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College: Demonstrating Interest—COVID Edition

Uncategorized Sep 24, 2020

Demonstrated interest is a term used by colleges as a way of measuring an individual student’s level of interest in their institution. Traditionally, students have been able to show their interest through personal contact to indicate to a college – hey, I like you! That involved campus tours, classroom visits, and meetings with faculty and admission representatives. Now, most of those options are off the table. If you are interested in a college that considers demonstrated interest as part of their application process, how can you maximize the current situation with COVID putting limits on travel and one-on-one visits?

Mailing-list: Go to your college’s website and sign up on their mailing list. While there, go to the Admission page and re-search the name and contact information for the representative responsible for your geographic area and high school. Send an introductory email to that individual expressing your interest and ask a question. You will build upon...

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Making The Most of Virtual Learning

Uncategorized Sep 16, 2020

In a March 2020 education paper printed in the Harvard Business Review, Vijay Govindarajan and Anup Srivastava, both renowned international business professors, stated the following: “Tectonic shifts in society and business occur when unexpected events force widespread experimentation around a new idea.” The Covid-19 pandemic represents such a tectonic shift and has deeply impacted education from kindergarten to the highest levels of higher education. Everyone now has to experiment with alternate ways of learning, we are questioning traditional teaching methods, and we are taking on the processes by which knowledge is delivered. So, assuming that your fall semester will be either 100% online or a hybrid form of online and in-person classes, how can you make the very best of this new system?

Get good equipment and know how to use it. You’ll need a strong signal, a fast speed, lots of storage, and a printer. Make sure you have the most updated software; learn how to...

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AP Scores and College Credit

Uncategorized Jun 17, 2020

Although this year's AP tests were “non-traditional”, many colleges have said that they will still award AP credit (see this list by Prompt).  AP scores will be available online beginning July 15.  Scores are released over several days based on the state in which you tested.  View the date and location schedule, and your scores, on the College Board website.  

What is the AP exam score scale? 

There is no “pass” or “fail” on the AP tests.  It’s important to understand the definitions of the AP scores. 

5 = extremely well qualified | Many universities award college credit  

4 = well qualified | Some universities award college credit 

3 = qualified | Some universities award college credit 

2 = possibly qualified | No college credit awarded 

1 = no recommendation | No college credit awarded 

Send Your...

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You Can Make A Difference: Student Activism

Uncategorized Jun 03, 2020

It was hard to imagine 2020 being any worse, and then the country erupted over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.  Communities have watched in horror as protests have boiled over into riots and confrontations with heavily armed police and national guard troops.  In a summer that already felt uncertain, the civil unrest adds a layer of foreboding that may seem almost impossible to bear.  But you can counter that feeling of helplessness with action.       

Student activism has long been the catalyst for political and societal change.  Many movements that have been dramatically advanced by student action.  No matter your political, social, or personal beliefs, college is usually a place where you can find like-minded friends.  It can also be a place where your beliefs are challenged. 

You can advance anti-racism or another cause safely with some of the following...

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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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