College Selection: It’s an Imperative

College selection.  College selection.  Let me say it one more time…College Selection.  College selection is the foundation of the college application process.  It sounds so basic and simple, that families may not invest as much effort into this step–relying on a few campus visits and a short browse through a website.  Yet, taking the time to investigate will help students…

Continue Reading

‘Tis the Season for College Fairs…

College Fairs are the trade shows of higher education.  100’s of colleges’ admissions officers standing behind long rows of tables, set up in a high school gym and everyone’s got shiny, thick papered brochures with 1000’s of parents and students wandering around, wrinkled maps in hand, waiting in lines for one, maybe two minutes of face time, trying to be…

Continue Reading

More About: To Seek Early Admissions or Not, That is the Question

Admissions rates may be higher for early applicants; however, look closer at the applicants and their qualifications for admissions.  The applicants may be more competitive on test scores, grades, leadership activities and classes, thus a greater fit for the university and therefore more “admissible.” Also, beware of applying Early Decision as a strategy for hedging one’s admissions chances, while holding…

Continue Reading

Financial Aid Myths: Fact & Fiction

Soccer field sidelines are filled with parents sharing their college expense stories and sometimes “nightmares” that can create misinformation circulating through the community.    Depending on the listening parent’s effort to validate or debunk the information gleaned can determine how useful the shared experience will be in guiding their own children. Here’s a few common myths:

MAAAAIL CALL: ‘Tis the Season for College Brochures

This time of year glossy, thick papered brochures in big 8.5″ x 11″ envelopes, with personalized letters from colleges in far off places–like North Dakota and Ohio–as well as more known places, like Los Angeles or Seattle, begin arriving by the mailbox full to high school seniors all over the country; not to overlook the daily emails appearing in spam…

Continue Reading

What?!? Colleges Possibly Going Bankrupt?

The changes to higher education and its price in California are partially in response to the recent state funding cuts.   Students (and their families) are being asked to shoulder more of the costs of their education–in the form of increased tuition and fees, parking costs, per campus student activity fees etc.  At the same time, decreased numbers of classes, support…

Continue Reading

How Common is the Common Application Essay?

In this podcast, Art Baird and Jill Yoshikawa, our company’s educational experts, generously share their 10-years of experience to help students write competitive college admissions essays within the context of the Common Application.  They define an effective outline for drafting this complex autobiography. For more helpful information, please also read: Storytelling Season is Around the Corner You Can Dish It.…

Continue Reading

Student Debt = Future Income Spent Today

Know the terms (i.e. repayment, interest rates) and possible consequences of taking student loans for college–essentially bringing future income into the present. (FYI: colleges are not obligated to disclose the terms of the loan BEFORE accepting them as part of a student aid package.  Students MUST ASK.  Also, students are not forced to accept student loans; each item on a…

Continue Reading

Reverse Study Abroad: International Students in the U.S.

Before choosing a college in the U.S. understand not only the educational and academic experience, understand the social environment of the university and its location.  Understanding how the local community will support and incorporate international diversity can help students transition and focus on their academic pursuits. U.S. students consider the same issues when choosing colleges away from home.  Familiar restaurants,…

Continue Reading

ACT & SAT Test Prep is Not Like Studying for a Regular Test

Preparing for the ACT or SAT is two fold:  content review and building test taking skills.    The ACT and SAT are unlike other tests students regularly take for high school classes.  For example, rarely does a math or science teacher give a multiple choice exam, so students need to be familiar with solving math problems for a multiple choice format. …

Continue Reading

When a Letter of Recommendation Isn’t Just a Letter of Recommendation

Now, that school’s back in session (or about to be back in session), and the excitement of choosing colleges for application can be wearing thin (given that everyone who discovers or knows you’re a senior is asking where you’re applying), so what’s next?  Well, parents, since about July have been asking us about letters of recommendation.  And, since parents have…

Continue Reading

“Why Do You Want to Go To College?” Has New Meaning

“How do employers look at college names?”  is a typical question parents ask us, when trying to narrow their senior’s choices for application.   Two meanings emerge from this question: What’s the value of a college degree? How, if at all, is value different for different colleges? The value in college question will be answered differently by parent than by student. …

Continue Reading