Tag: College Prep
If you thought applying to college was stressful, applying for financial aid is even more daunting. Applying for financial aid can be challenging because you are sharing sensitive financial information on long and complicated forms. As seniors and their parents put the final touches on their financial aid applications, learn from the following mistakes that many families make about financing a college education,even though you are not applying for financial aid.
Many colleges require letters of recommendation from teachers as part of the college application. Colleges recognize that your teachers spend significant time with you and, therefore, trust them to provide a candid picture of who you are as a scholar and a person. At IvyWise, we encourage students to ask their teachers for letters before the end of junior year and then follow up at the beginning of senior year.
As 2019 winds down and the college application season draws to a close for high school seniors, the college prep process is still going strong for younger students. Setting academic and college prep goals for the coming year is a great way to get students excited about their college prep and alleviate some of the stress commonly associated with planning for college. While there are still a few more weeks until the New Year, starting to think about academic and college prep goals now will make it easier for students to identify solid goals by the time the new semester rolls around.
The college admissions process is a huge undertaking, and submitting your applications is a great achievement. Regardless of your admissions decisions, you should feel proud and celebrate this accomplishment. You can finally study for your next test, go to the movies with your friends, or read for pleasure without that little voice in your head (or perhaps a parent or IvyWise counselor) reminding you that you should be working on your college applications.
Whether you’re a freshman still adjusting to your first year of high school, or a college-bound junior ready to hit the ground running, it’s important to set academic and college prep goals for the fall as soon as school starts back up. Goals not only help keep students on track with their college prep, they also help students learn more about who they are, what they’re interested in, and how they can better pursue those interests. Goals can also help students stay motivated during a particularly busy or stressful time.
Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? What do I need to do in order to stand out to college admissions officers?
As you're researching schools on your college list, you may come across unfamiliar terms, such as Early Decision, Early Action, and Single–Choice Early Action, among others. These are application options that differ based on the deadline, response date, and your commitment to attend the school, if accepted. Deciding which path to take involves research into school policies, not to mention preparation!
Imagine being asked to the prom, but instead of a thoughtful invitation to accompany a charming peer, you are instead informed that you will be the 10th person asked and if the others decline the offer, then you will be invited. Would that make you feel special or important? Well, this is how many college admissions offices can feel.
Do you play the violin or clarinet? Sing? Are you a freestyle rapper?
As early application decisions are released this December, some students may encounter a strange outcome that isn’t as clear-cut as an acceptance or denial – a deferral. This can be a confusing end result after working so hard on your early application, but luckily there’s a lot you can do to understand exactly what a deferral means and how to improve your chances of admission. Deferrals By The Numbers A deferral is an admissions outcome wherein an early applicant, for various reasons, has been sent to the regular admissions cycle for reevaluation, and will receive a decision in April with the other regular applicants.
The college preparation process, more often than not, begins with a simple web search. Parents and students have been utilizing the Internet for years as a way to learn more about colleges, what it takes to gain admission, and what they need to do now to help gain an acceptance to a top-choice college. Social media has become the next frontier in the college admissions process, with colleges, parents, and students all signing on in an effort to connect with one another, learn more about each other, and, ultimately, help students gain acceptance to their top-choice colleges.
When people look you up online, what do they see? Are you easy to find? Is your online presence clean and polished, or controversial and questionable?
It’s no secret that teens are connected online, with more than 71% of teens using more than one social networking site. As social media becomes more of a staple in everyday life for college bound students, many wonder how social media will affect the college admission process. While social media was once seen as a way to catch “bad behavior” and ruin college chances, it’s now turning into a tool to actually help students improve their chances of admission to their top-choice colleges.
While it can be tempting to simply count down the days until summer break, spring semester is a prime time for high school underclassmen to prepare for the college admissions process, and for college-bound seniors to close out the year on a high note. Believe it or not, seniors, you are not off the hook just yet! Here are some tips for high schools students to ensure a productive and successful spring semester.
By Nat, IvyWise Master College Counselor It seems that every year we hear about how college admissions has become increasingly competitive. Stanford reported a 5.07% admission rate for the Class of 2018, and many other selective schools have announced record-low admission rates as well.
