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Where Should You Go?

You look forward to the day you get your decisions, thinking that it will all be over then: things will be decided and you can forget about college applications forever. For some lucky few, this is the case, but unless you’ve been admitted to your top choice, find that you still want to go there, […]

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The #1 Application Trick

Okay, my title is a bit disingenuous, because the “trick” I have for you doesn’t really deserve the name. But that’s just because it’s doesn’t involve dissembling. Is it really a trick if it doesn’t involve deceiving your audience? My “#1 trick” for college applications is simple and honest: be yourself. This rule applies to […]

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The Brag Sheet

I’ve written here that you don’t need to send a resume with your college applications, that in fact you shouldn’t. I stand by that. It’s just that there’s a bit more to the topic. You don’t need a resume to apply for college, but you should have what’s called a brag sheet. I wrote that […]

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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 “Safe” Major?

What’s a “safe” major? These days, it is becoming more difficult to find a job after graduating from college. So much competition, such few spots! With unemployment rates remaining high, students are preparing earlier than ever to avoid this plight. The days of any guaranteed employment are over. More students are now choosing majors that […]

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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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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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