College Admissions: Score Choice & Test Optional

By IvyWise on Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Standardized Testing

Score Choice & Test Optional

Classroom ability doesn’t necessarily correlate into standardized testing success. When it comes to standardized tests, the more you practice, the more comfortable you will be with the test, and the higher score you will achieve. That said, our counselors advise that students take the SAT or ACT no more than three times. Students’ scores tend to plateau after the third time and subsequent attempts may look desperate to an admissions committee. For students who struggle with standardized testing, or whose test scores don’t accurately reflect their academic effort and ability, there are a few options.

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College Acceptance Rates, Class of 2016

By IvyWise on Tuesday, April 3, 2012
College Admission Rates, Class of 2016

College AcceptanceCollege admission at the nation’s most selective schools has become increasingly competitive. As another admissions cycle comes to an end, many colleges are reporting another rise in applications and another decrease in acceptance rates. According to the Department of Education, there are 3.2 million graduating seniors in the US this year and the number of international students in the US has increased by more than 20% since 2007. Below is a list of colleges including the number of students who applied to each school and the percentage of students who were accepted. We will continue to update this list as more information is released in the coming weeks.

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College Admissions Apps: College Search

By IvyWise on Friday, March 23, 2012
College Admissions? “There’s an app for that”

AppsLets be honest, the college process can be stressful. Many applications have gotten longer, essay questions more complex, and the competition stronger than ever. While independent counselors for college admission like the ones at IvyWise aim to alleviate this stress, there are also less conventional resources, such as apps, to help you simplify the daunting task of applying to college. Whether reminding you of deadlines, helping you find your perfect college match, keeping all of your documents in one place, or preparing you for standardized tests, the following apps might be worth checking out.

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Finding Your Best Fit School: Spotlight on Washington University

By IvyWise on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
These Are a Few of our Favorite Things…

Washington University in St LouisThis week, one of our awesome interns shares what she loves about attending Washington University in St. Louis. Though she (and her parents) were originally considering mostly Ivy League schools, extensive research and campus visits proved that this Missouri university was her best fit school:

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Finding Your Best Fit School: Spotlight on American University

By IvyWise on Friday, March 9, 2012
These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things…

American UniversityAt IvyWise, we love helping students discover the schools that will be a great academic and social fit for them, where they will be happy and successful. That said, when given the chance, we never hesitate to give a shout out to our own alma maters and share what made that school a great match for us. Previously, members of our team told tales of Turkey Trotting at Lehigh, classes in the Commons at Emerson, and following in the footsteps of strong women at Barnard. This week, the newest member of the IvyWise team, our Executive Assistant Ashley, tells us about her experiences at American University in Washington, DC:

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How Do I Choose Which Colleges to Apply to?

By IvyWise on Tuesday, March 6, 2012
5 Ways to Narrow Down Your College List

College ListWith more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the US, many students find that creating an expansive list of schools they’d like to go to is easier than winnowing down the list. As juniors embark on the college admissions process (and visit schools over Spring Break), now is a great time to make a preliminary college list. Here are some of the most common mistakes we see students make and some tips from Dr. Kat to help you narrow your focus. 

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Want to Get Into an Ivy League School? – Part 2

By IvyWise on Tuesday, February 21, 2012
What Makes a School “Ivy League”?

Ivy LeagueThough there are nearly 3,000 4-year colleges and universities in the US, the eight Ivy League colleges are some of the most well known institutions in the world, causing students from all over the globe to obsess about getting into an Ivy League college. Despite this frenzy (the Ivy League colleges received 245,732 applications for the Class of 2015), few students know what designates a school as a member of the “Ivy League.”

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Historically Black Colleges and Universities

By IvyWise on Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Dr. Kat’s List: Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Historically Black CollegesFebruary is Black History Month, a time to celebrate those who improved the lives of African Americans in the US. There are more than 100 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the US today. These schools were originally established with the intention of serving the black community, and have evolved into some of the nation’s preeminent educational centers. For students interested in schools with a rich cultural history, Dr. Kat and the expert counselors at IvyWise have identified a list of colleges with strong roots in African American history.

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Summer Programs for High School Students

By IvyWise on Friday, February 10, 2012
Planning a Productive Summer

Summer ProgramsWhen it comes to the college admissions process, it is imperative to show how you have developed your interests throughout your time in high school. College admissions committees want to see how you have made an impact in clubs and activities during the school year, but also during the summer. While it may be tempting to sit around all summer working on your tan, boards of admissions specifically look to see that you have remained productive during your time away from school. Summer presents many opportunities for students to further develop their interests and goals —travel to a foreign country, continue training in your favorite sport, make up a class or gain extra credits in summer school, start a business, get an internship, or join a community service organization.

Though summer may seem far away, the applications for many popular programs are due soon. Some of these applications can be as complex as a college application, requiring essays, letters of recommendation, and even test scores, so you will need to get started soon! Dr. Kat and the team of counselors at IvyWise, have come up with the following

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Admission to US Universities

By IvyWise on Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Where IvyWise Students Come From

US University AdmissionsAs we finish up college application work with our seniors in the class of 2012, we thought we’d take a look at where IvyWise students have come from. College admission has become increasingly competitive and complicated, and can be even more so for students navigating the process from abroad. IvyWise counselors have worked extensively with students from around the US and around the world on the admissions process, and almost a third of IvyWise students are international students!

