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The 3 Types of College Essay Questions

Over 500 colleges and universities have become members of the Common Application with the intention of using a holistic selection process. With a list of participating schools this large, you will most likely cross paths with this system at some point during your application process. One of the highlights of the Common App is its […]

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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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Common College Application Mistakes

Many parents and students ask about the most common mistakes that are made on college applications. It’s a great question, because these mistakes almost always stem from right-headed intentions. Avoiding them is simply a matter of understanding the mindset of admissions officers. The most common mistakes on college applications fall into two categories. They don’t cover […]

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Extracurriculars Tip #2

Here’s a tip about extracurriculars that’s related to an earlier posting. It’s for you younger high school students. If you’re application-minded, you may already be thinking about extracurriculars and how many you should have on your Common App. People will talk about a certain number you need, and about how a good balance of different […]

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SAT and ACT Medians

Students ask us all the time, “What are my chances of getting into X?” Parents want to know whether their kids should bother with certain schools. “Do we even have a chance there?” While we’ve gotten pretty good at predicting a student’s chances of admission, there’s also a simple way to give yourself an idea […]

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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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3 Things to Do This Summer

When you’re in high school, summer is a time to relax. After being busy with homework, extracurriculars, hanging out with friends, and whatever other commitments you have, it’s important to give yourself a breather. You also need a break from getting up every morning; a developing mind needs sleep, after all. This doesn’t mean that […]

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