difficulties throughout the day and evening of Sunday, November 14, 2021. As a caveat to quell the nerves which are typical of a deadline day, college admisisons…

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When writing college essays: be yourself, not plagued by doubt

Every year, high school seniors doubt that characterizing their experiences with rigorous honesty, exposing their human flaws or even a critique of their educational experience in their college application essays will garner them the acceptance they seek. They, instead, seek to rationalize contorting themselves into some glimmer or reflection of themselves in order to game admissions.  One senior last Fall…

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Imagine

To Interview or Not That is The Question

Many private university admissions officers invite applicants to schedule an evaluative admissions interview before they apply. Typically, applicants need to complete interviews by December of any admissions cycle. However, students should check the deadlines for interviews on admissions websites. Admissions interviews are optional, meaning if a student cannot or does not schedule an interview, no penalties will be assessed nor…

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Supplemental Essays Matter: view from someone who matters, an admission officer

“A” students, who also happen to be college applicants, notoriously follow directions to the T. So, the lack of a rubric, standard, or other detailed set of directions for writing the college essays, beyond the confirmation bias of an acceptance letter is disconcerting to say the least.  Seeking to reduce confusion, the following is an analysis of Sam Prince’s, Bard…

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LET THE COLLEGE FAIRS BEGIN!

As the season of college fairs, whether virtual or in person, commences, families should pause to craft a plan before the event. Reviewing the list of college admissions officers in attendance, then discriminately choosing which college representatives with whom to connect is prudent to maximize the benefit of the speed dating-like conditions of a college fair.   Students generally have 60-90…

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For those applying to Yale for Fall 2022, Whether to Use the Coalition or Common Application Is Up to You

Fall 2022 Coalition Application applicants to Yale have the opportunity to submit a “Digital Upload”—an audio file, video, image, or document the student produced along with a short written description of the creation. However, Common Application applicants do not have a similar “Digital Upload” option.  Curious if the difference in the information submitted between the two applications may affect admissions…

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Dear Teachers Who Write Letters of Recommendation

Thank you for writing numerous letters every year, often an extra duty added to an already lengthy list of duties.  When teaching, it took me a while to figure out how to write a letter of recommendation, piecing together advice from more veteran colleagues. So, having asked many different admissions officers about useful letters of recommendation over the two decades…

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College Admissions Bragging Begins in Earnest

As the summer ends and the new school year dawns, the posturing in college admissions commences in earnest. We’ve officially reached The “ALL my friends are done with their essays, I’m behind” stage of the Fall college application process.  Is it possible that your teenage friends grinded out “essays” which meet the word limit and generally relate to the essay…

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