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Should You Take the SAT or ACT This Year?

Uncategorized May 28, 2020
 

You may have heard last week that the University of California system – with 10 campuses enrolling over a quarter million students – announced it would be test-optional for Fall 2021 admission.  The new policy phases in changes over the next four years ending with the university either creating a new admission test or eliminating the standardized test requirements for all students by 2025.  Although many schools have announced test-optional policies for next year in the wake of Covid-19, the University of California announcement was likely the most significant and could represent a turning point for admission test requirements.   

What does this mean for you as an applicant?  Should you plan to take the SAT or the ACT?  The answer still largely depends on the schools you are interested in.  Although more and more schools are choosing test-optional admission policies, the majority still require either the SAT or ACT to be...

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3 Things You Can Do To Remove Your College Admissions Stress

Uncategorized May 20, 2020

Applying to colleges can be a stressful process under the best circumstances.  In 2020, with the education system turned on its ear, the admission process might seem near impossible.  Standardized tests are canceled for the spring, high schools are closed changing the dynamics of grades and extracurriculars, and colleges are shifting application requirements.  From week to week, it can be hard to keep track of the changes.  So, what’s a high school junior to do?   

Focus on what you can control.  Minimize your stress by focusing on the parts of the application process that you can affect.  Here are some suggestions of things you can do now for your college applications.     

  1. Start your Common App Essay.  Haven’t started any college essays? Now is a great time.  Look at the Common App essay topics – the personal statement has a choice of 7 prompts.  Or look at the schools you are...
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10 Little-Known Factors That Could Help Your Teen’s College Admissions. Part 2 of 3

Uncategorized May 20, 2020
 

Enjoy learning some essential tips from Ryan Clark and me about college planning – learn and help your teens apply to college this fall in the most effective way despite so much uncertainty with college applications.

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High School Sophomores and Juniors - What College Will You Fit In?

Uncategorized May 13, 2020

“Warm, welcoming, smart, and unpretentious– our university is filled with students who are driven to be the best they can be without striving to do so at the expense of others. They excel at allowing everyone to be comfortable with who they are, and not having to be a certain type of person in order to fit in.” 

Does this describe the type of college environment you want to be in?  Where do you fit in?  Which statement below describes you the most? 

  • I want a college where most of the students share my background and viewpoints. 
  • I want a college where some students have viewpoints and experiences different from my own. 
  • I want a college where many students have viewpoints and experiences which are unlike my own. 

Using your answer, look for the following when researching colleges: 

  1. What is the...
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10 Great Lessons for High School Parents from College Experts. Part 1 of 3

Uncategorized May 13, 2020
 

This insightful video is a three-part video lesson with college planning experts that answer parents' questions that will help students apply to College this Fall.

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Guidance for Underclassmen: What’s in a location?

Uncategorized May 06, 2020
 

How do you describe where you live?  City?  Suburb?  Country?  What aspects of your current location do you like or not like – and how far are you willing to go from home?  As you explore colleges, one thing to consider is the location of the college.  Location can make a significant impact on your college experience.  Think about where you want to go to school.   

Here are the terms and definitions used in college “locations”: 

  • Major City: Population 300,000 or more: or within a 25-mile radius of a metro area. 
  • Small-Medium City: Population 75,000-299,999 or within 15 to 25 miles of a metro area. 
  • Large Town: Population 25,000-74,999 or within 10–mile radius of a large town. 
  • Small Town: Population 5,000-24,999 or within 5–mile radius of a small town. 
  • Rural: Population under 5,000, in or near a rural community. 

Things to consider related to...

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3 Tips to Building Teacher/Counselor Relationships While Home Learning

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2020
 

Hoping to get a great recommendation letter for your college or scholarship applications?  It’s hard to write a recommendation for someone you don’t know.  It’s especially important to have strong relationships with your teachers and counselor but it might seem difficult to cultivate those relationships in the era of “home learning”.  How can you reach out to your teachers?  Here are 3 tips to building good relationships no matter what your school situation is.   

  1. Show Up!   Get to know your teachers/counselor and give them opportunities to get to know you.  Be sure to show up for required class meetings (online or in-person) and also take advantage of “office hours” or other chances to interact with your teachers.    
  2. Speak Up!  Make your voice heard by asking questions during class or after hours by email.  Share thoughts and ideas, ask for clarification...
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Adopt Some New Strategies Regarding College Admission

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2020

People around the world are adapting to a new normal.  Businesses are reinventing themselves, restaurants are offering delivery and takeout options, television news and late-night shows are broadcasting from home, and colleges and schools across the US have adopted online learning formats.  Now that you may be settling into a different routine, it’s time to refocus your efforts and adopt some new strategies regarding college admission.   

Keep Your Grades Up 

Many colleges have announced that they will waive the SAT/ACT requirements for Fall 2021 applications.  Some are also discussing how to view junior year grades given the abrupt change to online learning and some schools adopting pass/fail grading.  Although it’s impossible to predict how every college will review their applications, maintaining a high GPA is the best advice.  Check in with your teachers, ask for help, focus on doing your best with what’s asked of...

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Know What You Want to Study In College

Uncategorized Apr 21, 2020

As “stay at home” orders continue on for many states, you may find yourself with some extra time on your hands.  Have you run out of puzzles, family game night getting old, have you reached the end of the internet?  Maybe it’s time to think about some of life’s big questions – like “what do you want to be when you grow up?”.  But before you start there, consider this advice from Jaime Casap.   

Jaime Casap is the Education Evangelist at Google.  He promotes the power of technology and the web as tools to transform education.  He’s also an author and sought-after speaker and he has some different ideas around choosing a career path.  He says the question of “What do you want to be?”  is the wrong question.  What do you want to be leads you to pick a job that exists now.  But things are changing rapidly – that job may not exist in the...

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College Essay Quarantined - Crush The Common Application Essay! 7 Tips.

essay Apr 11, 2020
 

College Application Essay Tips

  1. Note which colleges you are planning on applying to next year.
  2. Find out if the colleges use the common application, the coalition application, or their online school application. 
  3. What are the college essay expectations for each school on your list?  Are there any supplemental essays required in addition to the personal statement for each school on your list?
  4. Know how many are required and how many are "optional."
  5. Can you leverage or use the same essay for multiple colleges, especially the supplemental essays?
  6. Write down your Top 10 Qualities, Characteristics, or Strengths.
    i.e., Google "20 best characteristic traits" for suggestions to consider.
  7. Read the college Mission Statement and Motto to find words, phrases, or characteristics that the schools hold in high regard.  
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