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How Parents Can Help Their Kids with College Applications…

Here are some guidelines for parents who want to assist their kids in the college app process: The media have recently highlighted “helicopter parents” who seize control of the college application process from their kids. They fill out their college applications, sit in on college interviews, and attend college events designed only for prospective students. […]

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How many APs should you take in High School, and how do AP courses help with admissions?

The question of how many APs (Advanced Placement courses) one should take in high school is one of the most commonly asked questions from students enrolled in Top Test Prep’s private admissions counseling program. I would say that the number of APs you take in high school should depend on where you’re applying and whether […]

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The New Common App: 2011-2012

With the newest version of the Common Application or “Common App” for 2011-2012, comes several major changes. We’ll discuss these updates below… The biggest changes to the Common App include the following: Common App “Demographics Section” (1) A new section on “Language Proficiency”, p. 1 of Common App. (2) Household “marital status” of “Civil Union/Domestic” […]

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How to Write the Best Personal Statement Admissions Essay

So, maybe you’re struggling to create a college admissions essay that will knock the socks off the admissions offices. Doubts grow as you ponder how you can come up with an original insight or an idea separating you from the pack. It’s now time to formulate a game plan for a college essay that will […]

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Sunny College Options: A Look at High Quality Colleges with Great Weather

You’re a high school student or a parent thinking about college options. Naturally, institutions with strong students and professors, classes where students count, and a staff, which goes the extra mile to retain them are appealing. Lifestyle is also important, however, and battling snowdrifts and months of freezing weather isn’t where you want to put […]

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Should you get a US Degree or study abroad? Things to consider…

Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of full US degree programs abroad conducted in English. According to the British-based Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, there are close to eighty US degree programs overseas where English is the language of instruction.  Over three quarters of them have opened since 1999.  Florida State University in Panama City […]

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Is an ‘A’ or an AP Course Worth More?

It’s no secret that admission counselors look at that small line on your transcript – your GPA. It’s just a number, but it contains quite a summary of your academic work. Of course adcoms will weigh your GPA relative to the overall intensity of your school. But the stronger your grades, the stronger your academic base […]

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How Students Choose Their Colleges

Talking to students informally about the rationale behind their college choices, one gets a wide array of answers including finances, academics, and climate. The University of California, Los Angeles’s Higher Education Research Institute has conducted a comprehensive survey of college freshmen for the past forty years which poses this question, among others, to students. The […]

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How to Select Your APs and Honors Courses in High School

How to select your APs/IBs and Honors Courses in High School…(and how many you should take) Recent studies including one conducted by the Department of Education have challenged the value of advanced high school courses. The lines of attack have varied somewhat, but the bottom line is that they don’t carry much “bang for the […]

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Parents: How to Tour a College with Your Student

Touring different schools is an essential part of the admissions decision. Parents and students often do visits and tours together, and a lot of attention is given to how students should behave on a tour – but how should parents act? The college admissions process contains hopes and dreams of the future, and perceptions between […]

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