Whether you’re working with your school-based college counselor, an independent college admissions consultant, or both during your college admissions journey, there’s one thing that you can’t afford to do, and that’s miss opportunities to tap the knowledge and resources of the staff and teachers at your school. I work as both an independent college counselor and as a college counselor at an independent high school, so I’m in a unique position to see that students can benefit the most when fully utilizing both professionals from their school and outside counselors or tutors. Time and time again I have worked with students on both sides who seem to think that since they are using an independent counselor, they don't have to meet with their college counselor or guidance counselor at school.
Letters of recommendation, especially those from your junior year teachers, are a key component of your college applications. Colleges recognize that your teachers spend significant time with you and, therefore, trust them to provide a candid picture of who you are as a scholar and a person. The expert counselors at IvyWise have compiled the following tips to help you develop teacher relationships and leave a positive, lasting impression that will help you get those glowing letters of recommendation: Show Courtesy and Respect - and Add Some Enthusiasm!
Students across the US will take the PSAT/NMSQT this October, and for many this will be their initial introduction to the rigors of college entrance examinations. Before heading into the test, 10th and 11th graders need to know what to expect and how the PSAT/NMSQT can impact their college preparation strategy. What is the PSAT/NMSQT?
You may be thinking that summertime is perfect for relaxing in the sun, hanging out with friends, and taking a break from school, but when it comes to college admissions, summer vacation is a crucial time for planning and working on application materials. Furthermore, summertime is an excellent opportunity to explore personal interests that can be emphasized on college applications. Here are some of IvyWise's suggestions for spending your summer vacation in a wise, productive, and fun way with some tips on how to get started!
For many rising seniors, the end of their junior year marks the beginning of the long, and often stressful, college application process. While the full Common Application and school specific supplements aren't released until August, some essay topics have already been revealed, and many students are taking the initiative to begin working on their application essays even before summer kicks off. While it's a great idea to get started as early as possible, there's much more than just essay brainstorming to complete the summer before senior year.
The school year may be coming to a close, but the college admissions process is just revving up for next semester’s high school seniors. While the summer is a good time to recharge, it’s also a great time to get on track for the college admissions process, no matter what grade you’re in. When it comes to college preparation, the earlier families start, the better.
For students who are in eighth or ninth grade, college seems so far away, but this spring is actually a great time to set the foundation for your future college admissions journey as you make the most of your present college prep. The choices you make now will have the immediate benefit of making your high school years enjoyable and challenging, but they will also help you to build a strong profile that will make you a competitive college applicant. The most important thing to know is that colleges do not have one type of student that they are looking for, instead they want to see applicants who have different passions and interests.
March marks a big college admissions milestone for college-bound seniors: the release of regular admission decisions! College admissions decisions can stir up a host of emotions including anxiety, disappointment, excitement, confusion, and ambivalence. Students should try to prepare for a multitude of different outcomes and strive to trust the admissions process itself a well as their own instincts.
IvyWise counselors Christine, Nat, and Eric discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting higher ed and how the Class of 2021 can navigate the altered application cycle this semester on the college admissions podcast, giving listeners expert insight from former admissions officers. Listen Now! Information and responses to the coronavirus outbreak are continuing to evolve, and high schools, colleges, and universities across the country are working tirelessly to keep students both in the US and abroad informed on what everything means for students moving forward.
The most important document in a college application, as I tell all my students, is the transcript. Admissions committees are keen on applicants who have challenged themselves and excelled academically high school, not just in junior or senior year when they think it “counts.” Given the transcript’s importance, students should thoughtfully consider what courses they should take each year and plan ahead for subsequent years.
With spring comes long-awaited admission decisions, but it also brings along AP exam season – and students should be preparing now for these long and intensive exams. AP exams are a major event for college bound students, as performance can impact their grades and how colleges evaluate their transcript when considering students for admission during their senior year. Some colleges can also award some class credit based on students’ scores, so it’s possible to get a head start on your college education if you do well.
For some international students applying to US universities, the SAT or ACT might not be the only test scores required as part of their application. Some colleges and universities might require international applicants to submit TOEFL scores, too. The TOEFL exam stands for “Test of English as a Foreign Language” and it is precisely that.