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Affirmative Action in College Admissions

By IvyWise on Thursday, February 2, 2012
Let’s Hear it For the Boys

Affirmative Action, College AdmissionsThe US Department of Education reported that for Fall 2010 admission, women, on average, accounted for 56% of applicants to four-year colleges. That same year, the New York Times stated that for every 100 American women enrolled in college, there were only 77 men. Meanwhile, the National Center for Education Statistics projects that by 2020, men will represent only 41.4% of students enrolled in college. With colleges becoming increasingly concerned about gender balance on campus, has this really led to preferential treatment for men in college admissions?

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Colleges for East Asian Studies

By IvyWise on Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Dr. Kat’s List: Colleges for East Asian Studies

East Asian StudiesHappy Chinese New Year and welcome to the Year of the Dragon! While the Year of the Rabbit was characterized by calm and tranquility, the upcoming year is expected to bring excitement and unpredictability. For students seeking an academic and social experience as exhilarating as the dragon’s personality, Dr. Kat and the expert counselors at IvyWise have identified a list of colleges with strong Asian Studies programs.

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Working with Your College Counselor

By IvyWise on Thursday, December 8, 2011
9 Ways to Work with Your High School College Counselor

College CounselorPeople often ask us what we think about high school counselors. Our reply: We love them! Your high school guidance counselor is one of the most useful resources for college information and you should try to cultivate a relationship with your high school college counselor as early as possible in your high school experience.

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Finding Your Best Fit School: Spotlight on Barnard – Part 1

By IvyWise on Wednesday, November 23, 2011
These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things…

Bethanie at Barnard CollegeWe’ve asked the IvyWise team to share some of their favorite things about the college they attended. Not one, but two of our team members are proud graduates of Barnard College in New York, NY. This week, our Executive Assistant, Bethanie tells us about her experiences at Barnard:

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Using Facebook in the College Admissions Process

By IvyWise on Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Be Facebook Savvy in the College Admissions Process

FacebookIn a recent survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep, it was revealed that nearly a quarter of college admissions officers have used Facebook or other social media or networking sites to research a college applicant. In addition, 20 percent of admissions officers admitted to “Googling” applicants. While colleges don’t spend time regularly trolling facebook and checking out your wall, if you think you’re secure because you’ve adjusted your privacy settings, you need to think again!

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2011-2012 College Admissions Essays, Part 2

By IvyWise on Wednesday, September 21, 2011
More Quirky College Admissions Essays

College Admissions EssayWe had a strong response to our post about the unique and quirky college admissions essays that appear on many of this year’s college applications and supplements. As the college admissions landscape becomes more confusing, and more competetive, it is more important than ever for applicants to convey the best and most accurate representation of who they are, both academically and personally, to the admissions committees at their targeted schools. The admissions essay is your chance to stand out as a unique personality, to verbalize who you are in a compelling and effective manner, and to highlight your character and your achievements in your own voice. The trick, as always, is to be yourself. To kick off your brainstorming, we’ve gathered even more of this year’s most creative essay prompts:

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What do College Rankings Mean?

By IvyWise on Thursday, September 15, 2011
Breaking Ranks

College RankingsAmong high school guidance counselors, college-bound teens and their parents, the annual college rankings are often a prevalent consideration in the college admissions process. Newsweek/The Daily Beast, U.S. News & World Report (released this week), the Princeton Review and Forbes are among the “best college” lists that students use to guide them in their college searches. What do these college rankings really mean and how much credence should be given to them when choosing a college?

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Standardized Tests – ACT vs SAT

By IvyWise on Friday, September 9, 2011
The Best Test: ACT vs SAT

ACT, SAT, Test PrepToday is the registration deadline for the October 1st SAT, and tomorrow’s ACT marks the first standardized test of the 2011-2012 academic year. While the concept can be intimidating, standardized testing doesn’t have to be an ordeal. As of 2007, every four-year college that accepts the SAT also accepts the ACT. Determining which test is best for you (based on format, timing, and content) is an important step in ensuring testing success. At IvyWise, we recommend taking one practice SAT and one practice ACT test under realistic testing conditions, scoring both tests, and comparing initial scores. Once you determine which test is better suited to your individual abilities and begin studying, we recommend taking a practice test weekly for eight to ten weeks leading up to the actual test date.

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The Transition from High School to College

By IvyWise on Wednesday, August 17, 2011
An IvyWise Student Talks About the Transition to College

transition to collegeI led a relatively sheltered life before leaving for college. As an only child whose parents wanted to ensure that I remained focused, I had been enrolled at an all-girls school for seven years. To their horror, I ultimately chose to attend the farthest school I applied to—Washington University in St. Louis, a shocking 16-hour drive from my home in New Jersey.

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