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How to Get the Best Recommendations

Our founder always says that in the tens of thousands of applications he’s read, he’s never come across a bad recommendation. You might be surprised, but imagine how letters of recommendation are produced for college applications. A student asks a teacher, Could you write me a recommendation, please? Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the […]

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College Application Resumes

If you already have a resume at seventeen, great. But: don’t send it off with all of your college applications automatically. Only send a resume if a school specifically requests one (most don’t) or if the Common App doesn’t convey everything about you that you believe is important for schools to know. Send other supplementary […]

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What’s a Good SAT Score?

The straight answer is: it depends. It depends on where you want to go (or who you want to impress). According to the College Board’s table of 2013 SAT percentiles, the median SAT score for college-bound seniors was around 1500 combined. So maybe a ‘good SAT score’ is anything over that mark: you’ll be better […]

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Application Essay Tips

Writing your application essay can seem like an easy task: you’ve written longer papers, there’s no research to do, and the question is straightforward. But you’ve also never written an essay quite like this (unless, of course, you’ve written an application essay before). Use these tips to craft the best statement possible. 1) Brainstorm. Coming […]

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Admissions Is Not a Lottery

The idea that the college admissions process is a lottery is a common one among frustrated applicants. The popular variation is often phrased, ‘Admissions is a crapshoot,’ with the additional implication that you don’t have great odds in this particular lottery. Some, however, have taken the idea a bit more seriously. Writing in The Atlantic, Rob Goodman […]

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Too Far Away or Too Close to Home?

For many students, the factor of distance becomes crucial in the college admissions process. Sometimes a parent wants to veto any school outside a certain radius of home. Sometimes a student feels such a need to distance themselves from childhood that any school in California starts to look a lot more attractive. It’s important not […]

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Lower Acceptance Rates: What Do They Mean?

It seems that every year now acceptance rates at the top colleges drop even lower. In 2014, Stanford University accepted just 5% of applicants, a record low. An article in the The New York Times noted that chances at other elite schools aren’t much better: Harvard and Yale are around 6%, Columbia and Princeton about […]

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Waiting on the Waitlist

It’s a tough place to be, the waitlist. If you’ve been dropped there by your top choice (or maybe your top three) you may feel helpless, confused, resigned, or maybe just depressed. This is not the way admissions officers want you to feel. The first thing to remember is that you’re on the waitlist because […]

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5 Things Not to Do When You’re on the Waitlist

1) Don’t give up. While it’s important to be realistic about your low chances, don’t give up if you want to attend a school that has waitlisted you. A decision may feel distant, but it’s worth staying focused and doing what you can. 2) Don’t send too many letters/emails. Sending letters is one way you […]

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Choosing the right Medical School for You

1) MD or DO? Both types of degrees will enable you to practice medicine within the United States, but the taught curriculum can vary a little between both programs. DO programs place an emphasis on osteopathic manipulative medicine, but the medical training for both are otherwise very similar. MD and DO hopefuls apply through two […]

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