If you’re not already preparing for the SAT or ACT, now’s the time to get started! The spring semester is a popular testing time, and high school sophomores and juniors need to have a plan in order to prepare for these important college admission exams. An excellent SAT or ACT score is not a guarantee of admission, but it can be the difference between the “maybe” and the “no” pile when admissions officers are reviewing applications.
It is fairly common knowledge that most high schools offer honors and advanced placement courses for students looking to be challenged in their coursework. But did you know that colleges and universities also offer similar programs for undergraduate students through honors colleges? In some cases, high-achieving students are invited to enroll in a university's honors college upon acceptance, while other students seek out the honors track and apply to the honors college as part of their undergraduate admission.
With many students juggling schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and other commitments, it’s easy for some to put off the SAT or ACT and hope for a good score the first time around. However, just like with college applications, there’s a lot of preparation and planning that should go into standardized testing. Test prep is a critical piece of the college admissions puzzle, as it can greatly increase students’ chances of acceptance to their top-choice colleges.
Middle school was the time to perfect your study habits and learn to organize and multi-task. Middle school was also a time for trial and error. You grew into your own skin, experimented with hobbies, and readied yourself for a more focused academic career.
By IvyWise Principal College Admissions Counselor In 2013, a Pennsylvania high school student named Suzy Lee Weiss wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal about not being admitted to the Ivy League colleges of her dreams. The article drew national controversy over the unrealistic expectations of college admissions offices and the role of diversity in building an incoming class at the most prestigious universities. "I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker," she wrote, satirically.
Before you can even begin to consider the "will my child get in to her top choice college?" question, it's impossible not to reflect on the cost of attending college. In fact, you have probably been thinking about this since she was in diapers and - hopefully--saving some money for that very occasion!
There are so few places in the college application process for a student’s voice to be truly heard. Sure there’s the essay and email communication with an admissions representative, but what makes a college admissions interview such a valuable opportunity is the chance to talk about yourself in a less structured and less formal way. It’s an opportunity to share your story the way you want it to be heard.
Compiled by Will Fitzhugh from The Concord Review The formal research paper in high schools has been steadily disappearing over the past two decades, and it shows no signs of revival. The accessibility of the Internet, larger high school class sizes, over-worked teachers, and a growing emphasis on alternative forms of research presentation has dwindled the traditional 15-20 page research paper to just a few pages and Power Point presentations. As the founder and editor of The Concord Review, I have spent the last 26 years championing the significance of the research paper.
Compiled by the team of counselors at IvyWise These days, with advancements in technology, there’s an app for just about anything and a need for people to build them. STEM-related fields are seeing a high demand for workers, with jobs expected to grow 17% over the next decade, and as a result, many students are realizing the value of a STEM education – often in terms of ROI and job demand. Computer science and app development are booming fields, and many colleges are catering to those needs with exceptional programs for budding techies.
Spring is a great time for college-bound juniors and their families to visit college campuses. As juniors prepare for the college admissions process in the fall, they need to be building and refining their college lists – and one of the best ways to get to know a college is to visit the campus and attend an admissions information session to learn more about the school, its programs, and what it takes to gain admission. While college visits should be a fun family experience, they still need to be taken very seriously.
Now that the early application round has closed, the window to craft thorough, compelling, and thoughtful regular decision applications is quickly closing. Many regular decision deadlines aren’t until January 1, so if you’re just now starting on your admissions journey, or need some help getting back on track, here’s what you need to do now in order to catch up and be ready to submit great applications by the regular decision deadlines. Make an appointment as soon as possible with your college counselor to go over your balanced college list (or what you have so far), what you need to do now to get on track, and collaborate on a plan of action.
Making the jump from high school to college can be exciting, but also overwhelming for some students. With college life comes more independence, but also significantly more responsibilities than students may be used to at home. It’s easy to have a smooth college transition, however, if students keep these simple tips in mind.
Even as a growing number of colleges in the US are becoming test-optional, in most cases, SAT and ACT scores are necessary in order to be competitive in the college admissions process. While a perfect standardized test score isn’t a ticket to a best-fit college, it is one of the many components that admissions officers consider, so it’s in a student’s best interest to perform well. In order to have a competitive SAT or ACT score, preparation and planning is necessary.